Brentford stuns Manchester City as Toney stars
Brentford caused a huge shock as they beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium with Ivan Toney grabbing both goals.
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Toney scored in the first half to make it 1-0 but Phil Foden hammered home to make it 1-1 just before the break and it seemed like City would go on to win. But it was Brentford who had the better chances and Toney popped up in the 98th minute to grab a famous victory for the Bees.
With the win, their first away from home this season, Brentford move on to 19 points and sit in the top 10. After suffering their first home defeat since February, Manchester City remain second in the table and league leaders Arsenal have opened up a five-point lead on them heading into the World Cup break.
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 into the last England squad but not the World Cup squad as Callum Wilson was preferred to him. Toney headed home the opener, grabbed the winner in stoppage time and was denied a hat trick by Kevin de Bruyne’s goal-line clearance. He caused chaos throughout and it took incredible character to play the way he did after the disappointment of this week.
Wobbly Haaland struggles to have impact: The amount of times Erling Haaland fell to the floor or didn’t time his run correctly was quite shocking. He is coming back from an injury which has impacted him over the last few weeks and even if he was fit to play this game, he looked rusty and like Bambi on ice at times. Haaland is one of those players who needs to be firing on all cylinders and totally fit to have an impact on a game and it looked like he had been patched out to be out there against Brentford.
Bees deservedly grab all three points: They defended well in a deep block, were courageous on the counter attack and should have scored more. This Brentford side looked hungry and they played the set-pieces well and snapped into tackles and made it so difficult for City. Given all of their defensive issues so far this season, they sit comfortably in midtable and there certainly hasn’t been a Sophomore slump. If anything, this Brentford is better than the 2021-22 version. What a job Thomas Frank is doing.
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Brentford were excellent in a bank of five defensively and had such a threat on the counter. City’s back four was all over the place and when they did get the ball into the final third they rushed crosses and passes as they were so keen to go ahead. This was a very panicked City display and they just kept overhitting crosses to Haaland and he never seemed settled to attack the ball.
Stars of the show
Ivan Toney: Scored twice, came close on several occasions to getting another and was a constant nuisance.
Phil Foden: Lashed home a beauty and created so many openings for his teammates with silky passes and brilliant runs.
Rico Henry: Superb display from left wing-back and he just keeps getting better and better.
Man City host Liverpool in the League Cup last 16 on the week commencing Dec. 19 and they return to PL action on Dec. 28 at Leeds United. Brentford are next in action on Dec. 26 as they host Tottenham in the first PL game after the break.
How to watch Manchester City vs Brentford live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 7:30am ET, SaturdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Erling Haaland has been bit of an injury doubt after his recent ankle issues but he was fit enough to jump off the bench and score a stoppage time winner against Fulham last time out in the league. Guardiola starts him and if he’s only fit enough for 60 minutes, Julian Alvarez is a wonderful back up option. Aside from that, City want to keep the pressure on Arsenal as a win here would put them a point ahead of the Gunners who head to Wolves later on Saturday. For Brentford it’s all about trying to put in a more balanced display, which has been tough given all of their recent defensive injuries. Getting a point would be huge and would push them a little further away from the relegation zone as 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 been warming up for the World Cup very nicely and has been superb, while Rodri is dominating midfield, Ilkay Gundogan has been class and Julian Alvarez is stepping up admirably whenever Haaland needs a bit of a break. Brentford’s Ivan Toney is back for this game after he missed the draw at Forest last weekend due to suspension, while Bryan Mbuemo is getting back to his best and Ben Mee has been a very good addition in defense.
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup
Kyle Walker is still out through injury but everybody else is fit. Haaland starts despite his recent injury issue, while Kalvin Phillips could get some valuable minutes off the bench as he aims to build up his fitness after a long-term shoulder issue and despite that he was named on the England squad.
🔵 TEAM NEWS 🔵— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 12, 2022
XI | Ederson, Stones, Akanji, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, Haaland, Foden
SUBS | Ortega Moreno, Dias, Phillips, Grealish, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis #ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/KjrbnIzIZ4
Brentford team news, injuries, lineup
Kristoffer Ajer, Pontus Jansson, Aaron Hickey, Charlie Goode, Thomas Strakosha and Shandon Baptiste all remain out. Ivan Toney returns to the attacking unit after his suspension and that’s a huge boost for the Bees, although Toney just missed out on the England squad so it will be intriguing to see how he responds to that disappointment.