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Brentford vs Manchester City final score: Foden fires champs 8 points clear

Manchester City battled to victory against a dogged Brentford side to grab a key win that sent Pep Guardiola's men eight points clear at the Premier League summit.

Brentford vs Manchester City: The defending Premier League champions continued their torrid title defense with a 1-0 final score at the Brentford Community Stadium on Wednesday.

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The victory sends Manchester City (50 points) eight clear of 2nd-place Chelsea. Liverpool (41) have played one less game and won’t play before Man City play again this weekend, meaning the gap could be 12 points the next time the Reds take the field. Manchester City have won 10 straight Premier League games, as this is the fourth time they have achieved such a run under Pep Guardiola.

Brentford (20 points), meanwhile, remain 14th in the Premier League table, nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Brentford vs Manchester City final score, stats, results

Final score: Brentford 0, Manchester City 1

Goal scorers: Brentford (None), Manchester City (Foden 16')

Shots: Brentford 6, Manchester City 11

Shots on target: Brentford 2, Manchester City 3

Possession: Brentford 24%, Manchester City 76%

3 things we learned - Brentford vs Manchester City

1. Brentford threaten to score, Man City score: For roughly five minutes just before Foden’s opening goal, Brentford look every bit Manchester City’s equals, as Ederson was forced to make an acrobatic stop to save an own goal from Ruben Dias and the Bees had multiple chances to score, ultimately denied by Joao Cancelo’s goal-line clearance, from the ensuing corner kick. 53 seconds later, the ball was in the back of Brentford’s net. “Demoralizing” is the word that comes to mind.

2. VAR controversy returns: After an offseason rule change, the first four-plus months of the Premier League season were relatively VAR controversy-free, as goals were no longer being wiped away for — and this is only a slight exaggeration — having an arm hair hanging over the imaginary offside line. On Tuesday, Harry Kane had a winning goal taken off the board in that exact fashion. On Wednesday, Foden’s goal was ruled onside by what appeared to be roughly the same margin as Aymeric Laporte was later ruled offside. Old habits die hard, apparently.

3. Incredible industry keeps Brentford in it: With 20 points from their first 18 games, the Bees are nicely positioned to potentially avoid this season’s relegation battle. If you watch Brentford play anyone (it doesn’t matter who) for 15 minutes, you’ll quickly understand why: They have a crystal clear identity and set of ideas they wish to execute, as they believe it gives them their best chance to secure a result in each game. They have shown themselves to be far too good for the relegation zone, and a truly tricky challenge for the top sides. It’s not so much that they play and defend hard (they do) as the fact they do so with high-level intelligence and intent. Set pieces remain their best threat for goals, but they’re hardly a clunky attacking side like, say, Burnley or Stoke City of yesteryear.

Man of the Match: Kevin De Bruyne - The Belgian assisted Foden on his goal, placed the ball on Aymeric Laporte’s head for a second goal that was ruled out for offside by millimeters and generally ran the game from midfield. Par for the course.

Brentford vs Manchester City highlights

Phil Foden cushions De Bruyne’s cross home for 1-0 (goal video)

Foden couldn’t have timed his run in behind Brentford’s defense any better, and Kevin De Bruyne’s cross couldn’t have been any more accurately or deftly placed in his path, and Foden couldn’t have slotted it home any more casually.

Follow @AndyEdMLS