Brentford boss Thomas Frank hails ‘unique’ Ivan Toney after the striker’s last dazzling show.
Toney was on target again as Brentford increased their bid. Europe by winning a feisty west London counter derby 3-2 Fulham.
The forward raised his tally to 16 for the season to help the Bees sink their local rivals.
Unfortunately for Brentford and Toney, if they succeed in their unexpected quest to reach the Europa League, they may have to enter the Europa League without their talisman.
Toney faces the prospect of a prolonged ban after being accused of allegedly violating the Football Association’s gambling laws a total of 262 times, dating back to 2017.
But as promised in a social media post this week questioning the confidentiality of the FA’s investigation, Toney is focusing on football.
Alongside another successful penalty, Toney hit the crossbar from a free kick, attempted an ugly shot that landed just over the hill from the midfield line, and made an almost daring pass with his backside.
“I think it says a lot about laser focusing ability,” Frank said.
“This is not a coincidence. His ability to focus is quite unique. It never closes.
“If there’s something going on off the pitch, he’s still focused.”
It was sweet revenge for the Bees, who lost by the same score to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s last-minute goal at Craven Cottage in August.
Frank added: “Of course it’s special. I told the players this is the biggest derby for us.
“It’s more special against Fulham, we’ve played a lot of interesting matches in recent years, so of course it makes extra sense.”
Brentford commanded Ethan Pinnock’s sling shot six minutes later and Fulham needed to disappear before Manor Solomon tied the game against the pace of the game thanks to Manor Solomon’s fifth goal in five games.
However, Toney changed the point kick after Issa Diop was determined to have fouled Christian Norgaard, and Mathias Jensen finished third before substitute Carlos Vinicius took a pullback in stoppage time.
Fulham remains in the European hunt but manager Marco Silva said: “It was a disappointing night for us. A disappointing performance I must say.
They scored early in the game and early in the second half but to be honest it was our fault. You can’t start an away derby like we did.
“We started very badly in the first half and the second half. We reacted for equality but they put nine players in the penalty area while they are winning. It’s not easy.
“The penalty was a really tough decision from the referee. It was a big surprise to me, but it was our fault.”