Ivan Toney responds to World Cup snub by stunning Man City with two goals in Brentford to ensure Arsenal are top of the Premier League at Christmas

    Ivan Toney responded to his England World Cup rejection with a superb brace against champions Manchester City.

    The Brentford striker scored his second of the game in the eighth minute of stoppage time to ensure a shock 2-1 away win for the Bees.

    Toney quickly silenced the crowd

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    Toney quickly silenced the crowd

    And then stunned them with the winner

    Getty

    And then stunned them with the winner

    The Brentford striker opened the scoring at the Etihad, less than 24 hours after learning he wouldn’t be travelling to Qatar, and then bagged the match-winner.

    Toney, 26, had been included in Gareth Southgate’s penultimate squad before the winter tournament, and would have had high hopes of appearing at his first World Cup.

    However, it wasn’t to be, with the likes of James Maddison, Marcus Rashford and Callum Wilson filling the remaining attacking options in Southgate’s squad.

    That may have been extra motivation against City, with the Bees getting off to a flying start away from home before Toney rewarded them by nodding in Ben Mee’s headed pass.

    Thomas Frank’s side aimed to hold onto their lead and first-half dominance, but it wasn’t to be with England’s Foden bagging an absolute stunner just before the break.

    The second half was interrupted by a ten-minute delay for a bloodied Aymeric Laporte, but the Spain international managed to stay on the pitch and cut out a pass for Toney that looked destined for the back of the net.

    Foden’s stunner levelled things up

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    Foden’s stunner levelled things up

    But Laporte’s lengthy injury took the sting out of the game

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    But Laporte’s lengthy injury took the sting out of the game

    That wasn’t enough though, with Toney on a mission late on, using the extra stoppage time to tap-in the winner.

    Brentford staged a glorious counter-attack from a corner, with Yoane Wissa and Josh Dasilva making things easy for the No.17.

    “Ivan Toney may well have missed out on a place on the plane to Qatar, but he’s taken off brilliantly here at the Etihad Stadium!” talkSPORT’s Sam Matterface said.

    “He runs over the the near corner with his fingers in his ears as if to say, ‘Stop the noise, stop talking about me, I do my talking on the pitch’.

    “Well, he has – that’s his eighth goal in ten games.”

    Toney’s teammates were thrilled for him

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    Toney’s teammates were thrilled for him

    Speaking to BT Sport post-match, the striker said: “The only thing is just to keep doing well, keep doing my best, keep doing well for the team and who knows what could happen.

    “Obviously there’s disappointment but I know what I’m capable of and I won’t let it put me down, I just keep going and keep doing well for Brentford.

    “My motivation is the boys in the dressing room and the fans. When we work hard, this is what we can do.”

    Teammate Mee added: “He showed today what he’s about. Great quality, great battling skills, great hold up play and he can finish.

    “He was fantastic today and fully deserved his two goals. I thought he could have had three or four.”

    Toney will be gutted to have not made it, but he’s still scoring anyway

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    Toney will be gutted to have not made it, but he’s still scoring anyway

    Despite the disappointment, Southgate was full of praise for Toney’s response to his call.

    Sunderland legend Micky Gray was similarly effusive, saying: “Absolutely brilliant start to the game by Brentford – they’re on the front foot.

    “The free-kick comes in and Ben Mee wants it more than the Man City defenders and Toney gets half-yard on his marker and it’s such an acute header to score.

    “It just loops over Ederson who has been a little bit shaky. What a start to the game by Brentford. It’s well deserved. they’ve been so positive.”

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