F365 says: Dike the hero despite Ayew’s Swansea winner

Swansea’s Ayew scored the winner but … The post F365 says: Dike the hero despite Ayew’s Swansea winner appeared first on Football365.

F365 says: Dike the hero despite Ayew’s Swansea winner

Andre Ayew scored the winner but Daryl Dike scored with us all. This was such good fun.

There are cult heroes and there’s Daryl Dike. This was the first opportunity the Barnsley fans have had to pay hommage to their 6’1”, 220 pound Oklahoman, and boy, did they make the most of it. They arrived at Oakwell with their Star-Spangled Banners, chanted his name and aimed Wayne’s World “we are not worthy” gestures in his direction.

F365 says: Brentford ‘collective’

In short: they love him because he bloody loves it. Bulldozing into the backs of defenders and looking at them on the floor with disdain, waving his arms in frustration as he’s penalised for the latest assault, and smiling all the while, clearly loving every second of it.

If Youri Tilemans’ strike on Saturday secured his side’s status as the people’s club of the Premier League, there’s a stong case for Barnsley being the the Leicester of the Championship. There’s a lot to like about them, from the improbability of a promotion push having stayed up last season through an injury time winner, to their enigmatic manager, Valerien Ismael, and the manic football he has them playing. Add Dike and the raucous Tykes fans in the mix and you’ve got quite the soulful soup to warm the cockles of the neutrals.

And it felt a bit like the FA Cup final. Just as it was Chelsea vs all, very few people watching will have been rooting for Swansea. It may well have been grudging admiration then which met Andre Ayew’s goal, but it was well earned.

To describe the game to that point as ‘bitty’ would have been kind. It was great fun – Dike and the crowd saw to that – but the standard was pretty poor.

It was Kyle Naughton and Ayew – with over 250 Premier League appearances between them – who combined for Swansea. Naughton clipped a clever ball in behind for Ayew, who had dropped back to get onside, before the Ghanaian cut inside onto his left foot and curled the ball into the far corner. It was a beautifully composed finish in a game of *looks up antonym of composure* agitation.

That’s the way Barnsley like it. They thrive on the blood-and-thunder football; every game feels like a cup tie. Lots of long balls to the big man, with bodies in and around him to pick up the second balls and short shrift for opposition players who dare to try and play what most would now consider ‘normal’ football.

But a 20-minute spell at the start of the second half besides – in which Barnsley did come close to pummelling the door down – Swansea coped very well.

Their pair of 20-year-old centre-backs, Ben Cabango and Chelsea loanee Marc Guehi, dealt brilliantly with Dike; engaged in just the right amount of shithousery. And Newcastle loanee Freddie Woodman relieved pressure superbly in goal. It was a professional Swansea display against a side who have consistently made the teams they have played against this season stoop to the realms of amateurism.

Dike, Barnsley and their fans made this game, Swansea won it; it was impossible not to enjoy it. Here’s to more of the same.


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Brentford boss Frank slams decision not to use VAR in play-offs

“The small margins that you need … The post Brentford boss Frank slams decision not to use VAR in play-offs appeared first on Football365.

Brentford boss Frank slams decision not to use VAR in play-offs

Brentford manager Thomas Frank has insisted that his side were “100 per cent” denied a penalty against Bournemouth in their play-off first leg against Bournemouth.

Arnaut Danjuma’s clinical counter-attacking goal early in the second half earned the Cherries a 1-0 advantage ahead of Saturday’s return match in west London.

But Bees boss Frank was left frustrated by referee Tim Robinson not pointing to spot in the opening 10 minutes following an Adam Smith challenge on Tarique Fosu-Henry.

While many inside the Vitality Stadium missed the incident, the Danish coach was adamant, launching into a passionate monologue about video technology at his post-match press conference and referencing the substantial financial rewards that come with promotion to the Premier League.

“Why is there not one of you who is asking me about VAR on the penalty? Have you seen it back? 100 per cent penalty,” Frank said.

“Another good example of why there should be VAR in these games.

“The small margins that you need to have with you, you need to have those going your way in these semi-finals.

“This is not a ‘maybe handball’. No, no, no. Our player touched the ball, clear contact in the penalty box, that’s a penalty.

“It’s these situations that we need to get bang on. I think we’re only playing for what, about £170million?”

After the possible spot-kick, Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke headed against a post at the other end.

The hosts were rewarded for their greater attacking endeavour in the 55th minute when Danjuma raced around 80 yards to finish a breakaway goal he started by regaining possession deep inside his own half.

Brentford substitute Bryan Mbeumo squandered the chance for an equaliser 12 minutes from time when he fired wide of an open goal, to the delight of around 2,000 Cherries fans permitted to attend.

Frank, whose side lost in last season’s play-off final, rued that shocking miss but insists the contest is far from over.

“It was an even game between two very good teams that both tried to get on top of the game. I think a draw was the result it should have been,” he said.

“But in a tight game, we know it’s the small margins that will decide the game. Losing our structure, focus on the biggest threat they have – the counter attacks – gave them the first goal.

“That was a bit where we need to do better.

“And it’s a massive chance for Bryan Mbuemo, it doesn’t get any bigger.

“There is plenty of time to turn this around. We have 90 minutes to do that and that will be more than enough time.”

Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate admits his victorious team still have plenty of work to do to set up a Wembley meeting with either Swansea or Barnsley.

“It’s half-time, we’ve got a slight advantage, but we know we’ve got it all on going to Brentford,” he said.

“We know how good they are at home, we know how good their players are. They’ve been in this situation before, they’ve had that experience. It’s far from over.”

A sour note for Bournemouth was the first-half loss of captain Steve Cook to a knee injury.

Woodgate is unsure whether the centre-back, who was replaced by Chris Mepham, will be available for the weekend.

“It’s a blow to lose Cooky. It’s a knee injury, but I don’t know the whole prognosis yet. He will get a scan over the next 48 hours. He’s got a chance (for Saturday).”

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