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Match Report and Player Ratings: Manchester City 1-0 Brentford (Premier League)



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Manchester City completed the double over Brentford this season with a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, and moved to within just one point of current league leaders Liverpool.

A second-half goal from Erling Haaland earned the three points for Manchester City as the Norwegian scored his 17th goal of the season, and has also now scored against every Premier League opponent he has faced.

There was an early scare for the Bees however, as Erling Haaland won the ball back before shooting from range, but the effort was gathered easily by Mark Flekken in what turned out to be an early indication of how Manchester City wanted to attack the game.

Despite City dominating the ball in the early stages of the contest, visitors Brentford would have the first real chance and would feel they should have taken the lead.

A long ball from the Brentford defence found Yoane Wissa with space in midfield, and he played the ball through to an onrushing Frank Onyeka, who was one-on-one with Ederson but placed his effort straight at the Brazilian.

This time it was Pep Guardiola’s side that should have taken the lead via Bernardo Silva’s header. Kyle Walker’s well-timed run was picked out beautifully by Rodri, and the captain’s header across the box fell to the Portugal international, who couldn’t find the target. Shortly after, Mark Flekken denied Ruben Dias’ effort at the back post.

The Treble Winners were heavily banging at the Brentford door as Oscar Bobb’s shot was cleared off the line by Ben Mee. The Norwegian latched onto a loose ball, calmly moved past his defender, and fired past Flekken only to be denied by the former City defender on the line.

City went into the half-time break with 17 shots, but failed to find the back of the net. The Blues were creating lots of chances but not able to get the breakthrough. Meanwhile, Thomas Frank’s side were defending well and had big chances on the counter-attack.

The sound of groans rang around the Etihad Stadium as Bernardo Silva’s free-kick was mis-hit and went out for a throw-in. The Cityzens had started the second half poorly and that free-kick had summed up the hosts’ performance after the break so far.

In the 71st minute, City finally broke the deadlock through Erling Haaland. Julian Alvarez played the ball to the number nine, who raced past Kristoffer Ajer and made no mistake in slotting the ball into the net. That makes it 17 goals for the Norwegian this season.

Haaland was denied his second goal of the game shortly after scoring his first as Kyle Walker was marginally offside as the ball was played to him. Rodri’s beautiful diagonal pass found the fullback whose first-time ball across Flekken’s goal left an open net for Haaland to head home.

Phil Foden had a chance to get on the scoresheet late in the game as he burst through the Brentford defence and attempted to round Flekken, but the goalkeeper saw it coming and got a hand out to turn the ball wide.

At the full-time whistle, Pep Guardiola will be happy with the three points but will be concerned with the missed chances and lack of goals after scoring just twice in their last two games.

Manchester City will now travel south to the Vitality Stadium to play Bournemouth on Saturday evening in a 5:30PM and will look to take all three points from Andoni Iraola’s side.

Player Ratings

Ederson – 7

Made good saves and distributed well. Kept a clean sheet.

Kyle Walker (C) – 7

Did well joining the attack and helped create from the right. Unlucky not to have an assist.

John Stones – 7

Moved the ball around the midfield swiftly and always looked forward.

Ruben Dias – 7

Had a tough challenge dealing with Toney but did well in stopping him.

Manuel Akanji – 7 (Man of the Match)

Helped the attack and was always an extra man to pass to. Had some shots when available.

Rodri – 7

Tried to break the lines of the tight Brentford defence and was always available for the pass. Committed a few too many fouls.

Bernardo Silva – 7

Bridged the gap between midfield and attack. Missed a big chance in the first half.

Phil Foden – 7

Always looked to create around the Brentford penalty area but was often surrounded by defenders.

Oscar Bobb – 6

Unlucky not to have scored in the first half. Wasn’t heavily involved in the game but still had his chance.

Julian Alvarez – 7

Brentford’s low block didn’t allow him any room to operate. Had to drop deeper to get the ball and got the assist for Haaland’s goal.

Erling Haaland – 7

Didn’t get many chances but made the most of the one he got.


Jeremy Doku – 6

Looked to add pace to the left side but didn’t get on the ball much.

Mateo Kovacic – 6

Didn’t have much time to impact the game but looked confident on the ball.