Brentford 1-3 Manchester City: Foden rescues victory after Maupay draws first blood

Knowing that a win at the Gtech Community Stadium on Monday evening would take them to within two points of Liverpool at the top of the table, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City headed to the capital in search of an all-important three points.

BRE: Flekken; Mee, Pinnock, Collins; Reguilon, Janelt, Nørgaard, Jensen, Roerslev; Maupay, Toney

MCI: Ederson; Gvardiol, Aké, Dias, Walker; Rodri; Foden, Álvarez, De Bruyne, Silva; Haaland

Perhaps unexpectedly, Neal Maupay was the first to find the back of the net in West London on Monday after a long ball forward from Mark Flekken picked out the striker, who left the Manchester City defence bewildered before squeezing a low strike past Ederson.

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Much has been made of Flekken’s capabilities as Brentford’s new first-choice goalkeeper in recent weeks, but the shotstopper played a pivotal role in the first-half. In addition to providing the opening assist, he kept out an onslaught of Manchester City attacks – until Phil Foden restored parity just minutes before the break.

But as Flekken would soon find out, it’s incredibly hard to stop the English international when he is in fine form. His second goal came just eight minutes after the interval, as he snuck into the box to nod a deft header into the bottom-right corner from Kevin de Bruyne’s cross.

Ivan Toney could have restored parity from close range, but it wasn’t long before Foden completed a sensational hat-trick to wrap up the victory for the Cityzens. Dancing around defenders, the goalscorer was able to latch onto Erling Haaland’s pass and slot a composed effort past Flekken to put the game to bed with 20 minutes remaining.

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Brentford travel to Molineux next weekend, while Manchester City host Everton before travelling to FC Copenhagen’s iconic Parken Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s side are now just two points behind Liverpool, and have a game in hand over Jürgen Klopp’s men.