Toney scores in return as Brentford edges Nottingham Forest
LONDON (AP) — Ivan Toney scored just 19 minutes into his return from an eight-month ban as Brentford ended a five-match losing run in the Premier League by beating Nottingham Forest 3-2 on Saturday.
Wearing the captain's armband in his first game since being banned for breaching betting rules, the England striker showed he hasn't lost his scoring touch during the long layoff. Given the opportunity to take a free kick just outside the area, Toney beat U.S. international Matt Turner by bending a low shot around the wall and just inside the near post to make it 1-1 in the 19th.
That made it a perfect return for Toney — whose previous Premier League goal was also a direct free kick against Forest on April 29 last year — but there were plenty of other big moments in an entertaining game at the Gtech Community Stadium.
It started with Forest midfielder Danilo volleying in a spectacular long-range strike in just the third minute, before an eventful 10-minute span in the second half saw Brentford go in front twice.
Ben Mee got in front of Forest defender Murillo to head in a corner in the 58th, but Forest leveled in the 65th when Chris Wood headed in a cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi. The visitors could have taken the lead just two minutes later after a well-worked move when Wood teed up Orel Mangala outside the area, but he blasted a shot just wide of the post.
Moments later, Brentford scored the winner at the other end, and Toney was involved in the buildup.
The striker sent the ball out wide to Mads Roerslev who picked out Neal Maupay in the area, and the forward swiveled before volleying a left-footed strike inside the far post.
That secured a much-needed win for Thomas Frank's team, which had been drawn into the relegation scrap after a run of five straight league losses but climbed above Forest and Crystal Palace into 14th place.
And with Toney back, Brentford should be confident of climbing even higher in the second half of the season.
“I’m just buzzing to be back and scoring goals and playing for the team,” Toney said. “I manifest things like this. And before I left my house I thought, ‘Yeah, we’re winning today and I’m scoring.’ And I made it happen, so it’s good.”
Forest was coming off back-to-back wins against Manchester United and Newcastle but was missing six players who are away at the Africa Cup of Nations, while the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White and Anthony Elanga missed the game with injuries.
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