Brentford 1-3 Man City: Player ratings as Foden hat-trick seals comeback win

  • Man City come from behind to beat Brentford
  • Phil Foden grabs hat-trick after Neal Maupay opened scoring
  • Champions now only two points behind leaders Liverpool with game in hand

Foden left Brentford in his wake
Foden left Brentford in his wake / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

FROM GTECH COMMUNITY STADIUM - Manchester City moved to within two points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 3-1 victory at Brentford on Monday night.

A fine hat-trick from Phil Foden saw the reigning champions come from behind to win in west London having been given an early scare by the Bees.

City moved back into second place on goal difference, while Brentford are now only three points above the relegation zone.

How the game unfolded

Brentford started brightly but City went closest to taking an early lead when Julian Alvarez fired at the near post from 20 yards, forcing a fine save out of Mark Flekken.

The Dutch goalkeeper was on hand to thwart City again when Kyle Walker let fly from even further out after the Bees cleared a corner, pushing the right-back's fierce drive behind.

Midway through the first half, Brentford took a shock lead. Flekken's long goal kick was shielded into the path of Neal Maupay by Ivan Toney, and the Frenchman made no mistake when one-on-one with Ederson, sliding the ball into the far corner.

City should have levelled soon after going behind when they nicked possession back from a sloppy Vitaly Janelt back-pass, but Erling Haaland's strike was kept out by the out-stretched toe of Flekken.

A deep cross from Sergio Reguilon caused Ederson problems and had to palmed to safety by the City goalkeeper to prevent it from creeping in at the far post as Brentford pushed for a second.

Flekken nearly lost his hero status when he spilled a shot from Foden, though he was spared his blushes by the ball trickling past the other side of the post.

On the stroke of half-time, City found their leveller. Kevin De Bruyne's cross was headed away by Ethan Pinnock but only as far as Foden, who had time to take a touch with his chest before lashing a half-volley past a flat-footed Flekken.

Shortly after the break, Foden had a brace. De Bruyne's cross from the left found the diminutive playmaker all alone in the box with both Pinnock and Ben Mee marking Erling Haaland, and City's number 47 guided the ball into the far corner with a delicate header.

Brentford went close to equalising on the hour mark. Reguilon's deep cross was helped back across by Toney to Christian Norgaard, whose shot was crucially blocked by Ruben Dias.

Gvardiol then came up big with a block to deny Maupay following a well-worked corner routine as City were put under increasing pressure.

But City killed off the game when Foden wrapped up his hat-trick. The visitors kept possession for an extended spell, slowly trying to open Brentford up, with Rodri's eventual pass into Haaland laid off to Foden, and he scampered away to roll the ball under Flekken.

Brentford player ratings (5-3-2)

Neal Maupay
Brentford made the perfect start / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Mark Flekken - 7/10 - Imperious in the first half, coming to Brentford's rescue on plenty of occasions. Gloss came off his performance as City took control after the break.

RB: Mads Roerslev - 5/10 - Often subjected to moans from home fans when blindly clearing the ball.

CB: Nathan Collins - 6/10 - Came up with his fair share of blocks and clearances but it wasn't to be his night.

CB: Ethan Pinnock - 5/10 - The usually monstrous Pinnock helped change the complexion of the game with a poor clearance straight to Foden for City's equaliser.

CB: Ben Mee - 5/10 - Got dragged inside by Haaland allowing Foden to put City in front on the night.

LB: Sergio Reguilon - 7/10 - A fine performance from the Spaniard reminiscent of his early Tottenham days, nipping in with key challenges and keeping his head when on the ball.

CM: Mathias Jensen - 6/10 - A threat on set pieces and always got his head up to try and open the game up.

CM: Christian Norgaard - 6/10 - Chipped in with several interceptions and tackles but had a little too much on his plate, which is to be expected against City.

CM: Vitaly Janelt - 4/10 - Cheaply gave the ball away on occasion when Brentford needed control.

CF: Neal Maupay - 8/10 - Took his goal well and worked his socks off for the cause. Couldn't get up to as much s***housery on this occasion.

CF: Ivan Toney - 6/10 - A clever piece of play led to Maupay's opener but found it hard to get the better of Dias aside from that.


SUB: Keane Lewis Potter (76' for Roerslev) - 5/10

SUB: Yehor Yarmoliuk (76' for Janelt) - 5/10

SUB: Mikkel Damsgaard (76' for Jensen) - 5/10

SUB: Kristoffer Ajer (79' for Reguilon) - 5/10

SUB: Shandon Baptiste (90' for Maupay) - N/A

Subs not used: Thomas Strakosha (GK), Zanka, Benjamin Fredrick, Shandon Baptiste, Ethan Brierley


Thomas Frank - 6/10 - Brentford's first-half performance was probably their best all season, but they just couldn't cope with City's quality for 90 minutes. No shame in that.

Manchester City player ratings (4-1-4-1)

Phil Foden
City head home with the points / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Ederson - 5/10 - Made some strange decisions racing out of his box from time to time.

RB: Kyle Walker - 6/10 - Didn't let Reguilon have everything his own way despite the Spaniard's fine performance. Was never to be beaten in a race.

CB: Ruben Dias - 8/10 - Stifled Toney in an old-fashioned physical matchup. Produced some important blocks too.

CB: Nathan Ake - 6/10 - Unlike Dias, Ake did have trouble dealing with Toney, leading to Brentford's opening goal.

LB: Josko Gvardiol - 5/10 - Still trying to figure out his place in this City side. Never seemed confident when picking the ball up in the final third.

DM: Rodri - 7/10 - Every touch was so clean and effortless. Came up with the penetrative pass for Foden's clincher.

RW: Bernardo Silva - 6/10 - Like Rodri was a master manipulator of the ball but he found it tough to break down Brentford.

AM: Kevin De Bruyne - 8/10 - Took the game by the scruff of the neck with a series of crosses and through balls into the Brentford box.

AM: Julian Alvarez - 5/10 - Tested Flekken twice early on but wasn't involved too much thereafter.

LW: Phil Foden - 10/10 - Utterly outstanding. Brentford couldn't pin him down or even track him for the most part.

CF: Erling Haaland - 7/10 - Didn't have much luck in way of making his own chances but managed to create space for others with his movement. Grabbed an assist for his troubles too.


SUB: Jeremy Doku (71' for Silva) - 6/10

SUB: Mateo Kovacic (86' for Haaland) - N/A

Subs not used: Stefan Ortega (GK), Manuel Akanji, John Stones, Rico Lewis, Matheus Nunes, Jack Grealish, Oscar Bobb


Pep Guardiola - 7/10 - City were given a scare but they stuck to their guns and carried out a professional job.

Player of the match - Phil Foden (Manchester City)