Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City end 2021 in fine form as Brentford beaten by Foden finish

Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate for Man City

Man City made it 10 Premier League wins in a row to end 2021 on a high note with a 1-0 victory over a competitive Brentford side.

Already safe in the knowledge they would end the year top of the league, City continued a strong spell of form with their seventh win of December. Phil Foden scored the only goal of the game (at least, the only that stood).

Pep Guardiola made four changes to his most recent Man City lineup. Foden and Jack Grealish were back in the starting XI after recently being benched, while Nathan Ake was given a rare appearance and Gabriel Jesus also came in.

There were three changes in the Brentford lineup, meanwhile, some of which were enforced. For example, Yoane Wissa deputised for the injured Bryan Mbeumo in attack.

City predictably controlled possession in the early stages. But the first three shots of the game all fell Brentford’s way. Frank Onyeka was the only one who forced Ederson into a save.

Next, Matthias Jensen tried to catch Ederson out from the halfway line, but his effort dropped wide.

Joao Cancelo was soon forced to make a goalline clearance for City as Brentford put on some more pressure. But it was the champions who went in front after 16 minutes with their first effort of the match.

Kevin De Bruyne picked out Foden with a first-time low cross. The England international met it and finished first time himself. There was a VAR check to see if Foden was offside, but the goal stood.

City looked after the ball well from there until the break to go in one goal to the good.

There was an incident of note before the break. The two sets of players came together after a clash between Ivan Toney and Fernandinho, with the former appearing to aim a kick at the latter. However, no action was taken.

Man City see out win

City began the second half well. De Bruyne crossed for Foden again, this time with a higher elevation. However, the latter’s header missed the target.

Foden connected with a cross again soon after, this time from Cancelo, and converted it. This time, though, he was judged to be offside.

But Brentford weren’t willing to go out without a fight. Shandon Baptiste saw a shot blocked, for example.

City went close again though when De Bruyne hit the post with an effort from the edge of the box. The Belgian had another attempt soon after, sending a long-distance shot over.

Brentford were doing their best to keep City at bay while waiting for their own chances. But many were still falling to the visitors, such as an off-target Fernandinho attempt and one he set up for Jesus.

City thought they had doubled their lead through Aymeric Laporte in the 87th minute. De Bruyne was the provider again from a free kick. However, a VAR check found Laporte to be offside, so the goal did not count.

Still, City had already done what they needed to and kept hold of the three points.

READ MOREMan City decide what to do with Ferran Torres cash as Pep Guardiola identifies replacement