Brentford 0-1 Man City: Phil Foden effort opens up huge eight-point gap in title race

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  • Manchester City
    Manchester City
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  • Phil Foden
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester City made it ten straight wins in the Premier League as they beat Brentford to move eight points clear at the top of the table.

Phil Foden’s first-half effort proved the only goal of the game as City took full advantage of slip-ups by Liverpool and Chelsea to take a commanding advantage into the New Year as they seek to defend their title.

On Tuesday, Liverpool had been beaten 1-0 by Leicester and in Wednesday night’s earlier kick-off across west London, Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton. With the two set to meet on Sunday, City could yet open up more ground before the week is out.

Pep Guardiola made four changes to his side for a first ever trip to the Brentford Community Stadium, including handing recalls to Foden and Jack Grealish after their disciplinary absences.

Brentford, already ravaged by injury and Covid absences, were also forced to make do without the suspended Christian Norgaard.

The hosts started brighter and went close to an opener when Yoanne Wissa’s effort was cleared off the line by Nathan Ake, with Ivan Toney lurking, but within a minute City had gone up the other end to open the scoring.

The back-to-form Kevin de Bruyne was the creator with a trademark cross from the right and Foden steered first-time past Alvaro Fernandez, VAR showing the Englishman had just about been played onside by the trailing leg of Ethan Pinnock.

That was to be the only shot on target City managed during a first-half in which they enjoyed more than eighty per cent of possession.

After the break, Foden went close to a second with a flicked header from another De Bruyne cross, and then did find the net again from Gabriel Jesus’ delivery, only to find the offside flag raised.

De Bruyne struck the post with a low effort from range and City thought they finally had the clincher when Laporte headed the Belgian’s free-kick into the corner with three minutes to play but a marginal VAR offside denied the Frenchman.

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