Brentford boss Thomas Frank saluted “unique” Ivan Toney after the striker’s latest dazzling display.
Toney was on target again as Brentford boosted their bid for Europe by winning a feisty west London derby 3-2 against Fulham.
The striker took his tally for the season to 16 with another penalty to help sink the Bees’ local rivals.
Unfortunately for Brentford and Toney, should they succeed in their unlikely quest to reach the Europa League, they may have to enter it without their talisman.
Toney is facing the prospect of a lengthy ban after being charged with a total of 262 alleged breaches of the Football Association’s gambling laws dating back to 2017.
But as he promised this week in a social media post questioning the confidentiality of the FA’s investigation, Toney is concentrating on his football.
As well as another successful penalty, Toney hit the crossbar from a free-kick, tried an outrageous shot from the halfway line which dropped just over the top and almost pulled off an audacious pass with his backside.
“I think it tells a lot about his ability to have laser focus,” said Frank.
“It’s not a coincidence. His ability to focus is quite unique. He never switches off.
“If there’s something going on outside the pitch he is still focused.”
It was sweet revenge for the Bees after they lost by the same scoreline to a last-minute Aleksandar Mitrovic goal at Craven Cottage in August.
Frank added: “Of course it’s special. I said to the players that this is for us the biggest derby.
“It’s more special against Fulham, in recent years we’ve had lots of interesting games, so of course it means something extra.”
Brentford led through Ethan Pinnock’s deflected shot after six minutes and should have been out of sight before Fulham equalised against the run of play thanks to Manor Solomon’s fifth goal in five matches.
But Toney converted his spot-kick after Issa Diop was adjudged to have fouled Christian Norgaard, and Mathias Jensen hit the third before substitute Carlos Vinicius pulled one back in stoppage time.
Fulham remain in the European hunt themselves but boss Marco Silva said: “It was a disappointing night for us. A disappointing performance as well, I have to say.
“They scored early in the game and early in the second half but to be honest it was our fault. You cannot start a derby away from home like we did.
“We were sloppy the way we started the first half and the second half. We showed a reaction to equalise but when they are winning they put nine players around their box. It’s not easy.
“The penalty was a really harsh decision from the official. It was a big surprise for me, but it was our fault.”