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2021-22 English Premier League
  • Teemu Pukki (90'+2')
  • Ivan Toney (32', 52' PEN, 58' PEN)

Brentford's Ivan Toney nets club's first top-flight hat trick in 85 years vs. Norwich

Brentford dealt a hammer blow to Norwich City's hopes of escaping relegation from the Premier League as Ivan Toney scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Toney put the visitors ahead from close range before halftime from Christian Eriksen's corner and then converted two second-half penalties as Brentford emerged from a slump in form.

Danish playmaker Eriksen, signed by Brentford in January as a free agent, was starting his first competitive game, 266 days after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

Norwich had a goal by Milot Rashica ruled out for offside and Teemu Pukki did score a consolation effort in stoppage time but it was too little, too late.

Brentford's first league win in nine games eased their own relegation fears but Norwich's outlook is bleak after a desperately disappointing result in a match they would have earmarked as an opportunity to boost their escape bid.

A fourth successive defeat left Dean Smith's side bottom with 17 points from 27 games, five points from the safety zone.

Brentford, who had lost seven of their last eight games to fall into the relegation mix, are in 15th place with 27 points, six points better off than third-from-bottom Burnley.

Norwich had actually started the game reasonably well but were stopped in their tracks in the 32nd minute when Eriksen's corner flicked off the head of Kristoffer Ajer and Toney was on hand to convert from close in.

Norwich were left with a mountain to climb in the 52nd minute when Toney netted from the penalty spot after referee Anthony Taylor reviewed a high foot by Norwich's Ben Gibson as he attempted to clear a cross aimed at Pontus Jansson, eventually awarding a penalty.

It was a Gibson foul on Toney in the area a few minutes later that allowed the forward to complete his hat-trick with an almost identical penalty.

"I have said this before but for me Ivan Toney is the best penalty taker in the world at this moment in time," Brentford manager Thomas Frank said while also highlighting the added quality Eriksen can bring to his team.

"Good to see him out there playing 90 minutes. It was top delivery for the first goal. There were top passes when he tried to find players in behind. You can see there's more to come from him which is a positive," Frank added.

Rashica thought he had given Norwich a lifeline but Pukki was ruled to be offside in the build-up and Bryan Mbeumo then had a goal chalked off for Brentford, also for offside.

Pukki's late goal was barely cheered by the home crowd for whom second-tier football looks closer every day.

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