City win to go eight points clear

City win to go eight points clear


Phil Foden scores Manchester City's opening goal at Brentford
City’s tally of 113 Premier League goals in 2021 is the most by a top-flight team in a single calendar year since 1960

Manchester City rounded off 2021 by taking command of the Premier League title race as victory at Brentford moved them eight points clear at the top of the table.

With Chelsea being held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton earlier on Wednesday and Liverpool losing 1-0 to Leicester the day before, City capitalised by seeing off a spirited Bees side.

Phil Foden settled the encounter with his fifth league goal of the season early in the first half, superbly finishing first time from Kevin de Bruyne’s whipped ball.

The strike had come just moments after Brentford came close to scoring themselves but Ederson reacted well to keep out a cross that bounced towards the City goal off Ruben Dias, before Yoane Wissa’s deflected strike was cleared off the line.

City were looking to equal the club’s top-flight record of scoring at least four goals in four successive games set in 1905 but they rarely carved open a hard-working Bees side.

Ivan Toney was fortunate to go unpunished for catching Fernandinho with his studs as the City midfielder lay on the ground shortly before half-time.

The visitors went close to doubling their lead soon after the break when De Bruyne and Foden again linked up, with the latter heading his team-mate’s cross just wide of the post.

De Bruyne struck the base of the upright with a fierce low drive from distance, while Dias had a header ruled out for a marginal offside, but in the end Foden’s first-half strike was enough as Manchester City ended a year top of the Premier League table for the third time.

The previous two occasions they rounded off December in this position – in 2011-12 and 2017-18 – they went on to win the title.

Brentford, meanwhile, remain 14th with 20 points – nine clear of the relegation zone as they look to ensure a second season in the top flight.

City grind it out to keep on track

What looked like being a three-horse title race at the start of the December now has City firmly out in front after an incredible run of form while their rivals faltered.

City have won every Premier League game they have played in December, scoring 24 goals in the process and conceding just five.

But while their previous three victories involved them scoring seven, four and six goals respectively, this was a narrow but hard-fought win that arguably only serves to strengthen their credentials as favourites for the 2021-22 title.

Being able to grind out results is just as important as recording big wins and they managed to come out on top against a physical Brentford side who provided a stern test for Guardiola’s team.

The only glimmer of hope for City’s title rivals is that they did not look at their fluid best, particularly in the second half, but ultimately they had done enough to secure the points as Brentford rarely looked like threatening an equaliser.

The Bees certainly deserve credit for limiting a previously rampant City to just the solitary goal and despite the defeat it was a battling performance that suggests they have a good chance of preserving their Premier League status for another season.

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  1. Squad number40Player nameFernández

  2. Squad number5Player namePinnock

  3. Squad number18Player nameJansson

  4. Squad number29Player nameBech Sørensen

  5. Squad number30Player nameRoerslev

  6. Squad number26Player nameBaptiste

  7. Squad number8Player nameJensen

  8. Squad number15Player nameOnyeka

  9. Squad number2Player nameThompson

  10. Squad number11Player nameWissa

  11. Squad number17Player nameToney

  1. Squad number7Player nameCanós

  2. Squad number14Player nameGhoddos

  3. Squad number28Player nameBidstrup

Manchester City

    No players have been substituted yet



Formation 3-5-2

  • 40Fernández
  • 5Pinnock
  • 18Jansson
  • 29Bech Sørensen
  • 30Roerslev
  • 26Baptiste
  • 8Jensen
  • 15OnyekaSubstituted forBidstrupat 75′minutes
  • 2ThompsonSubstituted forGhoddosat 82′minutes
  • 11WissaSubstituted forCanósat 69′minutes
  • 17Toney


  • 7Canós
  • 9Forss
  • 14Ghoddos
  • 25Peart-Harris
  • 28Bidstrup
  • 36Stevens
  • 41Cox

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 27Cancelo
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 14Laporte
  • 6Aké
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Grealish
  • 47Foden


  • 7Sterling
  • 8Gündogan
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 26Mahrez
  • 33Carson
  • 79Mbete
  • 80Palmer

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