Brentford vs Bournemouth. Premier League.
Gtech Community StadiumAttendance17,031.
Match report and highlights as goals in either half from Ivan Toney and Mathias Jensen secure home win for Brentford to increase Bournemouth's relegation fears; Bees rise above Liverpool into eighth place; Gary O'Neil's side suffer eighth Premier League defeat in nine games
Saturday 14 January 2023 20:36, UK
Brentford extended their longest unbeaten run in the Premier League after a routine 2-0 home with over Bournemouth moved them above Liverpool into eighth.
Ivan Toney notched his 21st successful spot-kick from 21 attempts to put the hosts in front after the returning striker was brought down inside the box by Marcos Senesi.
Mathias Jensen then met Josh Dasilva's cross to measure a finish beyond Neto - his first goal since the 4-0 win over Manchester United back in August - as Brentford eased to a convincing victory which moves them onto 29 points from 19 games.
Thomas Frank's side are now unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games, winning four of their last five, as Saturday Night Football went according to the form book.
Bournemouth sit in 17th place, a point outside the relegation zone, after an eighth Premier League defeat in nine games and still without a goal since the top flight returned following the World Cup.
Cherries boss Gary O'Neil was incensed by the decision to award Brentford a spot-kick, telling Sky Sports: "The penalty decision is scandalous. It's never a penalty, it's a foul on Marcos.
"I don't know how we have VAR and it doesn't get given. I think it's a scandalous decision. Then we get caught with a sucker-punch [for the second goal]. We didn't have enough quality to score but we created some chances, we had some moments but it didn't go our way.
"It was the same referee the last time we were here in the play-off semi-final. And it was a similar performance. I thought it was really poor. I will have a chat with him afterwards. I just can't believe it, if he doesn't see it, then I don't understand how VAR doesn't see it. Toney is pulling Marcos over. Never a penalty."
Thomas Frank responded: "I'd say scandalous is a strong word. I understand the first goal is important but the way I saw it was that it was very good forward play. It was a 50-50 situation. I would've been disappointed if Ben Mee defended in that way."
Brentford: Raya (7), Ajer (6), Pinnock (7), Mee (7), Dasilva (8), Jensen (7), Norgaard (6), Janelt (6), Toney (7), Mbeumo (7), Wissa (6).
Subs: Schade (n/a), Jorgensen (n/a), Lewis-Potter (n/a), Damsgaard (n/a), Roerslev (n/a)
Bournemouth: Neto (6), Stacey (6), Mepham (6), Senesi (5), Kelly (5), Christie (6), Cook (5), Lerma (6), Anthony (6), Moore (5), Billing (4).
Subs: Rothwell (n/a), Dembele (7), Pearson (5).
Man of the match: Josh Dasilva.
Brentford have now won four of their last five league games against Bournemouth, more than they had in their previous 14 against them, while the Cherries are winless in their last eight away league meetings.
This latest home triumph owed a lot to a contentious first-half decision which resulted in the deadlock mercifully being broken after 38 minutes of tedium. There appeared to be very little danger when Yoane Wissa hooked a long ball over for Toney to chase but Senesi panicked and the subsequent shirt pull gave referee Jarred Gillett the option to award the penalty.
Neto, on his return to the Bournemouth goal for the first time since October 24, guessed the right way but Toney's finish was too precise. The striker cupped his ears in front of the Bournemouth fans, who had goaded him about his FA charges for alleged betting rule breaches.
It was his 13th Premier League goal of the season, and for as long as Brentford have Toney available, they have flickering dreams of European football.
"I've said many time he is the best penalty-taker in the world," said Frank afterwards. "I say that because of his coolness and his strategy. He keeps repeating it in terms of training it. His mentality is so strong."
The Dane was a picture of calmness in the home dressing room at half-time as O'Neil appeared far more animated down the corridor, with Philip Billing's fierce drive saved by David Raya all his side had to show for their first-half efforts.
Upon the restart, there was greater urgency from Bournemouth but it was Brentford who had the better chances still as Christian Norgaard was presented the ball by Ben Pearson only to shoot tamely at Neto before Bryan Mbeumo did likewise from distance.
O'Neil turned to Siriki Dembele after the hour mark and the substitute almost made an instant impact as he turned Ethan Pinnock inside out before drawing an instinctive save from Neto. It was as close as Bournemouth would come, and with a quarter of an hour remaining, Brentford pulled clear.
Chris Mepham and Jack Stacey collided in slapstick fashion going for the same ball as Dasilva made inroads down the left before spotting Jensen on the edge of the box for a clinical right-foot finish.
Bournemouth boss Gary O'Neil: "I thought the players were fully committed and gave everything. They worked their socks off but we lacked quality and cutting edge. I didn't think there was much in the game against a good side. We're a bit short on the bench at the moment but the players gave everything.
"What I saw is that the players were fully committed. They were ready to go against a physical Brentford side. I didn't think we looked like a side struggling to commit to what they're trying to achieve.
"I told the referee that I expect an apology [for the penalty] but that doesn't help me. We have a history with this referee after the Championship play-off semi-final and I thought he was equally as bad here as he was then.
"When I watched the replay, I thought they would overturn it. I thought it was a strange game to give him given the last one, but I thought he would get some help from VAR. Anyone can make that mistake in the moment but it's scandalous given the help they have nowadays that it was upheld."
Brentford boss Thomas Frank: "To get the win was very pleasing for me. I have been onto the players that after a good run of games - beating Man City, a good game against Tottenham, West Ham beating them and Liverpool beating - we are facing Bournemouth at home, a very tricky game.
"These players have a top mentality. I just wanted to make sure we trained like beasts the whole week. We know in the Premier League nothing is ever easy.
"I don't think we played a top game but in a season how many perfect games do you play? Four or five? It was a well-deserved win."
Sky Sports Ben Grounds at the Gtech Community Stadium:
Kool & the Gang's 1980s classic Celebration rung out at full-time and the good times are here in this corner of west London. Could Brentford make a run for Europe?
Thomas Frank has been keen to play down the idea but the Bees are in excellent form. Victory at home against Bournemouth is their fourth in five and their unbeaten streak now stands at seven.
They have lost only four times, fewer than anyone outside the Champions League places and look wonderfully attuned to what is being asked of them.
When asked about his side's chances of qualifying for Europe, Frank said: "It is important we have dreams. Everyone needs dreams and ambitions.
"[Manchester United boss] Erik ten Hag said something about Alex Ferguson who said the season starts in April. If we think too far ahead we will have a problem. It is important to celebrate our wins but after we have to work very hard and see where we will end."
The visit of Gary O'Neil's side was the first of five home assignments between now and the middle of March with Fulham the only current top-half team among them. It is why Frank described this as a season-defining win.
"It wasn't the prettiest of his side's successes this term but Brentford are asserting their credentials.
"They may only be a few key injuries away from running into issues, which is why Kevin Schade has been bought to ease the workload on Toney, taken off in the closing stages. Having avoided any semblance of second-season syndrome, the best is yet to come."
Frank said of Dasilva's display: "He was very good. It's so good to see him out there. Someone told me he is the only player of ours to have played minutes in every game in the Premier League.
"I think he was a bit of a slow starter after the World Cup. He scored a crucial goal against West Ham and then we saw both sides of his game tonight. He carried the ball well, defended and provided a great assist. I'm so pleased for him."
Brentford's next game is a Premier League clash at home to Leeds on Sunday, January 22, live on Sky Sports - kick-off 2pm.
Bournemouth's next outing is a crucial Premier League fixture at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday - kick-off 3pm.