Christian Eriksen insists he is ‘one happy man’ despite Brentford marking his return to football with a disappointing 2-0 defeat by relegation rivals Newcastle. Eriksen, who suffered a cardiac arrest at last summer’s Euro 2020, was a 52nd-minute substitute for the 10-man Bees on Saturday. It was his first competitive appearance in eight months after his scary ordeal at the Euros.
Joelinton and Joe Willock scored first-half goals for a Newcastle side rejuvenated following last October’s mega-money takeover.
Brentford had Josh Dasilva sent off after just 11 minutes. The midfielder has only recent returned from a lengthy absence of his own.
Eriksen had not played since collapsing during Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland last June.
The 30-year-old was unable to feature for former club Inter Milan as the defibrillator device fitted to his heart is not prohibited in Serie A.
Brentford swooped in to sign the ex-Tottenham playmaker from the Italian side, with Danish boss Thomas Frank key to the move.
Eriksen had featured in two behind-closed-doors friendlies for the West Londoners before making his top-flight bow against Newcastle.
“If you take away the result. I’m one happy man. To go through what I’ve been through, being back is a wonderful feeling,” the midfielder said.
“Thomas [Frank] didn’t say much [when I came on]. I’ve been speaking to him every day for the last few weeks. He just said good luck and enjoy the game.
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Asked what his aims are for the remainder of the season, Eriksen added: “First of all to get the feeling and touch back, that football feeling, and to help Brentford stay in the Premier League.”
Brentford’s defeat leaves them 15th on 24 points and staring ominously at the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Several teams below them – including Newcastle, Burnley and Watford – picked up important points on Saturday.
Burnley drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace while Watford held Manchester United to a goalless draw. Those results leave Brentford – who have won just two of their last 16 Premier League games – three points above the relegation zone.
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