Sports

X reacts as Ivan Toney scores in first game since returning from ban

Ivan Toney has had a tough year.

Banned from football for eight months in May 2023 after admitting 232 breaches of the Football Association’s betting rules, the one-cap England international has had to watch from the sidelines while his Brentford side struggle along in their third Premier League season.

His suspension finally ended on January 16, meaning he would be free to compete in the Bees’ Saturday clash with Nottingham Forest.

A stunner from Danilo gave Forest a third-minute lead, but Brentford dragged themselves level all thanks to some individual magic from their charismatic striker.

Toney lined up a free kick from distance, powering his shot past a flimsy-looking wall and into the bottom right corner with USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner rooted to the spot.

The Premier League loves serving up big healthy portions of narrative and Toney was only too happy to do his bit, netting in the competition for the first time since Thomas Frank’s side beat the same opposition – then managed by Steve Cooper rather than Nuno Espirito Santo – back last April.

Toney’s scoring return came as the Bees looked to shake off a poor run of form that has seen them drop to 16th in England’s top flight, while they were also knocked out of the FA Cup after defeat in their third round replay with Wolves.

Brentford had lost seven of their last eight league games heading into Saturday’s encounter, the sole positive being a 3-1 home success over battling Luton Town.

Things don’t get too much easier for Frank’s side after Saturday’s meeting with Forest. They face a trip to Tottenham on 31 January and then take on Manchester City, Wolves and Liverpool.

With teams like Luton and Everton showing fight in the relegation battle, Brentford will need more goals from Toney during the second half of the season to steer the west Londoners away from danger – provided he isn’t snapped up during the January transfer window.

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