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Everton blew a chance to secure their Premier League status as Brentford twice came from behind to earn a 3-2 win against nine men at Goodison Park.

Leeds’ draw against Brighton meant victory for the Toffees would put an end to the spectre of a first relegation since 1951, and that seemed the most likely outcome when Dominic Calvert-Lewin marked his first start in five weeks with a 10th-minute opener.

But, in keeping with Everton’s season, things were not going to be that simple – Jarrad Branthwaite was sent off for a foul on Ivan Toney eight minutes later, and Brentford levelled through a Seamus Coleman own goal.

Though Richarlison restored Everton’s lead just before the break, the pressure told in the second half as two goals in three minutes from Yoane Wissa and Rico Henry gave Brentford their first league double over Everton since 1936, and left Frank Lampard’s side still only two points above the bottom three.

Everton’s misery was compounded by a late red card for substitute Salomon Rondon for a poor challenge on Henry.

It was a deflating afternoon for Everton fans, who had given their players a huge reception before the match, the team buses barely able to reach the doors of Goodison amid a fog of blue flares, but who left in their droves before the final whistle.

It had felt so different at the start. There were less than three minutes gone when Calvert-Lewin flicked the ball on, Anthony Gordon broke through and, when his shot was saved, Richarlison headed just wide.

When Gordon won a free-kick on the right, the academy product whipped in a low ball which found its way into the far corner of the net via a combination of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin.

The roof almost came off the stadium but the mood changed eight minutes later.

Richarlison was appealing for a penalty for a shirt pull but Brentford pumped the ball long for Toney to run at goal. He got goal side of Branthwaite, who clipped his heels to earn a red card and give Brentford a free-kick that Christian Eriksen fired narrowly wide.

Everton were forced on to the back foot as Alex Iwobi shifted to right-back and Brentford pushed forward.

Mathias Jensen fired just wide after Andre Gomes fluffed a clearance but the pressure soon told – Wissa pinged in a cross and captain Coleman inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

It threatened to unravel for Everton there and then as Bryan Mbeumo tested Jordan Pickford from range, but Richarlison is always a threat in any situation, and the Brazilian turned things around for his side again.

He barged his way into the box, was brought down by a combination of Mads Bech Sorensen and Kristoffer Ajer, and picked himself up to convert the penalty in first-half stoppage time.

Everton dropped deeper to defend after the break but Brentford soon found the gaps.

Toney could not get out of the way of a Jensen shot, taking a painful blow to the face for his troubles. Pickford then awkwardly punched an Eriksen free-kick into a crowd, grateful to see Iwobi hook it clear.

The pressure was telling. Vitalii Mykolenko squared up to Toney and appeared to thrust his head towards him, but Michael Oliver was content to give both players a talking to.

That was perhaps a let-off for Everton, but greater punishment was coming. Brentford levelled in the 62nd minute with Wissa meeting Eriksen’s corner at the near post to head home.

Everton fans were barely done venting their frustration at the poor marking when they saw worse – Henry getting free of Gordon to meet Christian Norgaard’s deep ball and power a header inside the far post, leaving Everton to look to their final fixtures against Crystal Palace and Arsenal for salvation.

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Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League suffered another blow as they limped to a disappointing 0-0 draw at Brentford.

After Arsenal moved into the Premier League’s top four by beating Manchester United in the lunchtime kick-off, Spurs fluffed their lines with a sub-par performance in west London.

They looked devoid of all attacking creativity and for the second successive game they failed to have a shot on target.

It could have been even worse as Ivan Toney was denied by the woodwork twice as Brentford almost made it four wins in a row.

Tottenham’s front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski were again blunted and it looks as if Spurs, who had scored a glut of goals in recent weeks, have been found out.

Their top-four hopes remain in their own hands, however, as they still have Arsenal to play at home in a game that is looking like being decisive in the race.

The narrative before the match was about Christian Eriksen coming up against his former club for the first time since leaving in January 2020 and then suffering a cardiac arrest at last summer’s European Championship.

And the Denmark international was instrumental to a strong Brentford start as he directed play.

Bryan Mbeumo had a shot deflected just wide as the Bees forced a number of early corners.

It was from one of those that they came within inches of breaking the deadlock in the 19th minute as Toney sent a header from Eriksen’s delivery crashing into the crossbar.

Spurs, who were blunted by Brighton last week, again look bereft of any sort of creative flair as Brentford contained them by packing the midfield.

Things looked up briefly early in the second half as Kane got involved for the first time by seeing his shot on the turn blocked, while there was a moment of pinball as Kane, Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur all had efforts blocked in quick succession.

But Brentford got a second wind and came back at Spurs, with Kane needing to clear off the line from Pontus Jansson’s header, with Hugo Lloris getting down well to keep out Eriksen’s low shot.

Spurs threw bodies forward in search of the win at the end but rarely looked like getting through.

They had a major escape at the death as Toney was denied by the woodwork again, heading another Eriksen delivery into the post.

There was almost drama at the other end in injury time as Kane tried an acrobatic volley which went inches wide.

But Spurs did not deserve the win as they lost ground in the race for the top four.

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Vitaly Janelt’s quickfire double put Brentford on the brink of Premier League safety after their 4-1 rout of a Chelsea side beset by unrelenting takeover talk.

Christian Eriksen also netted in a win that puts Thomas Frank’s Brentford on the verge of cementing their top-flight status following a hugely impressive debut campaign.

Toni Rudiger hammered home a long-range strike to stun Stamford Bridge and hand Chelsea a 1-0 lead just after half-time.

But Brentford punished Chelsea’s out-of-character defensive disarray three times in six minutes to seal a memorable win for the Bees.

And by the time Yoane Wissa drilled home a fourth at the death, the travelling Brentford fans were in dreamland.

Chelsea’s fine run of six wins on the spin in all competitions came to a crashing halt in West London, with the Blues now perhaps looking over their shoulders in the league.

Fourth-placed Arsenal could cut their deficit on third-placed Chelsea to two points with a win at Crystal Palace on Monday.

Chelsea had shut out all the takeover noise to fine effect with those six wins in a row, but now boss Thomas Tuchel will need all his powers of man-management to set the Blues back on track.

Chelsea’s fans had started the day promising a protest against prospective new owners the Ricketts family.

But perhaps only 100 supporters took to the streets around Stamford Bridge before kick-off, and plans to unveil a banner in the ground never materialised.

Roman Abramovich will sell the club after 19 years as owner, with four consortiums locked in a bidding battle.

Boss Tuchel had kept his players’ minds off those boardroom wrangles so impressively in a flawless March schedule.

But after the international break a refreshed Brentford executed a classic smash-and-grab victory.

A tepid protest before the match gave way to a lukewarm first half, where Brentford spurned several half-chances and Chelsea failed to get going.

Chelsea returned after the break reinvigorated and ready to crank up the level.

And Rudiger’s thunderbolt provided a magical moment for the Stamford Bridge faithful.

The Germany defender finally struck gold – and the net – on his latest long-range attempt.

Chelsea’s players were as adoring as the supporters for their cult hero’s howitzer goal.

Such lingering celebration could perhaps account for the speed of Brentford’s equaliser – but assuredly not the two further rapid Bees goals.

Janelt swept home a smart finish after Chelsea ceded possession too cheaply in the middle of the field, and less than two minutes after Rudiger’s strike the match was back on level terms.

Tuchel’s Chelsea would so often steady the nerves and wrestle control after such a setback.

Frank’s Brentford had other ideas, with Mbeumo racing down the left and playing in Eriksen for a tap-in to put the Bees 2-1 to the good.

By the time Janelt dinked in Brentford’s third, from Ivan Toney’s ball, just 12 minutes had elapsed from Rudiger breaking the match’s deadlock.

Four goals in 12 minutes that must surely set Brentford en route to Premier League safety, but also a sequence of strikes to add another layer of intrigue to the race for a top-four finish.

Wissa added a fourth at the death to gloss Brentford’s fully-deserved victory, but also potentially dragged Chelsea back into an unwanted top-four scrap.

Beat Crystal Palace on Monday and fourth-placed Arsenal will be fired up for a tilt at Chelsea’s grip on third place.

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Timothy Castagne and James Maddison each produced superb first-half strikes as Leicester beat Brentford 2-1 at the King Power Stadium and moved into the top half of the Premier League.

Castagne marked his return from injury in style by powering a shot into the top corner in the 20th minute to put the Foxes ahead, and Maddison added a delightful free-kick 13 minutes later.

Having brought some good saves out of Kasper Schmeichel after the break, Brentford pulled a goal back through Yoane Wissa with five minutes of normal time remaining but they were unable to save themselves from defeat.

A third victory in four league outings for Brendan Rodgers’ men sees them move up two places to 10th in the table.

Thomas Frank’s Bees, who were without Christian Eriksen due to coronavirus, remain 15th, eight points above the relegation zone.

The first real attempt of the contest was registered in the fifth minute as Maddison struck wide, before Bryan Mbeumo went down under the attentions of Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey. Visiting supporters called for a penalty but none was given.

The build-up to that incident had featured a mistake by Castagne – but the Belgian, making his first appearance since December after recovering from a thigh problem, then had Leicester fans on their feet three minutes later as he collected the ball from Harvey Barnes and fired in from just outside the box.

After Schmeichel blocked a Mathias Jensen effort the home crowd were then sent into raptures by another show-stopper, this time from Maddison as he curled a free-kick past David Raya.

Leicester continued to pressurise, with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall hitting a shot wide having dispossessed Christian Norgaard, and James Justin being denied by Raya just before the interval.

Things continued where they had left off at the start of the second half as Maddison had a shot saved by Raya, and Iheanacho advanced from the halfway line into the box and tried a chip that hit the outside of the post.

Brentford then brought two decent stops out of Schmeichel, the Dane tipping a Pontus Jansson header over and blocking Mbeumo’s nodded effort.

Applause rang around the ground as Rodgers replaced Castagne with Jonny Evans, another man returning to action for the first time in three months.

Either side of that, Jensen and Ivan Toney sent attempts over the Leicester bar, and Brentford then reduced the deficit in the 85th minute as Wissa cracked a shot in.

Schmeichel subsequently dealt with a Tariqe Fosu effort as Brentford searched in vain for an equaliser, and Barnes then sent an effort wide before the final whistle confirmed Leicester as victors.

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Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka scored second-half goals as Arsenal beat Brentford 2-1 and moved within one point of the top four.

The Gunners started quickly at Emirates Stadium, with Saka testing David Raya shortly before Alexandre Lacazette tapped in a Granit Xhaka cross, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

Smith Rowe eventually broke the deadlock with Arsenal’s 17th shot of the match, cutting in from the left and finding the bottom-right corner on 48 minutes.

Arsenal’s second goal came 11 minutes from time as Saka finished well off the far post.

Christian Norgaard got a goal back for Brentford in second-half stoppage time but it was too late to prevent Arsenal recording back-to-back victories.

The Gunners remain sixth but have at least two matches in hand on all of the teams above them.

Brentford stay 14th with 24 points, six points clear of the bottom three.

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Brentford have signed Christian Eriksen to a six-month contract.

They offered the 29-year-old a six-month deal with the option to extend the contract for a further year. Eriksen is a free agent after coming to an agreement with former club Inter Milan to terminate his contract last month.

Eriksen is currently in the Netherlands, training with young players at Ajax. He recently received his COVID-19 vaccination and will only travel to London in the next few days. He will also not train with Brentford this week in order to comply with UK government rules.

He suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s European Championship game against Finland on June 12.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank said: “I am looking forward to working with Christian again. It has been a while since I last coached him, and a lot has happened since then. Christian was 16 at the time and has become one of the best midfield players to appear in the Premier League. He has also won trophies all over Europe and become the star of the Danish national team.

“We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world class player to Brentford. He hasn’t trained with a team for seven months but has done a lot of work on his own. He is fit but we will need to get him match fit and I am looking forward to seeing him work with the players and staff to get back towards his highest level.”

Earlier this month, Eriksen stated his ambition to resume his professional career, saying he was targeting a place in Denmark’s squad for the Qatar World Cup later this year.

His agent, Martin Schoots, later said that returning to English football would “feel like coming home”.

Eriksen previously played for Tottenham Hotspur between 2013 and 2020, making over 300 appearances for the north London side.

After being unable to play for Inter due to Serie A’s medical rules about implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), Eriksen was training with Danish club Odense Boldklub — who he played for between 2005 and 2008.

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Brentford boss Thomas Frank has signed a new contract with the club that runs until the end of the 2024-25 season.

The Dane led the Bees to promotion to the Premier League last season as they ended a 74-year exile from the top flight.

Frank’s assistant Brian Riemer has also signed a new contract until 2025.

“They have been integral to the success that we’ve shared over recent seasons,” said Brentford director of football Phil Giles.

“We want to continue to take Brentford forward, to compete with clubs far bigger than us, and to see how far we can progress.

“I am sure that we can build on the success that Thomas and Brian have helped deliver along with all of the other staff and players and look forward to what I hope will be a successful conclusion to the season and beyond.”

Frank took over as Brentford manager in 2018 after stepping up from his role as assistant to Dean Smith, who left to take over as Aston Villa boss.

The Bees beat Arsenal 2-0 in their first Premier League game of the season and are 14th with 23 points from 23 games.

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Southampton earned its biggest Premier League win of the season by beating Brentford 4-1 with the south-coast club’s new owner in attendance on Tuesday.

Jan Bednarek, Armando Broja and Che Adams scored and Southampton added an own-goal from Brentford goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez in a match rescheduled from December because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Brentford squad.

Brentford midfielder Vitaly Janelt’s goal canceled out Bednarek’s fifth-minute header off James Ward-Prowse’s corner, but the home team went to halftime up 2-1 after the own-goal.

Southampton’s win in front of new majority owner Dragan Solak moved the team to 11th place — two spots and one point above Brentford. Solak’s Sport Republic recently purchased the 80% stake that was held by Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng.

It was the first time since 2017 that Southampton scored four goals at St. Mary’s stadium.

Brentford has lost three of is last four league games and visits Liverpool on Sunday.

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Chelsea scrape into semi-finals with late double

Chelsea scraped past Brentford 2-0 in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after Pontus Jansson scored an own goal and Jorginho converted a penalty in the final 10 minutes. 

Just as they did in the Premier League meeting between these sides back in October, Chelsea dominated possession but struggled to create any decent openings. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga did well to keep out Yoane Wissa and Mathias Jensen in the first half, with Thomas Tuchel forced to call upon senior players as he chased the game in the second period. 

The contest looked destined for penalties until Jansson put through his own net in the 80th minute and Jorginho put the result beyond doubt when he slotted home a spot-kick. 

Kepa produced a fantastic save to stop Wissa finding the back of the net with a free header from six yards out inside 12 minutes, though he may well have been deemed offside had VAR got involved. 

Jensen warmed the gloves of Kepa and Xavier Simons – one of three debutants for the Blues alongside Harvey Vale and Jude Soonsup-Bell – had Chelsea’s first shot on target in the 39th minute, but he allowed Rico Henry to surge in behind him seconds later and needed his keeper to bail him out. 

Vale failed to make the most of a glorious delivery from Cesar Azpilicueta before the break and Tuchel introduced Christian Pulisic and Jorginho for the second half. 

Henry almost scoring an own goal in the 53rd minute was as close as Chelsea went to breaking the deadlock, so Mason Mount and Reece James were sent on after the hour mark. 

It proved key as N’Golo Kante – who made his return from a knee injury as the final sub – released James, whose low delivery to the near post was sent into the top-right corner by Jansson. 

The game was put to bed after Alvaro Fernandez felled Pulisic in the box and Jorginho confidently dispatched the 85th-minute spot-kick to put Chelsea in the semi-final draw. 

The Blues had required a shoot-out to advance in their previous two Carabao Cup matches this season – and six of their past seven in total – and looked set to be heading for penalties once more. 

However, their late double saw them edge another fortunate result against Brentford, who missed out on making the final four for the second season running having failed to do so once in their first 60 campaigns in the competition. 

He may not have been able to replicate left wing-back Ben Chilwell’s winner at this ground back in October, but Marcos Alonso was a real bright spark for Chelsea. 

His driving runs were a consistent source of danger as he drew three fouls and supplied two key passes. 

As the only senior player in the three-man attack named by Tuchel, the onus was on Barkley to lead by example. 

However, he struggled to really make a mark on the game and none of his five attempts on goal were very convincing. 

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Coronavirus forces postponement of United’s trip to Brentford

Manchester United’s trip to Brentford has been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak among Ralf Rangnick’s squad.

United made a request to the Premier League to delay tonight’s fixture after being forced to close first-team operations at their Carrington training complex on Monday afternoon.

A “small number” of positive cases were first recorded on Sunday after a recovery session following their 1-0 win over Norwich. 

And the league have now confirmed the game will be rescheduled. 

An official statement said: “The Premier League have decided to postpone Brentford’s home fixture against Manchester United.

“The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to the exceptional circumstances of an ongoing coronavirus outbreak within Manchester United’s squad. 

“First-team preparations at the club’s Carrington training complex were closed down [on Monday] to help control the outbreak and minimise risk of further infection among players and staff.

“The postponed fixture will be rearranged in due course. 

“With the health of players and staff the priority, and in light of the recent rise in coronavirus cases across the country, the Premier League have reintroduced emergency measures.

“These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time.”