Brentford striker #17 Ivan Toney (L) celebrates with defender #22 Nathan Collins (R) after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Nottingham Forest at Gtech Community Stadium in London on January 20, 2024. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)
Brentford striker Ivan Toney.

‘I’m back’ – Ivan Toney marks Brentford return with clever strike in five-goal thriller

Ivan Toney says he “manifested ” his perfect return to action for Brentford after scoring in a thrilling win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday. 

The England striker cancelled out Danilo Oliveira’s opener with a clever free-kick in the 19th minute, curving the ball low around the wall and past a rooted Matt Turner in goal.

Ben Mee headed the Bees in front just before the hour mark, but their lead only last seven minutes when Chris Wood scored his sixth goal in as many matches to level matters again.

Brentford struck back almost immediately as Neal Maupay bamboozled the Forest defence before firing home the winning goal.

“It was a long time coming,” Toney told Sky Sports. “I manifested this win when I was at home during the time I was out, I am here now and buzzing to be back scoring goals and winning with the team.

“I 100 percent knew this would happen again. I manifest things like this. Before the game, before I left my house, I thought, ‘We’re winning today and I’m scoring.’ And I made it happen, which is good.

“I practice free-kicks in training. Everyone batters me because most of them end up in the car park, but when it matters I deliver so it’s all good.”

Toney moved the ball slightly before taking his free-kick to take advantage of the space that was left to one side by Forest’s wall.

“Yeah I saw the gap,” he confessed. “Sometimes you have a gap either way and I bent the ball around the wall and was so happy to see it go in.

“I’m grateful to be back playing with the lads, I’ve missed it so much. The fans, everyone… Yeah I’m back, I’m back.”

The 27-year-old hadn’t played for 260 days after being suspended for 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules, for which he was also fined £50,000 and received a warning about his future conduct.

Brentford had been in danger of being dragged into the relegation battle after losing five straight matches in the Premier League, but the win over Forest could be a springboard for the west London outfit to revitalise their season.

“Yes we needed it,” Toney admitted. “We have been playing well, and have been grafting. Even though we have been losing, we have been grafting, and we fully deserved it.

“I’m glad for Neal [Maupay] to get the winner because he works so well in training, we’ve got a good partnership and I’m sure we’ll score many goals together. He does that sort of goal in training.”

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