Manchester City came from behind to claim all three points from the Gtech Community Stadium on Monday evening to move up to second in the Premier League.
Phil Foden was the star of the show as his hat-trick helped the Blues complete the comeback and move just two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
The Englishman levelled for Manchester City on the brink of half-time, before propelling Pep Guardiola’s side to a key victory with two devastating second-half goals.
It took Manchester City almost 10 minutes to threaten Mark Flekken’s goal and it was Julian Alvarez who forced the save from the Dutch goalkeeper as his curling effort was tipped around the post for a corner.
Flekken was called into action again to save another Alvarez effort and then faced one of Kyle Walker’s trademark thunderbolts from range, which he pushed aside.
The home side took the lead in the 21st minute through Neal Maupay after a Brentford goal kick. Flekken played a long ball forward and Ivan Toney barged Nathan Ake out of the way to allow Maupay to run through on goal before slotting past Ederson for the opening goal.
The Cityzens almost responded immediately as Erling Haaland found himself through on goal but was denied by the Brentford goalkeeper. The wait for his 15th league goal would go on.
Just one minute before the half-time break, City found an equaliser through the ‘Stockport Iniesta’.
De Bruyne’s lofted ball was met by Ethan Pinnock who failed to clear it and Foden stepped up to volley home. The Blues had put Thomas Frank’s side under a lot of pressure in the first-half and finally had a breakthrough, having registered 17 attempts.
Foden doubled City’s goal tally for the day with an accurate header past Flekken. De Bruyne’s perfectly weighted ball was met by the 23-year-old, who nodded it past the Dutchman to take the lead in the second-half.
The Bees put the treble-winners under some pressure after Manchester City’s second goal, and Ruben Dias provided a crucial sliding block which was followed up by another block from Josko Gvardiol shortly after.
‘He’s one of our own’ began to ring around west London, as Foden netted his third goal of the game. He received the ball after a lay-off from Haaland, before tucking it away to complete his hat-trick.
Ederson – 4
Poor decision-making and passing today. Wouldn’t expect him to save Maupay’s goal.
Kyle Walker (C) – 7
Did well defensively and helped contribute to the attack. Nearly scored from range in the first-half.
Ruben Dias – 7
Been solid when called upon. Great block to deny Norgaard’s effort.
Nathan Ake – 6
Was held off too easily for Maupay’s goal but played well since.
Josko Gvardiol – 6
Had a few shots on goal and created chances. Defended well.
Rodri – 7
Mr Reliable. Helped to break up the Brentford attacks and moved the ball quickly.
Bernardo Silva – 5
Didn’t really impact the game from the right and was fairly quiet.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7
Was always looking to create chances and play the killer ball, lovely assist for Foden’s second.
Phil Foden – 10
Helped move the ball around the Brentford penalty area and was quick to react for his first goal. Good movement and header for his second. Lovely finish for the hat-trick.
Julian Alvarez – 6
Early efforts threatened Brentford’s goal but was fairly quiet after that.
Erling Haaland – 6
Failed to score from his only chance but managed to assist Foden’s third goal.
Jeremy Doku – 6
Always dynamic but his crosses never came to anything.
Mateo Kovacic – 6
Helped control possession in the final minutes of the game and ensure the victory.
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