From Gtech Community Stadium – Brentford ended a run of three winless games with a 2-0 victory at home to Brighton on Friday night.
Ivan Toney scored a match-defining brace – one in either half – to ensure that Thomas Frank’s fourth year anniversary weekend in charge of the Bees is a happy one.
The first early chance went the way of Brentford after winning the ball back high up the pitch, with Toney’s cross headed over by Frank Onyeka.
At the other end, Danny Welbeck got a cleaner contact on a whipped ball in from Pervis Estupinan, though his header was held by David Raya.
The Spanish stopper had to be at full stretch to tip Moises Caicedo’s 25-yard strike over the top soon after, before producing a smart save with his leg from the resulting corner to deny Joel Veltman.
Brentford went even closer to breaking the deadlock when Brighton failed to deal with a cross from Vitaly Janelt, and Bryan Mbeumo’s clever volley came back off the crossbar.
And the Bees eventually found the net after 28 minutes when Mbeumo wriggled his way past several Brighton defenders to tee up Onyeka, whose cutback was deftly flicked in by Ivan Toney.
Head coaches Frank and Roberto De Zerbi were both booked following a touchline altercation at the back-end of a punchy first half.
Fresh out of the gates for the second half, Welbeck and Ben Mee both missed headers from a set piece, before Robert Sanchez nearly gifted an opening to Toney, only for the striker’s first touch to let him down and let the Spaniard off the hook.
Brentford were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute after Veltman brought down Toney amid a chaotic long-throw routine, and the skipper for the night made no mistake from the spot to double the hosts’ lead.
From kick-off, Brighton sought to pull one back through Alexis Mac Allister, whose shot from range was deflected but well held by Raya.
The Bees’ number one then pulled off an incredible save with his outstretched left arm to deny Solly March from six yards out.
Raya was again called into action with under five minutes remaining to keep Lewis Dunk out this time, though the defender was flagged offside regardless.
With time running out, Brentford nearly added a third when Josh Dasilva’s whipped cross was turned back in by Sergi Canos, with Sanchez making a hash of dealing with the advancing Toney and needing Dunk – who was cleared of a handball in the buildup by VAR – to hoof the ball off the line.
Brighton were unable to find a goal as De Zerbi remains without a win in his first three matches in charge of the Seagulls.