Brentford vs Brighton recap: Ivan Toney scored once from open play and once from the penalty spot to hand the Bees a much-needed 2-0 victory over the Seagulls in west London on Friday.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Toney opened the scoring with a sensational backheel finish in the 27th minute and followed it up with a penalty kick, which he also earned, in the 64th. The 26-year-old now has eight Premier League goals this season, putting him level with Harry Kane for second-most. Erling Haaland remains seven ahead with 15.
The victory sends Brentford (13 points – 8th place) into the top half of the PL table, where Brighton (14 points – 7th) remain stuck in neutral themselves after beginning the post-Graham Potter era with a draw and now two straight defeats.
What we learned from Brentford vs Brighton
The difference a marquee striker makes…
It wouldn’t be at all unfair to say that, ever since Graham Potter came to the club in the summer of 2019, Brighton have played a more attractive, entertaining style of football than have the Bees in their season-plus in the top flight. Last season, it produced five more points and a finish four places better in the Premier League table. This season (thus far), just one point and one place.
It’s hard to watch Brentford vs Brighton without thinking, “How good would these Seagulls be if they had a center forward like that guy?” Friday’s game saw two drastically different philosophies produce roughly the same quality of scoring chances (1.56 and 1.79 xG, respectively), with one side prioritizing quality over quantity, and vice versa for the other. David Raya, of course, played his part and made seven saves to keep his third clean sheet of the season.
Not only did Toney score two more goals on Friday (his 52nd and 53rd goals for Brentford in just over two full seasons – all competitions), but he continues to be the player who steps up in the Bees’ biggest moments. For that alone, Toney’s face and name are most synonymous with Brentford’s incredible rise to the PL (and establishing themselves to stay there).
And to think, Brighton have managed to get to where they are without their Toney. Just how good would they be, though?
How to watch Brentford vs Brighton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET Friday (pregame coverage at 2pm)
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Brentford’s been pretty darn unlucky this season, giving up four more goals than xGA and collecting 2.78 less points than xPTS. Two of its last three matches, however, have been legit beatdowns from Arsenal and Newcastle in both expected and actual goals. But this is Brentford’s first home match since the Sept. 18 loss to Arsenal, almost a month! It should be rowdy in the building.
This will be the first game since Brighton’s sparkplug midfielder Enock Mwepu announced his retirement due to a hereditary heart condition. The Seagulls have shown resilience when hit with the unexpected, like Graham Potter’s exit to Chelsea, but don’t be surprised to see a tribute to Mwepu.
Brentford team news, injuries, starting lineups
OUT: Christian Norgaard (tendonitis), Pontus Jansson (thigh), Keane Lewis-Potter (ankle)
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) October 14, 2022
Brighton team news, injuries, starting lineups
OUT: Jakub Moder (knee)
TEAM NEWS. 🚨 Here's our starting XI to face Brentford tonight! 📝
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) October 14, 2022