Brentford boss Thomas Frank admitted his emotions ran high after Josh Dasilva’s late equaliser clinched his side a 2-2 draw in their Premier League opener at Leicester.
Dasilva stepped off the bench to rifle a spectacular finish into the top corner and complete Brentford’s fightback after they had trailed 2-0.
Frank said it was a landmark moment for the Bees midfielder, who returned to action in February having been sidelined for 18 months due to a career-threatening hip problem followed by a hamstring injury.
Frank said: “When he first scored I’m just very happy of course for the equaliser because every point in the Premier League you have to fight so hard for.
“But after the game in the dressing room I thought about Josh and I wanted to say some nice words to him.
“It was emotional because he’s been out for 18 months, he’s a player and a person I’ve worked with for four years. He’s a fantastic person.
“Seeing him coming back to the level we know, producing that top moment which also gave us a point, was very emotional and I’m very pleased for him.”
The Foxes largely dominated at the King Power Stadium and were cruising at 2-0 with less than half an hour left thanks to goals in either half from Thomas Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Ivan Toney sparked Brentford’s unlikely fightback by reducing the deficit in the 62nd minute before Dasilva’s stunning 86th-minute thunderbolt.
Frank added: “Such a big credit to the players’ mentality. This group of players, just wow!
“A lot of teams would have broken down and not got back into the game, but we were running so hard.
“I think we looked fit. We were on top at the end of the game and then of course there’s a fairytale story for Josh Dasilva, being out for 18 months.
“So pleased with a lot of things, but a lot of things to work on.”
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was in a philosophical mood after seeing his side outplay their rivals for long periods.
Youri Tielemans struck a post with a swerving first-half effort and Wesley Fofana also hit the woodwork in the second period.
Rodgers is the only Premier League boss who has not strengthened his squad this summer, but in the main was delighted with his side’s performance.
He said: “For 60-65 minutes we were excellent in the game, in total control of it, played really well, our pressing was good, our football was terrific.
“Huge credit to the players because we’ve worked on something for five weeks in pre-season, then in the last (pre-season) game with injuries, we had to change the structure, and we played it really well.”
Rodgers, without injured pair Harvey Barnes and Ricardo Pereira – the latter sidelined for 18 months after rupturing his Achilles – was disappointed with Brentford’s goals.
He added: “The first just comes from a lack of concentration in our organisation from a throw-in and they scored from a space that hadn’t been there before.
“At 2-1, it changes the momentum and they can throw everything at it. We need to be better with the ball in that moment and control the game much better than we did.”