Manchester City vs Brentford: The defending Premier League champions extended their unbeaten run to 14 games (13W-1D-0L) with a 2-0 victory over the Bees at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
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Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring from the penalty spot not long before halftime and Kevin De Bruyne finished the game off midway through the second half.
Manchester City vs Brentford final score, stats, results
Final score: Manchester City 2, Brentford 0
Goal scorers: Manchester City (Mahrez 40′ – PK, De Bruyne 69′), Brentford (None)
Shots: Manchester City 15, Brentford 6
Shots on target: Manchester City 7, Brentford 2
Possession: Manchester City 75%, Brentford 25%
3 things we learned – Manchester City vs Brentford
1. Man City still not at their best: For the last few weeks — beginning with their 1-0 victory over Brentford, coincidentally enough — Pep Guardiola’s side wasn’t able to clear third gear in a run of three straight one-goal victories (two by a 1-0 margin). To which you might say, “But they haven’t needed a fourth or fifth gear to win those games.” Once again on Wednesday, they didn’t need anything more than that to beat Brentford, and it’s a good thing they didn’t, because they didn’t have any more for the Bees.
2. Talent deficit exposed in bad patch for Brentford: The Bees began the season brilliantly and were the toast of the PL after a month or two, and for good reason — they were an entertaining side trying to do more than simply exist and survive in the top tier, and they secured a few impressive results early on. Then, the injuries hit, morale dipped, morale plummeted, the fixtures never got any easier because this is the Premier League after all. Brentford were always going to be at a significant disadvantage in terms of talent and depth, but it didn’t matter as much when the team spirit and belief was sky-high, but now it’s below the dirt and it suddenly matters so, so much.
3. Brentford inching toward relegation battle: Brentford have now lost seven of their last eight PL games dating back to Boxing Day. The lone victory in that run, 2-1 over Aston Villa on Jan. 2, came at a critical time (or, so it seemed back then), just when the Bees were coming into focus for the bottom-six sides. Every win is massive down near the bottom of the table — for the points and the morale boost. Similarly, each defeat starts to feel like three points have been subtracted from the previous total, and the Bees are doing a lot more losing than drawing or winning these days. The gap between Brentford (23 points) in 14th and Norwich City in 18th is now just six points. Everyone currently below Brentford has played either the same number of games, or fewer.
Man of the Match: Joao Cancelo – The Portuguese left back led Manchester City with 117 touches, but also took six shots (two on target) and arguably should have scored a goal of his own. Another fine outing for a Best XI lock.
Manchester City vs Brentford highlights
Riyad Mahrez converts penalty kick after Raheem Sterling fouled (goal video)
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