Brentford buzz to easy victory over West Ham, but lose Toney to knee injury

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For the second time in five days, Brentford began a game fantastically and raced out to a 2-0 lead, but this time the Bees held firm to close out a 2-0 victory, away to West Ham on Friday.

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Despite leading Tottenham 2-0 after the hour mark on Boxing Day, Brentford (23 points – 9th place) came away with just one point in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Thomas Frank’s men learned from their Monday missteps and turned in a complete, 90-minute performance against West Ham (14 points – 17th place).

At what cost, though? Star striker Ivan Toney left the field on the back of a golf cart after suffering what appeared to be a serious injury to his right knee. The 26-year-old, who earlier in the game bagged his 11th goal of the Premier League season (3rd-most, behind Erling Haaland and Harry Kane), was in considerable pain as he received treatment for nearly five minutes before he was carted off.

It was Toney who lifted the ball over Lukasz Fabianski to open the scoring in the 18th minute, after the West Ham goalkeeper made a diving save to deny Christian Norgaard’s initial effort but was unable to secure the ball afterwards. Another well-rehearsed set-piece play resulting in a goal for Brentford, with Mathias Jensen taking a long throw to the near post for a flick-on header by center back Ethan Pinnock.

It was 2-0 in the 43rd minute, when Aaron Cresswell misjudged a throw-in over top of the West Ham defense. Josh Dasilva sped past Cresswell and gathered the ball — and himself — before slotting it past Fabianski with a left-footed finish.

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Toney’s injury occurred with the clock just about to turn over 90:00, marring an otherwise stellar evening for the Bees in east London.

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How to watch West Ham vs Brentford live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2:45pm ET, Friday (Dec. 30)
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

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Key storylines

The Hammers are in a bad run of form and they just haven’t looked like themselves for much of this season. At least in the Premier League. Everything is fine in Europe but in the PL they keep making defensive mistakes. Declan Rice is doing his best to hold things together but Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca just aren’t seeing enough of the ball and West Ham aren’t creating enough chances.

Brentford’s main man Ivan Toney has been charged by the FA over alleged betting breaches so they are waiting to see the outcome of that investigation. On the pitch they are looking very good despite plenty of injuries. Frank’s side are such a well-drilled outfit and are so tough to play against. They are looking to push for a top 10 finish and there remains a really positive vibe around them.

In-form players to keep an eye on

Declan Rice is West Ham’s main man but he needs help defensively and for West Ham to start connecting passes to spring their trademark counter attacks which led to their success over the last few seasons.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney is the obvious threat up top as he has 11 goals this season and only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane have scored more. Christian Norgaard coming back into midfield was a big boost for the Bees.

West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

David Moyes has said Gianluca Scamacca could return for this clash but Nayef Aguerd returned from the World Cup with a virus so won’t be available. Kurt Zouma (knee) and Maxwel Cornet (calf) are still missing.

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Brentford team news, injuries, lineup options

Kristoffer Ajer (knee), Thomas Strakosha (ankle), Aaron Hickey (ankle) and Shandon Baptiste (unknown) remain out for the Bees.

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Brentford buzz to easy victory over West Ham, but lose Toney to knee injury originally appeared on NBCSports.com