Brentford stuns Manchester City as Toney stars


Brentford caused a huge shock as they beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, with Ivan Toney taking both goals.

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Toney scored in the first half to make it 1-0, but Phil Foden hammered it at 1-1 just before half-time and it looked like City were going to win. But it was Brentford who had the better chances and Toney popped up in the 98th minute to take a famous win for the Bees.

With the win, Brentford advances to 19 points and is in the top 10, while Manchester City remain second in the standings and leaders Arsenal could open a five-point lead over them en route to the World Cup break.


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What we learned from Manchester City vs Brentford

Ivan Toney shows his class: It must have been a very tough week for Ivan Toney, who was called up to England’s last squad but not the World Cup squad as Callum Wilson was preferred over him. Toney headed home the opener, taking the winner in stoppage time and being denied a hat-trick by Kevin de Bruyne’s goal-line clearance. He caused chaos everywhere and it took an incredible character to play as he did after this week’s disappointment.

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Wobbly Haaland struggles to make an impact: The number of times Erling Haaland fell to the ground or didn’t time his run correctly was quite shocking. He is coming back from an injury that has hit him in recent weeks and even when he was fit to play this match he looked rusty and at times resembled Bambi on the ice. Haaland is one of those players who has to fire on all cylinders and be completely fit to make an impact on a match and it looked like he had been given a patch to play against Brentford there.

Bees rightly take all three points: They defended well in a deep block, were brave on the counter-attack and should have scored more. This side of Brentford looked hungry and they played the set pieces well and pulled out tackles and made it so difficult for City. Given all of their defensive problems so far this season, they are comfortably in the middle of the pack and there certainly hasn’t been a sophomore slump. In any case, this Brentford is better than the 2021-22 version. What a job Thomas Frank does.

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Tactical focus

Stars of the show

Ivan Toney: Scored twice, several times close to another and was a constant nuisance.

Phil Foden: Brought home a beauty and created so many openings for his teammates with silky smooth passes and brilliant runs.

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What’s next?

Manchester City host Liverpool into the League Cup last 16 in the week starting on December 19 and they return to PL action on December 28 at Leeds United. Brentford are next in action on December 26 when they host Tottenham in the first PL game after the break.

How to watch Manchester City vs Brentford live, stream link and tee time

Kick-off: 7:30 a.m. ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
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main storylines

Erling Haaland had some doubts about his injury following his recent ankle problems, but he was fit enough to jump off the bench and score a stoppage time winner against Fulham last time in the competition. Guardiola starts him and if he is only fit enough for 60 minutes, Julian Alvarez is a great backup option. Aside from that, City want to keep the pressure on Arsenal as a win would put them one point ahead of the Gunners who leave for Wolves later on Saturday. For Brentford, it’s all about trying to put down a more balanced game, which has been tough given all their recent defensive injuries. Getting a point would be huge and would push them a bit further from the relegation zone because the PL table is so tight when you get outside the top 10.

In-form players to keep an eye on

Kevin de Bruyne has warmed up really well for the World Cup and has been fantastic, while Rodri dominates midfield, Ilkay Gundogan was class and Julian Alvarez steps up admirably when Haaland needs a break. Brentford’s Ivan Toney is back for this game after missing the draw in Forest last weekend due to suspension, while Bryan Mbuemo is trying his best and Ben Mee has been a very good addition in defence.

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Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup

Kyle Walker is still out with an injury, but everyone else is fit. Haaland starts despite his recent injury, while Kalvin Phillips could get valuable minutes off the bench as he looks to build up his fitness after a long-standing shoulder problem and despite being named to the England squad.

Brentford team news, injuries, lineup

Kristoffer Ajer, Pontus Jansson, Aaron Hickey, Charlie Goode, Thomas Strakosha and Shandon Baptiste are all out. Ivan Toney is returning to attacking squad after his suspension and that is a huge boost for the Bees, although Toney just missed the England squad so it will be intriguing to see how he reacts to that disappointment.

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