Brentford strengthened its bid for Europe by winning a feisty west London derby against Fulham 3-2 in the English Premier League on Monday.
Also, striker Ivan Toney improved his season tally to 16 with another spot kick to help sink the Bees’ local rival. Unfortunately for Brentford and Toney, should they succeed in their unlikely bid to reach the Europa League, they may enter it without their talisman.
Toney is facing the prospect of a lengthy ban after being charged with 262 alleged breaches of the English Football Association’s gambling laws dating to 2017. But as he promised this week in a social media post questioning the confidentiality of the FA investigation, Toney is concentrating on his football.
Toney’s goal was the third of the game for a 2-1 lead after halftime. Issa Diop was penalized for the slightest kick on the foot of Christian Norgaard and Toney calmly converted his 21st penalty from the 21 he has taken for Brentford.
Mathias Jensen made it 3-1 when he tucked away a cut-back from substitute Kevin Schade, and Carlos Vinicius pulled one back for Fulham in stoppage time.
Brentford is only a point behind Fulham, which is seventh in the standings.
In extending its unbeaten streak to 12 league matches, Brentford’s lightning start was rewarded when Fulham failed to deal with a corner and Ethan Pinnock’s drive took a wicked deflection off Fulham captain Tim Ream to leave goalkeeper Bernd Leno helpless.
Yoane Wissa clipped the crossbar with a free kick for Brentford and, moments later, and totally against the run of play, Fulham equalized from a free kick of its own.
Andreas Pereira’s effort from the edge of the box came back down off the crossbar and bounced up for Manor Solomon to nod into an empty net for his fifth goal in five matches.