A hat-trick from Phil Foden brought Manchester City to within two points of leader Liverpool (the ranking here), Monday at Brentford (3-1) at the end of the 23rd day, a fifth victory in a row all the more hopeful for the Citizens that they have a match late. Pep Guardiola's players have 49 points, like Arsenal (3rd) who beat Liverpool (1st, 51 pts) the day before, but they have a late match to play on February 20, again against Brentford, an additional cartridge per relation to the competition.
In their stadium, the “Bees” were the first to sting thanks to their man in form, the Frenchman Neal Maupay, who went behind the defense on a six-meter shot from his goalkeeper Mark Flekken and won from his face -face to face with Ederson (21st, 1-0). This is the fifth goal in five matches, in all competitions, scored in 2024 by the striker on loan from Everton, the best series for the former Niçois and Stéphanois since his arrival in England in 2017. The western club from London skilfully negotiated counter-attacks and took advantage of the few defensive errors of their hosts. But the latter increased the offensives and forced Flekken to make multiple saves, ahead of Kyle Walker (14th), Erling Haaland (23rd) and Josko Gvardiol (26th). The Dutch goalkeeper ended up giving in on a hat-trick from Phil Foden (45th 3, 53rd, 70th), in all good shots.
“I play a lot of minutes, and more inside, where I want to be,” appreciated the man of the match, assuring Sky Sports to be in his “best form in the City jersey for a long time”. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder, often used on the side to help out, made Mancun's 17th shot of the first period (45th 3), headed a cross from Kevin De Bruyne (53rd) then exploited a delivery from Haaland ( 70th).
The Norwegian center forward, starting for the first time in two months in the league, has perhaps not regained the full extent of his means. He was replaced in the 86th minute by Mateo Kovacic. On February 20, in a postponed match on the 18th day, he will finally try to score against Brentford, the only Premier League team against whom he has never managed to shake the net.
In the meantime, the Citizens have washed away the insult inflicted last season by the club on the red and white jersey, the only team to have beaten them twice, on the first leg and on the return leg. The three-time reigning champions receive Everton on Saturday (1:30 p.m.) in a 24th day which will see Liverpool welcome Burnley and Arsenal, traveling to West Ham. For Brentford, the situation becomes critical after this seventh defeat in eight league matches. In the standings, Thomas Franck's men are 15th with only three points more than Everton, the current first in relegation.