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Manchester City 1-2 Brentford: Match Report, Player Ratings and Fan Reaction

All the reaction as Manchester City suffer a shock home defeat

Manchester City suffered a rare home defeat as they were hit by an Ivan Toney sucker punch in stoppage time, meaning that Arsenal will be spending Christmas atop the Premier League.

It was the visitors that began the stronger, with Ederson producing two great saves in the first 10 minutes.

Manchester City could not deal with the aerial threat of Brentford, however, and a long ball was flicked on by Ben Mee, before Ivan Toney looped a header over the Brazilian to hand his side a shock lead.

Guardiola’s side continued to probe, but despite several penalty appeals that were turned down by VAR, it was not until first-half stoppage time that they found a reply as a corner from Kevin De Bruyne was thrashed home by Phil Foden.

City dominated the second half, with some sensational one-touch interplay between De Bruyne, Erling Haaland and Ilkay Gundogan resulting in the German blazing over the bar.

But Brentford remained a threat on the counter-attack, with only a brilliant block from Aymeric Laporte preventing Ivan Toney from having a tap-in to restore their lead.

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The result means that Manchester City stay second heading into the Christmas break, and could see them drop five points behind Arsenal should the Gunners beat Wolves later today.

Meanwhile, the Bees move above Crystal Palace into 10th ahead of the rest of the weekend’s action.

Here’s how we rated the players.

Player ratings

Manchester City

GK: Ederson – 7

Made two great saves in the opening ten minutes to keep it goalless. Kept on his toes by the away side but did well when called upon.

RB: John Stones – 6

Continued to be solid in his inverted fullback position without really excelling going forwards.

CB: Aymeric Laporte – 6

Struggled with the aerial element of Brentford’s attack, and suffered a nasty blow. Recovered to make a fantastic block to prevent a certain goal.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 5

Given a tough game by Ivan Toney.

LB: Joao Cancelo – 5

Returning from suspension, the left back lacked his usual ability on the ball and was booked for a dive as he attempted to win a penalty.

DM: Rodri – 7

Metronomic and accurate as per, went close with one effort from range too.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 5

Was tidy but not penetrative in midfield.

CM: Kevin de Bruyne – 5

A rare off day for the Belgian, who struggled for any real accuracy with his normally adventurous passing. Was beaten for the Brentford winner too, though cleared off the line moments later.

RW: Bernardo Silva – 4

Looked largely wasted on the right flank and couldn’t get into the game.

ST: Erling Haaland – 5

Anonymous when he doesn’t score, and the striker was starved of any sort of service by an industrious Brentford side.

LW: Phil Foden – 7

Fired home with a wonderful strike and always looked the most likely to make something happen for the hosts.


Julian Alvarez – 5

Made no impact on the game.


GK: David Raya – 7

Could do nothing about the equaliser but made some strong saves to keep the scores level.

RWB: Mads Roeslev – 7

Not as adventurous as Henry on the opposite flank, but kept Phil Foden largely quiet.

CB: Ben Mee – 8

Grabbed the assist for Brentford’s goal and marshalled the Brentford backline well.

CB: Ethan Pinnock – 8

Was commanding in defence and tracked the Manchester City runs well.

CB: Mathias Jorgensen – 8

Didn’t put a foot wrong all game.

LWB: Rico Henry – 8

Was a brilliant outlet and all of Brentford’s most threatening play went through the wing-back.

CM: Frank Onyeka – 6

Solid in midfield but was often played around by the Manchester City players.

CM: Matias Jensen – 7

A strong presence in the centre of the park.

CM: Vitaly Janelt – 5

Struggled to get close to the Manchester City midfielders and was taken off after an hour.

ST: Ivan Toney – 9

Clearly still frustrated by being dropped from the England squad, Toney was a threat all game, but will feel as though he could have had more than two goals.

ST: Bryan Mbuemo – 7

Worked hard and linked up well with Ivan Toney and the wingbacks.


Christian Norgaard – 6

Came on in central midfield and added some steel to Thomas Frank’s side.

Yoanne Wissa – 7

Added energy in both boxes without any major standout moments.

Josh Da Silva – N/A

Only on for the final five minutes.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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