After a battling but losing performance against Chelsea in midweek, Barnsley returned to Championship action with a tough encounter in the capital against Brentford.
Considering the Bees had scored 17 goals in their last four league outings, winning all of those games, it was going to be a tough ask for Valerien Ismael to take his team to west London and get a result.
They’re no stranger to doing that though, as the Tykes defeated Brentford at Griffin Park on the final day of last season to secure their Championship survival at the last moment under Gerhard Struber’s leadership.
Barnsley fans probably weren’t confident when they saw Ismaël had rotated the pack this afternoon, with the likes of Romal Palmer and Carlton Morris coming in, as well as American international Daryl Dike being given his first start.
If Barnsley supporters were expecting a mauling, then they would have been amazed at what actually transpired, as their players produced a top display to run out as 2-0 victors.
Are you Barnsley mad? Try get 20 out of 20 on this Tykes quiz all about the club’s season so far
Conor Chaplin opened the scoring on 13 minutes before Morris notched his first Barnsley goal just after the restart, and that is the way it stayed until full time.
The most impressive thing about the match was that Barnsley’s back-line completely nullified the prolific Ivan Toney, and whilst it’s always a team effort, fans are pinpointing Michal Helik as the main reason that Toney was kept quiet.
They have been eulogising over the Polish defender on Twitter – check out some of the best comments!
Helik emptying his pockets after the game pic.twitter.com/1d0dshQG3E
— Harri (@bfcharri) February 14, 2021
Helik's had Toney in his pocket all game. Anyone in that backline MOTM.
— Hirst (@hirst952) February 14, 2021
HELIK IS THE BEST CENTRE HALF IN THE LEAGUE
— Crouchyy (@KieranBarrett96) February 14, 2021
Absolutely outstanding. Helik is better than Maldini. ❤️
— ricky lee (@rickyl14) February 14, 2021
Some win that. Helik man of match again
— Jua (@joegreenbfc) February 14, 2021
You know what I’ve been holding back doubting myself but it’s facts I don’t even care anymore. Michal Helik is one of the best defenders in the Championship, no debate
— Matty🏴 (@mattdogbfc) February 14, 2021
Helik best player on pitch today – unreal
— Kuy (@AlfieKuy) February 14, 2021
Tell ya what that’s some performance, helik👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 u reds
— Rankin (@LNR1799) February 14, 2021
Helik is an absolutely phenomenal defender
— Jay 🇫🇷 (@Jayblair1996) February 14, 2021