Manchester City travelled to Gtech Community Stadium to be hosted by Brentford for the final match of the latest Matchweek of the 2023/2024 English Premier League Season, and Phil Foden’s hattrick became a huge blessing to Pep Guardiola’s team, who managed to complete a 3-1 comeback victory over the Bees for their 15th league win this year. Foden’s hattrick could not come at a better time than yesterday’s league encounter between Brentford and Manchester City at the former’s home, as it was the one-club man’s 250th appearance in all competitions for his professional senior career.
Foden’s Hattrick Allowed City to Storm Back Into the Game
Despite the back of eight successful wins in all competitions for the visitors, it was the home team who broke the deadlock in this Premier League clash, courtesy of controversial striker Neal Maupay. The Frenchman, who was involved in heated exchanges with the Spurs camp during the Tottenham-Brentford game last time around, was left all alone during a long ball, and he kept his cool when faced with Ederson, scoring the opening goal as a result.
The Bees’ joy did not last till the final whistle of the first 45 minutes, as Foden’s hattrick began to take over the game. Ethan Pinnock’s clearance of Kevin De Bruyne‘s pass was insufficient and the ball remained in the penalty box, allowing Foden’s hattrick to be kickstarted with a shot into the middle part of the goal for the equaliser. Guardiola’s half-time talk certainly worked its magic, since the Cityzens gained their first lead moments into the second half. De Bruyne was again involved in a Manchester City attack, with the Belgium finding Foden in the dangerous zone, who then headed in the Cityzens’ second goal of the evening.
Foden’s hattrick was completed with 20 minutes remaining in the normal playing time. The 23-year-old England international played a dummy off Rodri’s pass, and Erling Haaland was intelligent to give the ball away to the charging Foden, who slotted home the securing goal to give all 3 points for Guardiola’s side with that 3-1 comeback win. With Foden’s hattrick, he has brought his season tally to 14 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions, and the player has found the back of the net 74 times in those 250 games he has played for Manchester City at senior level, meaning he is 26 goals shy from reaching a century of goals for the Cityzens.
EPL Title Race Ignited with Foden’s Hattrick Propelling the Cityzens
With Foden’s hattrick giving the crucial 3 points in that 3-1 come-from-behind victory at Brentford for Manchester City, Pep’s Cityzens are level on points with Arsenal and 2 points adrift leaders Liverpool at 49 points at the English Premier League table with less than half a season of games to go, and the team from the Blue Half of Manchester also have another game in hand, meaning they can overtake Jürgen Klopp’s Reds if the extra match is won.
Third-placed Arsenal edged past Liverpool 3-1 at Emirates a day before the Brentford-Manchester City clash, and that monumental win over the current best team in the English top-flight football allowed them to make the title race wide open, with Manchester City also in the mix of contesting for the crown, which is potentially their fourth straight honour in the competition. Click here for the full match details between Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal and Klopp’s Liverpool at the former’s home in the 2023/2024 English Premier League Season right now!
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Pep on Foden’s Hattrick: “He Has Been So Important for Us.”
Guardiola was satisfied with Foden’s hattrick that completed the comeback win. He noted: “I said weeks ago that Phil is having his most influence on the team. He’s reading the game really well, how he can play simple and be more aggressive. He always has the pleasure to score goals and the threat when he is close to the 18-yard box. He is an exceptional player. A short age, already more than 250 games for City. That means the influence since he arrived. He loves to play football and still when you see players in the street when you are a little boy he still has this sense of amateur culture. He has been so important for us.”
In addition to snapping on questions about the respective conversations Walker and him had with Brentford’s French striker Maupay, the ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager also added a few more remarks about Foden’s hattrick and the performance throughout his professional senior career. “In terms of how he moves in small spaces. I’ve seen many really good players but the impact from Phil when he gets the ball there, he can score. The feeling that he can shoot or make an assist, it’s difficult to find this combination to move in the pockets and after be like a knife and be so aggressive and score goals,” said Guardiola.
The opposing manager from Brentford Thomas Frank, on the other hand, was pleased with his team’s showing despite the comeback defeat. “We know we have a strength there with Ivan. We don’t do it all the time but against a team that is pressing it can be effective. Credit to Mark, Ivan and Neal, they worked it out themselves. It was an OK team we were facing, I must say! A good performance from us. We do a lot of things right.” Three-time defending Premier League winners Manchester City will host Everton at Etihad whereas Brentford will be taking on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux Stadium in the English top-flight football this coming weekend next.
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— Mail Sport (@MailSport) February 5, 2024