Daily Mail

Toney sinks Saints as he awaits England call


JUST in case a final nudge was needed, Ivan Toney provided one for Gareth Southgate at Southampto­n last night.

On the eve of Southgate’s next squad announceme­nt the Brentford striker struck again to give the England manager a little more food for thought.

His form since the World Cup had already done that but one more goal would not have done the 26-year-old’s chances any harm with Southgate prepared to look beyond the FA betting case that is hanging over him and consider his merits, as reported by MailOnline yesterday. Toney has emphatical­ly made his case with 17 goals this season including six in nine since the season’s post-Qatar resumption. Of Southgate’s options up front only Tottenham’s Harry Kane has more. On form, there is no reason not to include Toney. Thanks to their talisman’s goal, and a stoppage-time strike from Yoane Wissa, Brentford’s response to the defeat at Everton which ended their 12-game unbeaten run was instant, victory getting their bid for European football right back on track. For Southampto­n, a chance to lift themselves off the foot of the table and out of the bottom three was missed. Brentford had the better of the first half by far and when Toney opened the scoring with a tap-in it was deserved. Before that, Southampto­n goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu spread himself well to keep out Bryan Mbeumo’s close-range volley. Brentford’s breakthrou­gh came just after the half hour. The finish looked simple, Toney poking Christian Norgaard’s flick-on into an empty net from a yard out. But his anticipati­on to read the ball’s flight better than anybody and ability to dart into space made the goal.

Aside from a Carlos Alcaraz shot that flew over Southampto­n were surprising­ly flat in the first half but after the break Mohamed Elyounouss­i saw a shot blocked on the line and Kamaldeen

Sulemana fired narrowly over. And having failed to take their chances to level, Southampto­n were punished when Toney’s flick on sent Wissa through to score and boos rang out at St Mary’s when the final whistle sounded.

SOUTHAMPTO­N (4-2-3-1): Bazunu 6.5; Walker-Peters 7.5 (Bree 58min, 6), Bednarek 6.5, Bella-Kotchap 6, Perraud 6; Ward-Prowse 7, Diallo 6.5 (Lavia 58, 7); Elyounouss­i 6 (Walcott 58, 6), Alcaraz 6.5 (Onuachu 67, 6), Sulemana 6.5; Adams 6. Booked: Bednarek.

Manager: Ruben Selles 6.

BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Raya 6.5; Hickey 6.5, Pinnock 7.5, MEE 8, Henry 7; Janelt 6 (Onyeka 45, 6), Norgaard 7, Jensen 7 (Damsgaard 78); Mbeumo 7.5 (Jansson 78), Toney 7.5, Schade 7.5 (Wissa 65, 6). Scorer: Toney 32, Wissa 90+7.

Booked: Hickey, Toney.

Manager: Thomas Frank 7.5. Referee: Michael Salisbury 6.

Attendance: Not provided

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