Phil Foden's Hat-Trick Lifts Manchester City to Victory Over Brentford
|Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Manchester City at Brentford Community Stadium on February 05, 2024 in Brentford, England.(Image-Getty)
Phil Foden produced an outstanding display as his hat-trick put Manchester City two points off league leaders Liverpool as the champions came from behind to win 3-1 at Brentford.
Neal Maupay gave Brentford a surprise lead but Foden equalised just before half-time and he then added his second and third in the second half to claim the match ball.
How the match unfolded
Brentford made one change from their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last Wednesday with Sergio Reguilon coming in for Keane Lewis-Potter.
The big news for Man City was the return of Erling Haaland, who was making his first start since a 1-0 loss against Aston Villa on 6 December. Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva also returned to the side.
City started the match in control, with Mark Flekken called into action early as he denied two long-range strikes from Julian Alvarez and another from Walker.
However, it was Brentford who took a surprise lead in the 21st minute through Maupay as the French striker raced through on goal before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom-left corner.
Ivan Toney played a large part in the goal, as he held off Nathan Ake, but the official assist went to Mark Flekken, who becomes the first goalkeeper to record an assist in the Premier League since April 2023, when Brighton’s Jason Steele provided a goal against Brentford.
It is also a goal in a fifth consecutive appearance for Maupay in all competitions, his longest-ever scoring run for an English side.
Haaland then had a brilliant chance to equalise moments later when a poor backpass from Vitaly Janelt put him through on goal, but Flekken made another great save to keep Man City out.
Flekken was in inspired form in the first half, making nine saves, the most by any goalkeeper in a opening period since records began, but the visitors scored just before the break through Foden following a mistake from Ethan Pinnock as his header fell kindly to the City player, who finished past the goalkeeper.
Foden followed up his late goal in the first half with an early one in the second period as he got on the end of Kevin De Bruyne's cross and headed it past Flekken.
Brentford pushed for an equaliser, with Maupay, Toney and Christian Norgaard all going close, but they were unable to find their second goal.
Foden then completed his hat-trick and secured the win for Man City with 20 minutes to go as he finished off a well-worked move, assisted by Haaland.
Foden's third strike also meant it was a record number for goals in a single Matchweek, with 45 being scored across the 10 Premier League fixtures over the weekend.
Pep Guardiola's side ended the contest in comfortable fashion as they secure a fifth win in a row to move on to 49 points, two behind Liverpool, who have played a match more.
Brentford, who have lost seven of their last eight matches, remain in 15th on 22 points, three points above 18th-place Everton.
Brentford have lost 26 points from leading positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side and more than they gave away in their previous two campaigns combined (23).
De Bruyne, registered his 105th Premier League assist (behind only Ryan Giggs – 162 and Cesc Fabregas -111), with the Belgian racking up 33 assists in all competitions since the start of last season, nine more than any other Premier League player (Mohamed Salah next on 24).
City are only the second team to win four Premier League away games in a row having trailed in each of them, after Manchester United between September and December 2020 (six in total).
Brentford have taken just three points from their last eight Premier League games (W1 L7), after picking up 13 from their previous eight (W4 D1 L3)