David Raya return proves vital for Brentford as Ivan Toney and Christian Eriksen show class


Unsung hero David Raya’s return proves vital for Brentford after his clean sheet against Burnley saw him back to his best… as Ivan Toney and Christian Eriksen also show their class to all but secure Premier League safety

  • Brentford sealed a 2-0 victory over Burnley to all but secure top-flight safety
  • Ivan Toney notched a late brace for the Bees pulled them nine points clear
  • David Raya has been the Bees unsung hero since his return from a knee injury

Brentford’s Premier League status is all but confirmed for another year and, just like last week, they can largely thank Ivan Toney for a crucial win.

Triumphs at Norwich and now against Burnley have pulled them out of a relegation scrap and nine points clear of the drop zone, with Toney scoring five goals in the process.

So rightly so, the penalty-specialist forward has made the headlines, as has Christian Eriksen, creatively instrumental in both wins.

Brentford can largely thank Ivan Toney’s goals against Burnley for all but securing safety

But those six points might not have been possible without unsung hero David Raya.

The goalkeeper is back to his best after missing nearly half the season with a knee injury, a 14-match spell which saw Brentford lose nine times and keep just one clean sheet.

So as well as Toney’s return to the goals after Covid and injury, and Eriksen’s fairytale comeback to top-flight football, we must add Raya’s recovery to the list of factors which have revived Brentford’s season.

At Carrow Road last week, he denied Milot Rashica from point-blank range after four minutes and made more stops at 0-0 before the Bees went on to comfortably win. 

David Raya returning from a long-term knee injury has help revive the team's top-flight season

David Raya returning from a long-term knee injury has help revive the team’s top-flight season

And on Saturday against Burnley, the away side were perhaps the better team and Raya denied Maxwel Cornet in a one-versus-one scenario late on, before Toney’s 85th-minute opener.

‘Personally it feels amazing to be back,’ Raya told Sportsmail after the game. ‘When the injury happened it was a heartbreaking day for me. But I nearly feel back to my best.

‘It’s incredible to see the atmosphere here, it makes it so difficult for away teams. It’s amazing to have that bond.

‘Christian is a world class player and I don’t think he’s back to his best yet.’ 

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