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Other SportsBrentford 1-3 Manchester City: Foden treble guides champions to comeback win

Brentford 1-3 Manchester City: Foden treble guides champions to comeback win

Phil Foden scored a hat-trick as Manchester City came from behind to beat Brentford 3-1 at the Gtech Community Stadium on Monday, moving within two points of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

City dominated the first half and drew save after save from Mark Flekken in the Brentford goal, but the champions fell behind when Neal Maupay raced through to finish from a goal-kick 21 minutes in.

However, City’s superiority finally told on the stroke of half-time as Ethan Pinnock’s mistake teed Foden up for a close-range finish, and the England international doubled his tally with a well-taken header shortly after the interval.

After a brief spell of Brentford pressure, Foden make City’s win safe with 70 minutes gone. Erling Haaland turned provider on his return to the starting lineup after recovering from a foot injury, the striker’s neat lay-off sending Foden through to side-foot home.

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Following Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday, the result takes City to within two points of the league-leading Reds, and Pep Guardiola’s side still possess a game in hand – also against Brentford at the Etihad Stadium later this month.

City laid siege to Flekken’s goal early on, with two long-range strikes from Julian Alvarez testing the Dutchman before he made a full-stretch save to keep Kyle Walker’s 30-yard piledriver out.

But the Brentford goalkeeper had an assist to his name as his team went ahead against the run of play. Ivan Toney cleverly let Flekken’s long goal-kick run through the heart of City’s defence, meaning Maupay was onside as he raced clear to slot past Ederson.

Flekken then made two huge saves to preserve Brentford’s lead as City ramped up the pressure, spreading himself to deny Haaland when the striker was one-on-one then tipping Josko Gvardiol’s right-footed strike wide.

Brentford were fortunate to see Flekken spill Foden’s drive wide of his post as half-time approached, but their luck ran out in first-half stoppage time. Pinnock misdirected his header from Kevin De Bruyne’s lofted pass, allowing Foden to take a touch before beating Flekken from close range.

Foden had his second just eight minutes into the second half, stooping to meet De Bruyne’s inswinging cross and glance a header into the bottom-right corner, beyond Flekken’s despairing dive.

Brentford refused to lie down, though; a great last-ditch block from Ruben Dias denied Bees skipper Christian Norgaard a quickfire equaliser before Toney sent an acrobatic volley spiralling over.

But any hopes of a Brentford comeback were extinguished when Foden completed his hat-trick with 20 minutes to play, taking Haaland’s lay-off in his stride before advancing into the box and finishing calmly past Flekken.

Ederson had a lucky escape when he raced out of his area and clattered Pinnock from a deep Brentford free-kick late on, but City played out the closing stages in relative comfort, going close to a fourth goal when De Bruyne side-footed wide from Jeremy Doku’s cross.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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