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Five Things Learned: Manchester City 1-0 Brentford (Premier League)



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Manchester City grabbed the only goal against Brentford at the Etihad Stadium as the home side moved to within a point from the top of the Premier League.

After a disappointing draw to Chelsea on the weekend, it was demanded that Manchester City made a statement against a difficult Brentford side; a team that Phil Foden single-handedly tore apart only two weeks prior.

The match started with City doing exactly what City do, and that is holding possession and taking control. That was until Brentford had the first big chance within 20 minutes. Frank Onyeka’s tame shot was no challenge for Ederson, after a great pass from Yoane Wissa found the feet of the midfielder.

Ivan Toney had an attempt of his own after his free kick just went over the bar. Manchester City chances were no major threat as Julian Alvarez had a few blunders over the bar, as well as Manuel Akanji causing a bit of work for Mark Flekken.

Oscar Bobb had Manchester City’s first major chance as his shot beat the in-form Flekken, but former City player Ben Mee was on the line for a crucial clearance to deny the champions a first-half lead.

Going into the second, all of the hard work Brentford had done to prevent Manchester City from scoring eventually came to an end. Erling Haaland picked up the ball from a Julian Alvarez pass inside the opponent’s half and carried the ball all the way to the edge of the box, where the Norwegian striker was able to slot the ball easily into the back of the net.

Manchester City could have doubled their lead after an excellent delivery by Rodri found Kyle Walker on the right flank. The right-back calmly placed the ball for an easy header for Erling Haaland but was immediately ruled out for offside.

City’s final major chance came from Phil Foden, after a beautiful turn past his man left the academy graduate with a chance to get a goal of his own. Foden tried to take the ball around the goalkeeper, but Flekken was too big and made the save.

With that being said, here are five things that we learned from Manchester City’s crucial 1-0 win over Brentford in midweek.

Oscar Bobb’s first Premier League start for the Cityzens

The 20-year-old picked up his first start for the champions in the Premier League in a tight-knit game. The Norwegian winger almost grabbed himself the game-winner after his shot beat Mark Flekkenm but was cleared off the line by Ben Mee.

Bobb was lacking that cutting edge but Manchester City fans know exactly what he is capable of, especially after scoring the winning goal against Newcastle in the dying seconds just a few weeks ago.

The attacker has a bright future ahead of him, to say the very least.

Counter-attacks galore

Manchester City’s winner came from a counter-attack on a Brentford error, but it does come as a shock to see how the game only had a singular goal.

The likes of Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva were extremely rapid to turn and break against the visitors, but only managed to net the one on Tuesday night.

Brentford’s trio of Ivan Toney, Yoane Wissa and Frank Onyeka were also extremely dangerous on the counter and did not give the Manchester City defence any rest. All three came extremely close to scoring.

Haaland finally ticks off Brentford

It has only taken him one and a half seasons, but ‘the robot’ has finally scored against every Premier League side that he has faced. It was a strike that everyone knew he would slot away too, in what was his 17th Premier League goal of the ongoing season.

A great pass, on the break, from Julian Alvarez found Haaland in a golden opportunity to go one-vs-one with Mark Flekken. Haaland struck the ball into the bottom corner to give the home side a well fought for victory.

Alvarez has started every Premier League game this season

Picking up the assist for the goal today, Julian Alvarez continues to show fans, as well as Pep Guardiola, why he should be in the starting line-up.

Guardiola playing the Argentine as deep as what he has been, was shown to not be very significant, but Alvarez returning to playing just behind the number nine proved to be a much better run of play.

Scoring eight goals as well as providing seven assists so far in the Premier League, it does not look as if he is going to get dropped from the side any time soon.

Title hopes remain strong

The 1-0 win against Brentford on Tuesday night sees the Blues go just one point behind current league leaders Liverpool, while Arsenal themselves are staying steady on Manchester City’s toes as they only trail one point behind the champions.

Manchester City play both Arsenal and Liverpool in March in what will be must win games, as well as a meeting with bitter rivals Manchester United, as Pep Guardiola and his players look to win their fourth consecutive Premier League trophy in a row.