Toral grabs three as Bees win
Jon Toral scored a hat-trick as Brentford recorded a second home win in four days with a comfortable victory over Blackpool.
The 4-0 win was the least Brentford deserved as they dominated from start to finish against a Blackpool side that added another night of misery to a season to forget.
The visitors, with just four wins to their credit this term, lost two men to injury in the first half and had another sent off.
They kept nine men behind the ball throughout the second half and threw bodies in the way to ensure they left with only a four-goal loss.
Against the division’s bottom team, Brentford went for the jugular from the outset.
Blackpool set up with a very narrow system allowing Alex Pritchard and Jota vast amounts of space on the flanks.
Moses Odubajo and Stuart Dallas were quick to join from full-back and Brentford went forward from the first whistle.
Their early efforts were from long distance – Odubajo, Dallas and Pritchard all had shots blocked as Blackpool sat deep in their half, providing a human barrier.
Jota also went for goal from distance soon after but blazed it wide and Andre Gray had an effort blocked after he turned well on to a Dallas pass.
Blackpool had almost no possession and they were constantly chasing Brentford around the pitch.
It did not take long for gaps to appear.
Pritchard almost created an opening after a one-two with Toral but his cross just eluded Gray.
The striker was again just unable to turn in a low cross; this time from Dallas, moments later but the goal wasn’t long in coming.
It came at the end of a fine move on the left – Jonathan Douglas was the architect, playing a one-two with Jota before cutting the ball back for Toral to poke it home.
The second did not take long to arrive.
The time it came from the right, Odubajo burst forward and released Gray, his far post cross was headed powerfully home for Toral for his second in a little over 150 seconds.
Brentford were purring and Blackpool made a change, bringing on Nathan Delfouneso to switch to 4-4-2 and try and close down the space on the flanks.
It made them harder to break down but did not give any indication they would get back in to the game.
Indeed, Brentford should have been further clear by half time.
Gray was denied by Blackpool goalkeeper Joe Lewis when he raced through on to a quick Pritchard free kick and Toral shot wide soon after following a great move involving Dallas and Jota.
Blackpool’s task was made even more difficult just before half time when Charles Dunne was shown a straight red card by referee Andy D’Urso for a firm two-footed challenge on Jota that the Brentford man was lucky to walk away from.
The Bees had dropped their standards a little in patches of the first half but looked to put the game to bed completely before the break with a man advantage.
Pritchard fired in to the side netting after a clever free kick and then had a shot blocked while Toumani Diagouraga volleyed well over when a corner was half cleared.
Blackpool offered almost nothing in a first half they would want to forget.
They did have a few spells of attacking play but only two openings of note.
A low cross from Dunne eluded Gary Madine in the early stages and Jamie O’Hara had a shot deflected over.
However, in firing for goal O’Hara injured himself and had to leave the fray meaning the visitors ended the half with two substitutes used and with ten on the field.
It was all set up for Brentford to continue their domination and push for more goals after the break.
And that is precisely what happened.
They could have scored a third within a minute when Jota set up Pritchard, his stinging volley was well saved by Lewis and Toral fired the loose ball in to the side netting.
Diagouraga went close soon after, he exchanged passes with Douglas and burst through but Lewis saved at his feet.
The third came seven minutes after the break.
Lewis made a spectacular save to deny Gray when he controlled a Jota cross and volleyed powerfully but when the striker turned and fired for goal again it deflected through a forest of legs and in.
Brentford were rampant and it was just a matter of how many they would score.
Lewis saved from Pritchard and then made a fine stop to deny Gray, who had turned well.
Jota had a couple of efforts blocked and then blasted well over before a Diagouraga shot was blocked.
Blackpool had all hands on deck to keep the score line down as Brentford rung the changes, introducing Chris Long, Sam Saunders and Tommy Smith.
Lewis denied Long and then made a smart stop from Toral before Pritchard fired over from distance.
A James Tarkowski header from a Saunders cross was blocked before Pritchard missed the target with two more efforts.
Smith saw a shot deflected wide and then a volley blocked while Saunders shot over and Odubajo narrowly missed the target from 25 yards.
Odubajo then had a shot blocked before a Harlee Dean header was blocked and Toral fired the loose ball wide.
Pritchard had a shot deflected wide and then an effort saved before Lewis went full stretch to tip a Dean curler around the post.
From the resulting corner, Tarkowski headed down and Toral bundled the ball over the line to make it 4-0 and earn himself the match ball.
There was still time for Saunders to shoot over and Blackpool almost grabbed a goal themselves from a half cleared free kick but David Button grabbed a weak David Ferguson shot.
But the night belonged to Brentford and in particular to Toral, the first Brentford player to score a hat-trick for more than three years.
Brentford: Button; Odubajo, Tarkowski, Dean, Dallas; Diagouraga, Douglas (sub Saunders 62 mins); Jota (sub Smith 66 mins), Toral, Pritchard; Gray (sub Long 62 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, Yennaris, Craig, McCormack
Blackpool: Lewis; McMahon, Hall, Clarke, Aldred (sub Delfouneso 25 mins), Dunne; Perkins, O’Hara (sub Oliver 39 mins); Rothwell; Davies (sub Ferguson 52 mins), Madine
Subs (not used): Parish, Telford, Cameron, O’Dea
Sent Off: Dunne (44 mins)
Attendance: 8,765 (223 away fans)
By Chris Wickham