Brentford manager Thomas Frank “knew” his side would be able to exploit a familiar Arsenal weakness, and hailed his strike duo after their outstanding Premier League debuts.
Brentford have been widely tipped to perform the best of the three newly-promoted sides this season. On tonight’s evidence they will have little trouble achieving that feat.
Roared on by the home crowd, the Bees out-thought and out-fought the Gunners throughout the contest. Sergi Canos notched the game’s opener when cutting inside Calum Chambers before rifling a fearsome drive inside Bernd Leno’s near-post.
Arsenal emerged with renewed vigour after the break, but Brentford stood firm and bagged a second from a trademark long throw-in.
A cluster of Arsenal defenders along with Leno failed to clear the ball, allowing Christian Norgaard the simple task of heading home from three yards out.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Frank said: “The fans were amazing, what an atmosphere. I’m a bit speechless. First time in the top-flight, we’re opening the Premier League season, fans can dream we’re number one in the Premier League. It’s a fantastic story.
“We’re just a bus stop in Hounslow, we’re not supposed to be here. We will celebrate every win, but we want more.
“I think the players today were amazing, they ran themselves to the ground, played with intensity, they were brave and pressed high constantly.”
Outlining one area of the contest in which he “knew” his side would hold the advantage, Frank turned the spotlight on Arsenal’s frailties at set pieces and under the high ball.
“On set-pieces I thought we were better, that’s why we did long throws and at times we could go high and knew that we could win the ball and create chances,” said Frank.
The bees sting again! 🐝🐝
Ivan Toney wins the flick ahead of Ben White and Christian Norgaard heads home for Brentford to double the lead! 😮
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 13, 2021
“Ivan [Toney] has an unbelievable character and mentality and he has such a presence on the pitch. How many duels he wins… he can link-up and press for the team. He is very important to us.
“Bryan [Mbuemo] did a good job of stretching them, of going one-v-one and with his pace he is a big threat.
“Today the players deserve the praise and celebrations, it’s been a hard pre-season. You can see they’re fit, they can run, so this has been planned. They deserve some rest but Monday we look forward to Crystal Palace.”
Regarding the importance of the fans who were in full voice for most of the night, the Dane added: “Sheffield United spoke about their first season in the Premier League where their supporters helped the team and no doubt these guys were amazing tonight and we will need their help this season – they keep the players going for 90 minutes.”
Huge step forward for Brentford – Canos
Canos also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “This is amazing, I’ve been dreaming about scoring the first goal in the stadium and these people deserve it, we deserve it.
“Great three points, we need a bit of calm and then we go again next week.
“It is such an incredible moment – fantastic for me and my family who’ve come all the way from Spain and all my other family in Spain are watching the game. For the club, it’s a step forward.
“We’ve been working on set-pieces so we’ll always have something ready so we’re pleased it came through.
“We took the game to our side, we pressed high, we were brave and we deserved the three points.”