Premier League

Norwich City 1-3 Brentford: Player ratings as Ivan Toney grabs hat-trick

Sean Walsh
Toney was the man of the hour
Toney was the man of the hour / Stephen Pond/GettyImages

Brentford ended a run of eight games without a win with an emphatic 3-1 victory at relegation rivals Norwich City.

Canaries boss Dean Smith and his former assistant in the opposite dugout Thomas Frank both agreed that this was a 'must not lose' game, but the match was not a particularly close one. The Bees return to west London six points clear of the drop zone while rock-bottom City remain five points from safety.

The hosts should have taken the lead inside two minutes when they caught Brentford napping in possession, with Milot Rashica's shot spilled by David Raya and Billy Gilmour's follow-up going over.

Brentford responded well to this early scare by pushing Norwich back up the pitch, with Sergi Canos and Bryan Mbeumo both getting away shots at goal.

A quick snapshot from Teemu Pukki after Pontus Jansson and Rico Henry failed to deal with a high arcing ball forced Raya into action again, before Josh Sargent fired over from a low Rashica pullback.

Canos again tested Tim Krul with a strike from distance before Brentford took the lead from the resulting corner. Christian Eriksen's teasing delivery was nodded on and up by Kristoffer Ajer, and Ivan Toney snuck in at the far post to tap in.

The Bees eased into half-time a goal to the good, and were awarded the chance to double that lead just after the break when Ben Gibson booted Jansson's head from a corner, and the visitors were given a spot kick after a VAR check.

Toney stepped up and maintained his perfect penalty record as a Brentford player to put the Bees two up.

And minutes later, Brentford were awarded another penalty as Gibson clumsily brought Toney down, with the striker bagging his first Premier League hat-trick from the spot.

Pukki nearly took advantage of a skewed interception from Ethan Pinnock, but couldn't generate enough power on his resulting strike to beat Raya.

Norwich thought they had pulled one back with just over 20 minutes remaining through Rashica, but the strike was ruled out following a lengthy VAR check - Pukki was offside when he flicked on the initial cross in the lead up to the goal.

Brentford too had a goal chalked off for offside after Mbeumo scrambled home from a cross, and Norwich eventually found a consolation through Pukki in stoppage time.

But that proved to be too little and too late as the Bees secured a valuable three points.

Norwich City player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ben Gibson - Soccer Player
Gibson was atrocious / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Tim Krul (GK) - 5/10 - Tried to psyche out Toney for the penalties but failed.

Sam Byram (RB) - 5/10 - Fought hard and endured a tense battle with ex-Canary Canos.

Grant Hanley (CB) - 5/10 - Was largely solid in front of Scotland boss Steve Clarke.

Ben Gibson (CB) - 1/10 - Two clumsy challenges, two penalties conceded.

Brandon Williams (LB) - 3/10 - Marked neither the man or the post for Toney's opener. His game will best be remembered for wanting to get angry at Eriksen for a cynical foul before realising who it was, and instead embracing him and laughing.

2. Midfielders

Billy Gilmour
It was a testing afternoon for Gilmour / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Mathias Normann (DM) - 4/10 - Was overrun by his Brentford counterparts and was unable to get one over his fellow Scandinavians.

Billy Gilmour (CM) - 4/10 - At least he tried to keep the ball ticking and move it forward, but similarly found it tough to match up against Brentford's midfield.

Kenny McLean (CM) - 3/10 - Acted as a second striker in possession but that made such little impact.

3. Forwards

Milot Rashica, Kristoffer Ajer
Rashica didn't ask enough questions of Ajer / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Josh Sargent (RW) - 4/10 - Worked hard without much reward.

Teemu Pukki (CF) - 6/10 - Clearly a smart player who's a threat but isn't surrounded by the necessary quality to help score more goals.

Milot Rashica (LW) - 4/10 - Gave Ajer some trouble early on and forced the Norwegian into the referee's book, but was unable to harm him much after.

4. Substitutes

Jonathan Rowe (AM, 74' for Gilmour) - 5/10 - Assisted Pukki's late goal.

Max Aarons (RB, 82' for Williams) - N/A

Pierre Lees-Melou (CM, 82' for Normann) - N/A

Brentford player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Billy Gilmour, Pontus Jansson
Jansson was impressive / Julian Finney/GettyImages

David Raya (GK) - 8/10 - Stood tall between the sticks and had total command of his own area.

Kristoffer Ajer (RB) - 7/10 - Carved out a decent game after some early struggles.

Pontus Jansson (CB) - 8/10 - Supreme at the back, dealing with everything Norwich threw at the Bees.

Ethan Pinnock (CB) - 5/10 - Wasn't awful but he was at fault for Norwich's opening chance, teed up Pukki in the second half and was offside for Mbeumo's disallowed goal.

Rico Henry (LB) - 6/10 - Kept Sargent quiet but was timid himself going forward.

6. Midfielders

Christian Eriksen
Eriksen was superb / Stephen Pond/GettyImages

Christian Norgaard (DM) - 7/10 - Broke up play and distributed it excellently. Like many of his teammates, enjoyed being the protagonists of the game for once.

Christian Eriksen (CM) - 8/10 - Oh yeah, he's back. Every touch, every dribble, every pass from the Dane felt like it was going to lead to a chance. Notably completed the full 90 minutes.

Vitaly Janelt (CM) - 6/10 - Brentford's midfield muscle did a lot of off-the-ball work and let his colleagues handle what happened on it.

7. Forwards

Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo
Toney and Mbeumo had fine games / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Bryan Mbeumo (RW) - 7/10 - Demanded the ball at all times and caused plenty of problems.

Ivan Toney (CF) - 10/10 - Dropped deep to link play, made himself a nuisance, and crucially scored three times.

Sergi Canos (LW) - 6/10 - Looked threatening at times but his lack of pace limited how he could hurt Norwich.

8. Substitutes

Frank Onyeka (CM, 59' for Norgaard) - 6/10 - Swept up well.

Mads Roerslev (RB, 75' for Ajer) - 5/10 - Made a number of cynical fouls.

Yoane Wissa (LW, 82' for Canos) - N/A