Ivan Toney responded to his World Cup rejection in England with a superb brace against champions Manchester City.
The Brentford striker scored his second goal of the game in the eighth minute of stoppage time to secure a shock 2-1 victory for the Bees.
The Brentford striker opened the scoring at the Etihad, less than 24 hours after learning he would not travel to Qatar, and then scored the winner.
The 26-year-old Toney had been included in Gareth Southgate’s penultimate squad before the winter tournament, and would have had high hopes of appearing in his first World Cup.
However, it was not to be, with the likes of James Maddison, Marcus Rashford and Callum Wilson filling in the remaining attacking options in Southgate’s squad.
That may have been extra motivation against City, as the Bees got off to a great start away from home before Toney rewarded them with a nod at Ben Mee’s pass.
Thomas Frank’s side looked to maintain their lead and dominance in the first half, but that was not to be with England’s Foden scoring an outright goal just before half-time.
The second half was interrupted by a ten-minute delay for a bloodied Aymeric Laporte, but the Spanish international managed to stay on the pitch and cut off a pass to Toney that seemed destined for the back of the net.
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That wasn’t enough, though, with Toney on a mission at the end, using the extra stoppage time to take advantage of the winner.
Brentford staged a glorious counter-attack from a corner, with Yoane Wissa and Josh Dasilva making things easy for the No.17.
“Ivan Toney may well have missed out on a place on the plane to Qatar, but he has taken off brilliantly here at the Etihad Stadium!” said talkSPORT’s Sam Matterface.
“He runs around the nearest corner with his fingers in his ears as if to say: ‘Enough noise, stop talking about me, I talk in the field.’
“Well, he has, that’s his eighth goal in ten games.”
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, the striker said: “The only thing is to keep doing well, keep doing my best, keep doing well for the team and who knows what could happen.
“Obviously there’s disappointment but I know what I’m capable of and I won’t let that get me down, I’m going ahead and continuing to do well for Brentford.
“My motivation is the guys in the locker room and the fans. When we work hard, this is what we can do.”
His teammate Mee added: “Today he showed what he is all about. Great quality, great fighting skills, great waiting game and it can be over.
“He was fantastic today and fully deserved his two goals. I thought he might have had three or four.”
Despite the disappointment, Southgate was full of praise for Toney’s response to his call.
Sunderland legend Micky Gray was equally effusive, saying: “Absolutely brilliant start to the game from Brentford, they are up front.
“The free kick goes in and Ben Mee wants it more than the Man City defenders and Toney puts half a yard on his marker and it’s such a sharp header to score.
“It just goes over Ederson, who has been a little shaky. What a start to the game by Brentford. It is well deserved. They have been very positive.”
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