THEY could have waited at least until the new year before ending the headlines.
A 10th consecutive Premier League win for Manchester City – despite a tough fight – is perhaps less of a surprise than Liverpool’s loss to Leicester 24 hours earlier.
While Pep Guardiola’s team leads by 8 points, thanks to the Chelsea’s draw against Brighton, City lead can be stretched to 11 points by early Saturday lunchtime.
There will be a lot of football to be expected throughout 2022 but certainly at this stage, a thrilling puzzle piece at the top for the championship won’t be one of them.
It was no classic Man City as they were swept up in the seemingly long grass of Brentford’s pitch. For all their assets – and there are certainly many – they are not as threatening as you might expect.
But thanks to Phil Foden’s superb first-half goal, they made it, with games dense and fast, that would be more than enough for Guardiola.
He will now keep his team in London for the next few days before heading to Arsenal on Saturday.
During this time, you would expect that both Foden and Jack Grealish will resist the temptation of reaching out to Soho. for some nightlife activities.
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However, if Man City give their rivals some hope – Join Liverpool to visit Chelsea on Sunday – then they have to let Mikel Arteta’s team keep all three points.
But you wouldn’t bet on it because Guardiola’s side are too good compared to their rivals. Over the course of 2021, they have accumulated 110 points in 44 games. Overall, this number is 27 points more than Chelsea.
City certainly didn’t have things their way against a Brentford team without 11 players due to injuries and 19 Covid problems but still fighting fiercely.
It is possible that their next player has also had a Christmas break because the pitch is certainly covered with grass that makes skeptics will slow down Man City’s movements.
Shandon Baptiste made the first shot of the game, leading to a throw-in for City, but Brentford caused a few minutes of panic for the visitors’ defence.
Since promotion, Brentford has, to their credit, changed their style and played much more directly. When it works, as Liverpool discovered here in a 3-3 draw, they can be extremely tough to face.
After Joao Cancelo was caught in the middle of a mix-up, Frank Onyeka actually caused some panic by rushing into the away area but driving a shot straight into Ederson.
The City keeper displayed some good reflexes when he saved Brentford’s opener after Ruben Dias put in Yoane Wissa’s pass towards his goal.
Cancelo headed home the goalie wissa but like true champions, as soon as they felt the heat in an early bombardment, Man City unleashed spectacular power of their own.
It all ended in the blink of an eye. In the first precise attack of the game, City broke through the home defense when De Bruyne’s extremely balanced first cross and Phil Foden’s beautiful finish.
The England international, despite being just six yards out, makes the attempt look much easier than it really is, but he showed off some remarkable technique to pull off the volley while many others could have done in a completely messy way.
There was a VAR that checked for offside and it looked very close but Foden was finally able to celebrate his seventh goal which would surely prove to be the best season of his career.
The game turned difficult when Toney fell to the floor clutching his leg after Fernandinho stood on his opponent’s toes after the whistle.
And a minute later, Toney got lucky when he rushed to Ferandinho and appeared to have a nail in the Brazilian’s leg.
It looks like a red card. But looking at both games, Toney and Fernandinho were misbehaving with each other.
Despite suffering uncanny dread in the first half, City enjoyed 81% of possession and Foden nearly scored a second with a swift 60th minute header in the second half.
Foden then buffered the ball past Alvaro Fernandez with a mighty header but was offside
It was another disappointing night for Jack Grealish as the fake No 9 and more than ever, De Bruyne was at the center of every Man City threat.
The Belgian fired a shot at the foot of the post but there was a mistake midway through the second half where Brentford caused some discomfort for City with their direct, energetic football.
In the end, however, Ederson still didn’t have to worry too much.
In the end, Man City fans packed into a tight corner of this pitch and sang ‘Mind the gap Man United’ with the gap between the two now standing at 22 points – 50 to 28.
The closer to the end of the season, the bigger the difference between these two opponents.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/4361301/brentford-man-city-phil-foden-premier-league/ Phil Foden’s early goal gives the EIGHT champions the best score in the Premier League