LONDON : Nottingham Forest players need to be more vigilant after they allowed Brentford striker Ivan Toney to move the ball to a more favourable spot for a free kick that helped the Londoners secure a 3-2 Premier League win, Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo said on Saturday.
The Portuguese manager was left frustrated by Toney’s 19th minute equaliser, with television replays showing the striker moved the ball from the marked spot before curling it around the wall and into the net.
The goal by the 27-year-old, who was making his comeback following an eight-month ban for betting offences, triggered a Brentford fightback in a 3-2 thriller, helping his beleaguered West London side return to winning ways after five straight league defeats.
Television replays appeared to show Toney twice moving the ball from its original placing, to find space behind Forest’s defensive wall, without the referee being alerted.
“The situation is clear, there is a ball displacement. I think everybody saw it,” Santo said in a post-match press conference, suggesting that it should have been checked by the referees.
“But it’s our responsibility to be a little bit more mature, not to allow the kick to go and then do the wall properly.”
Brentford’s manager Thomas Frank said he had not yet seen replays of the goal, and that it was not clear to him whether moving the ball from the spot was within the rules.
“I just take the positive… it’s in the back of the net, and he took it very well,” Frank said. “He’s a clever player, what can I say.”
Brentford’s winning goal, that came in the 68th minute via Neal Maupay stood after a VAR review for potential handball. Santos said he was convinced it was a handball when they showed the replay in the stadium, but highlighted that there had been a VAR check unlike in the case of the Toney goal.
The result was frustrating, he added, “but we go to Nottingham with our heads high.”