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Manchester City vs Brentford at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Darren England
9th February 2022 7:45 PM (GMT)
  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘40' Riyad Mahrez (Pen)
    • ‘69' Kevin De Bruyne
  • 0 Brentford


Commentary By John Edwards


Over and out

That's all from me this evening.

It's a job well done for City, who were in control throughout the contest and reaped our rewards with goals from the in form Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne. 

We're now unbeaten in 14 games in the Premier League and 12 points clear at the top of the table, with a trip to Norwich City to come on Saturday evening. 

I hope you can join us for that one, but before then, you can check out all the match reaction below.

Highlights will be available from midnight on, when you will also be able to watch a full-match replay on CITY+.

Enjoy the rest of your week, Blues!


Match stats

🔹 We have won the last 20 Premier League games in which we have taken the lead.

🔹 We have won 18 successive league matches on a Wednesday since a 2-1 loss at Leicester City on Boxing Day 2018.

🔹 Riyad Mahrez has scored in seven successive appearances in all competitions.


Guardiola on the title race

"Liverpool have two games to play then we see the gap - 14 games to play, many points to play for and more tough games like today.

"Everyone is tough competition, but it is impressive at this stage to have 60 points - we have done incredibly well so far."


Pep Guardiola: A satisfying performance

"They are so difficult to attack. Aggressive, high pressing, we build up they drop and defend so deep. Be patient, make no mistakes and in the end we got the result.

"Very satisfied with the performance. We conceded one shot, a few corners and were patient. Difficult when they defend deep with 10 players in their 18-yard box."


Raheem Sterling: City focused on ourselves

This win stretches City's lead at the top of the table to 12 points, but Raheem Sterling's focus remains on the next game, rather than what might happen at the end of the season.

"It's another game, we move on step by step, that's all we can do - keep trying to win and not looking at anyone else." 


Raheem Sterling: Brentford difficult to break down

"They are a difficult side to break down but we stuck to it and got two goals. We tried to keep creating chances and hopefully take one.

"They defended well and had a tight unit. We just had to keep probing and try to find the gaps."


As it stands

We move 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League table, though Liverpool could reduce that lead should they beat Leicester City on Thursday. 


Reaction to come

We'll bring you the reaction of Raheem Sterling and Pep Guardiola as soon as we can. 

Stay tuned to hear their thoughts on tonight's game.


Results elsewhere

Norwich 1-1 Crystal Palace

Tottenham Hotspur 2-3 Southampton

It's 3-3 between Aston Villa and Leeds United, which is still in play.


Full-time: City 2-0 Brentford

A Riyad Mahrez penalty and a Kevin De Bruyne goal complete a routine victory for City, who get back to winning ways in the Premier League to stretch our unbeaten run to 14 games. 

Lovely stuff!


Late scare

Ederson denies Wissa with a brilliant reflex save from point blank range, but it wouldn't have counted anyway as the assistant flags for offside. 



Grealish flashes an inviting ball across the face of goal, but there's no one there to get on the end of it so De Bruyne collects out wide and restarts the play.

All 11 Brentford players in their own half.


Final five

It looks as if City are content to see the game out from here. We're keeping the ball well, slowing the pace of the game in a bid to halt any hopes of a late Brentford comeback.



A rare chance for Brentford as Jensen swings a corner in from the left.

Ederson gets a fist to it before Rodrigo sticks out a leg to block Wissa's effort.



City are in full flow now.

An intricate passing move finishes with De Bruyne picking out Cancelo with a low cross. 

The defender sees his shot charged down inside the area, but it breaks for Rordrigo, who drills a low effort towards the bottom corner and Raya does superbly well to turn it round the post.



City have got their tails up after that goal, popping the ball around nicely in midfield.

Joao Cancelo has just gone close again, moving inside on his right foot and trying his luck from 20-yards, but it deflects off a Brentford defender and goes behind for a corner, which fails to produce an opportunity.



Changes for both sides after that goal.

Phil Foden is withdrawn for Ilkay Gundogan and Brentford send on Yoann Wissa in place of Frank Onyeka.


GOAL! City 2-0 Brentford (De Bruyne)

Kevin De Bruyne out of nowhere!

It's a goal all of Brentford's own making as David Raya plays a poor pass to Jensen on the edge of his own area.

Sterling steals in and the Bee's goalkeeper makes a superb recovery save but De Bruyne is there to turn in the rebound with the Spaniard stranded.

We needed that!



Brentford get a chance to counter as Mbeumo gets his skates on to motor away from the half way line.

The substitute is all on his own, though, and when by the time he reaches the penalty area, he's marshalled by Stones before De Bruyne steals in to nick the ball away.

Fantastic work rate from the Belgian.



Ederson is called into action again as Cancelo can only clear a cross as far as Roerslev, who picks out Onyeka with cross.

It's a difficult angle for the midfielder, who is side on, but manages to dig a first time effort out that flies straight at the City 'keeper.


Aerial attack

Brentford send men forward as they win another free-kick on halfway, which Raya launches into the box.

Pinnock meets it, sending a header towards goal, but Ederson makes a confident claim.


Well held

Bernardo Silva calls Raya into action as he finds half a yard in the middle of the pitch and unleashes at 25-yard effort.

The Portuguese tries to pick out the top corner but the Brentford 'keeper covers his angles well and plucks it out of the air.



That is brilliant from Joao Cancelo!

He weaves past three men inside the area, beating Roeslev, Onyeka and Ajer beforing firing an at goal from six-yards, but Raya gets down well to make a smart save. 

Superb stuff from the full-back.


Warming up

It's Ilkay Gundogan's turn to get himself warm. He gets a great reception from the home crowd, as does Oleks Zinchenko as he follws the German down the touch line.



Oh that is a wonderful hit from Joao Cancelo, who is desperately unlucky to not see the net ripple.

The full-back collects the ball 25-yards from goal and tries to pick out the top corner, but he gets a bit too much on it and it flashes just over the bar.

Great technique!



Sterling wins a free-kick from Roerslev deep on the left.

De Bruyne takes responsibility for it, but he can't beat the first man and it's cleared by the visitors.


Changes coming?

Ederson was fine to continue after he was hurt saving Henry's effort just before the break, but Zack Steffen has been sent out to warm up here.

Perhaps it's just a precaution, but Guardiola clearly wants his No.2 to be ready if needed. 

Walker and Ake also warming up.


Trevor Sinclair: Two 'keepers needed for Mahrez penalty

"Excellent penalty. He’s gone both ways before, we saw at the AFCON, the goalkeeper's looked at bottles to see where they’d go but if you mix it up like Mahrez, you’ve got them on toast. 

"I don’t think two goalkeepers would’ve saved that."


Esme Morgan 🗣️

Our women's first team defender is pitch side talking to Natalie Pike and she has just delivered some good news regarding her injury status. 

"It’s going really well. I had a week off last week to rejuvenate myself. I am progressing really well so hopefully in a few weeks’ time I’ll be able to get my boots back on."

Can't wait to see her back out on the pitch! 

P.S She's predicting we'll extend our lead in the second half.


Darius Vassell: Goal a good platform

"I think it was as expected, City dominated, not with chances but with possession. But Brentford had chances on the break which is where they’d get success today. 

"City won't be totally pleased, they’ll want more chances but going in a goal ahead at the break stands us in good stead."


Half-time analysis

Trevor Sinclair and Darius Vassell are sharing their thoughts on the opening 45 minutes on Matchday Live.

Tune in at the top of the page.


Half-time: City 1-0 Brentford

Riyad Mahrez's penalty is the difference here.

On the balance of play, it is a deserved lead for City, but Brentford have certainly made life difficult for us.

It's far from over, this one!



It's another good opportunity for City, as Cancelo releases Sterling down the left.

He gets to the byline, draws Raya, cuts back sharply and tries to pick out Foden, but there's too many defenders in the way and he's crowded out before he can get a shot off. 



From one end to the other here as Ederson makes a big save after Stones slips at the worst moment as he tries to control Cancelo's crossfield ball.

It allows Henry to steal in and race clear of the right-back, exchanging passes with Ghoddos before angling an effort towards the far corner, which Ederson does brilliantly together.

It was brave from the 'keeper too, who too a blow to neck as a Brentford attacker raced in for the rebound.

After a quick check from the medics he's fine to continue. 



We don't see that often!

There's some miscommunication as a blocked Brentford shot roles through to Ederson.

The 'keeper thinks it's his, but Dias takes no chances and plays it behind for a corner, which, thankfully, comes to nothing.


Inches away!

Oh that is desperately unlucky from Aymeric Laporte, who shows the composure of a seasoned striker!

The set-piece is launched into the Brentford box, where Dias rises highest to guide it into the Frenchman's path and he has the presence of mind to bring it under control before trying to place one into the far corner. 

Just wide!



Loud appeals from the City crowd as Brentford skipper Jansson clatters Foden in the air and the referee agrees. Free-kick midway in the visitors half. 



It's felt like it would take something special to break this Brentford defence down and Raheem Sterling has just done his best to provide.

He's picked out at the far post by a curling cross from Foden and twists his body to execute a scissor kick but he doesn't connect cleanly and it sails over the bar.

Worth a go! 



A change of tact from City, who abandon working it wide in favour of some neat interplay on the edge of the area between De Bruyne, Foden and Bernardo.

The trio exchange passes, which creates a gap for the Belgian, but he is marshalled out of the way by a defender before he can pull the trigger.



It's been a fairly methodical game from City so far, but Riyad Mahrez has provided an injunction of energy. 

He checks inside on his left foot and curls a low ball to the far post, which Raya is forced to push away, but the goalkeeper sends it only as far as Cancelo who can only blaze over under pressure. 

That's the best bit of goalmouth action we've had so far.



De Bruyne to Cancelo, who sends in another cross from the left but it's Raya who gets their first again.

City have another go down the right, but but Jensen heads Mahrez centre clear. 

It's a stubborn Bees' defence we're facing tonight!



City move the ball from right to left as Mahrez switches it to Cancelo with a pinpoint delivery. The Portuguese gets to the byline and digs out a cross, but it's comfortably gathered at the near post by Raya.

25 minutes gone and you'd feel Brentford will be happy with how they've restricted us so far.


Let off

A first real scare for City, as Pinnock sends a long ball forward for Jensen, who checks inside Cancelo and tries to whip an effort inside Ederson's near post.

The Brazilian is equal to it, palming it away, but it matters not as the assistant referee flags for offside. 



City win a free-kick deep in their own half as Henry manhandles Rodrigo in an attempt to get the ball back.

There was only going to be one winner in a physical battle between those two, but the Bees' full-back has made a strong start here. 



Another corner for City as Mahrez spots the run of Bernardo and slides a ball through to the byline. The Portuguese attempts to cut it back into the six-yard box but Pinnock gets his body in the away. 

"We love you City, we do" rings out around the Etihad!



Foden whips a delightful free-kick in from the lift, but Henry is again there at the far post to nod it behind for a corner.

Mahrez delivers from the right ad it's a Brentford head on it again before City regroup and start to build another attack...



Cancelo's teasing cross is nodded behing by Henry, who had Mahrez lurking behind him.

The resulting corner is cleared and Brentford have the chance to break, but, with players racing through the middle, Canos overhits his pass which and Ederson gathers comfortably. 



Raya launches a free-kick deep into City territory. The imposing figure of Pinnock is the target, but Stones uses his body well to prevent the defender making a clean connection as he tries to head the ball into the area. 

All Brentford's attacks have come through the goalkeeper so far. 


Penned in

Eleven Brentford players within 35-yards of their own goal as City move the ball around midfield, patiently waiting for an opening.

It doesn't come, though and the visitors get the chance to regroup with a throw in on halfway. 

Both teams have set their stalls out, here, and Brentford seem content to try and contain City and wait for the counter/set pieces. 


Knocked off

Raheem Sterling is twisting and turning on the left flank in a bid to get something going for City, but he's crowded out by two Bees' defenders, before Onyeka gets his body in to steal the ball back.

City certainly on the front foot, which is what Thomas Frank predicted before KO!


Snuffed out

Raya makes no mistake with his clearance this time, thumping it to the edge of the City area for Ghoddos, who had stolen a yard on Dias, but it comes to nothing as the Portuguese expertly manoeuvres him off the ball.  


Early opening

The first chance of the evening goes City's way as Rodrigo and De Bruyne combine in midfield before the Belgian whips in a cross, which Foden heads over from a bout 15-yards.

Would have taken some doing to steer it in from there!



A big let off for David Raya as he pings a clearance straight at Mahrez, but Foden is well offside as the Algerian heads the ball back into his path.

Risky stuff from the visitors. 


Shaping up

Plenty of questions on how we would line up before kick-off and I can confirm it's a four man defence. 

Stones at right back with Cancelo on the opposite flank. Foden leading the line up front. 



Ederson gives us an early example of his amazing calmness under pressure.

Brentford go long with goalkeeper David Raya from kick-off, which allows John Stones to knock the ball back to the Brazilian.

He coolly plays it out to Joao Cancelo, just before Sergi Canos can nip in to steal the ball on the goal line.

Cool as you like!



Here we go then... 

Brentford's Saman Ghoddos gets us under way, with City attacking the South Stand in the first half. 



Lights out

There's a bold and bright start to proceedings here as an impressive light show accompanies the team announcement (which included the starting XIs names being beamed onto the pitch).

Hey Jude is blaring out and we are minutes away from kick-off, so here is your reminder of how the two teams line up.

CITY: Ederson, Stones, Dias (C), Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden.

BRENTFORD: Raya, Roerslav, Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry, Jensen, Norgaard, Onyeka, Ghoddos, Canos. 


John Salako: Survival Brentford's priority

Sky Sports pundit and former England international John Salako is in attendance tonight.

Synonymous with Crystal Palace, he spent his final season as a professional with Brentford, but he's not feeling too optimistic tonight.

A 3-0 win to City is his prediction and here are some of his thoughts:

"Survival for half the teams in this league is the priority. For Brentford, staying up would be beyond their wildest dreams. The start of the season was a honeymoon, but when you play in the Premier League this is reality. You get to February and you need to win games.

"It is heating up down the bottom. It is imperative they get points in the board, but when you come to places like this you don’t want to get beat four, five or six nil. You want to enjoy this. It is something you remember all your career."


Darius Vassell: Brentford have to be realistic

Our former striker doesn't think Thomas Frank was joking when he isn't expecting to get a result at his pre-match press conference.

"I listened to Frank’s interview and even he said he’d be surprised getting anything. I think it might’ve been the language barrier but I do believe they don’t expect to get much. It’ll be difficult because everyone’s fighting for something. 

"They’re at the wrong end of the table, these will be games where they look to get out of it unscathed with no injuries or big defeats. I know it might sound disrespectful but you’ve got to be realistic. The players will think that too."


Warm up antics

There is what appears to be a fairly competitive game of 'no bounce' going on amongst our substitutes this evening, with Nathan Ake showing some particularly impressive touches off his shoulder. 

And there's plenty of debate as to who's at fault when the ball does eventually touch the floor!

Liam Delap is the latest player to let the ball drop so he goes in the middle as the lads move onto a Rondo.


Trevor Sinclair: Blooding youngsters 'the culture of the club'

"It’s a culture at the club, Cole Palmer’s got some minutes for the first team ,gone to the academy and scored a hat-trick. It’s not about talent, it’s about culture and setting good example, setting a standard and humbling yourself. 

"He could’ve gone over there, been tripping over his lip and feeling sorry for himself but he’s not got that mentality. They’re all going out there and showing why they’re in the first team squad."


Darius Vassell: Sterling a nightmare for defenders

"He sets his standard so high and makes it look like a dip in form if he has a quiet game but that’s a victim of his success. If you talk to defenders, he’s one of the players you’d hate to play against every game. He brings so much to the table, his end product comes to form and the players around him complement him. He can also play in any of the front three positions and can move around which is hell for defenders."


Trevor Sinclair: Frank won't know what to expect from City

Our Matchday Live guests thinks the visiting manager could well be confused by how City are going to line up. 

He wouldn't be the only one! 😂

"Put yourself in Thomas Frank’s shoes - he’s wondering what formation we’re going to play! You could play Laporte on the left and a flat back four or play a three and move one of the players into a wing back. 

"Once the game starts it’s adaptable too, they could change it up. Looking forward to seeing what the setup is. 

"When you’re an elite manager, sometimes you set up with a formation to get the other manager to think you’re going with it but then switch it back and try and catch the opposition manager out."


Formation watch

With Joao Cancelo the only full-back in a starting XI that contains three centre-backs, it is difficult to predict how City will line up this evening.

It could be a three man defence, with the Cancelo operating as a wing-back, or, perhaps it will be the usual four at the back with Aymeric Laporte operating at left-back.

Maybe even John Stones could be deployed at right-back!

We'll have to wait until kick-off to find out, but further forward the team should look more familiar, with Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo in midfield behind a front three of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden.


Brentford team

The big news for the visitors is that Ivan Toney misses out as Thomas Frank makes three changes from Saturday's FA Cup defeat to Everton.

A minor calf injury keeps the striker out so he drops out of the starting XI alongside Mads Bech Sorensen and Vitaly Janelt.

They are replaced by Ethan Pinnock, Frank Onyeka and Saman Ghoddos.

XI: Raya, Roerslav, Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry, Jensen, Norgaard, Onyeka, Ghoddos, Canos. 

SUBS: Fernandez, Lossl, Dasilva, Wissa, Mbeumo, Baptiste, Sorensen, Stevens.


Team news

City make six changes for this evening's game.

Ederson, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling all come into the starting line-up, with Zack Steffen, Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, Fernandinho, Jack Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan dropping to the bench.

XI: Ederson, Stones, Dias (C), Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden.

SUBS: Steffen, Walker, Ake, Gundogan, Grealish, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Delap, McAtee.


Michael Brown: Watch out for Brentford's set-pieces

Our former midfield is expecting City to dominate possession here tonight, but thinks Pep Guardiola's men will need to be careful not to give too many set-pieces away.

"They’re one of the best set piece teams in the league, that tells you straight away where the threat comes from with Ivan Toney leading the line. I think they have a good shape out of possession and are really hard to beat at times, there’s been some really low score-lines for the Club that they’ve set.

“They try to be brave late on, come forward and counter attack you and they’re dangerous from long throws. I expect City to have far too much of the ball at the Etihad, they just won’t want to get counter attacked like against Fulham, hopefully it will be a comfortable day.”


Thomas Frank: Brentford result would be a surprise

It's fair to say the Bees' boss knows how difficult it will be for his team tonight!

"If we go and get something out of the match it’ll be one of the biggest surprises in this year’s Premier League," he said at his pre-match press conference.

"Manchester City are the clear number one in the league, playing some brilliant football and having a fantastic season. Taking that aside it’s still 11 vs 11 tomorrow night. We are looking forward to a massive challenge, maybe our biggest of the season, but it is about believing that you can get something out of it and giving it a massive go."


Guardiola: Eriksen return great news

Christian Eriksen may not be expected to feature tonight, but Pep Guardiola is delighted to see him back playing after the Dane signed a six-month deal with Brentford on transfer deadline day.

"It’s great news he has come back to play a game he loves and do what he does well. The doctors take all measures to ensure he won't suffer again. It’s good news for him, his family and Brentford."


Early team news

We’ll find out today’s teams in 30 minutes time, but we do already know who won’t be involved for City.

Pep Guardiola confirmed both Gabriel Jesus and Cole Palmer remain sidelined with injury, though the boss thinks the Brazilian striker is closing in on a return. 

Other than that, we have a clean bill of health.

Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa are back in contention for Brentford after missing the FA Cup defeat by Everton due to COVID-19.

New signing Christian Eriksen has begun training with the squad but is still thought to be several weeks away from a return to competitive action.


Get involved 📱

Two and half weeks have passed since our last Premier League game, but City come into this game on the back of positive 4-1 win over Championship leaders Fulham. 

Guardiola’s men have looked in fine form over the last three months, so can that continue today?

Let us know your thoughts, predictions and preferred team using #ManCity on Twitter and, don’t forget, you can ask a question to our Matchday Live panel by messaging +447537186538 on WhatsApp. 


Matchday Live

We are joined by Trevor Sinclair and Darius Vassell for this evening’s Matchday Live and the former City duo will be alongside presenter Natalie Pike in the studio at the Etihad Stadium.

The show gets under way at 18:40 (UK), with an hour of pre-match build-up before reconvening at both half-time and full-time, when our panel will provide their thoughts on the action.

It’s a perfect blend of City focused entertainment and analysis and the perfect accompaniment to your matchday viewing. 

During the game you can listen to live audio commentary from Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison right here in the Matchday Centre.

Both Matchday Live and match commentary can be accessed at the top of this page.


City v Brentford

Good evening!

Welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s Premier League game against Brentford

The two teams played out a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium in September, but Pep Guardiola’s men will be aiming to take all three points in the reverse fixture as we look to record a 13th consecutive league victory.

Kick-off is at 19:45 (UK) and you are in the right place to follow all the action, as I’ll be providing live updates throughout the build-up, match action and post-match reaction.

Stay tuned!

Other games that day

  • Norwich City1
    Crystal Palace1
  • Tottenham Hotspur2
  • Aston Villa3
    Leeds United3

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Liverpool 22 +39 48
3 Chelsea 24 +30 47
4 West Ham United 24 +11 40
5 Manchester United 23 +6 39
6 Arsenal 21 +8 36
7 Tottenham Hotspur 21 +1 36
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 +3 34
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 0 30
10 Southampton 23 -7 28
11 Aston Villa 22 -4 27
12 Leicester City 20 -3 26
13 Crystal Palace 23 -3 25
14 Brentford 24 -14 23
15 Leeds United 22 -16 23
16 Everton 21 -13 19
17 Newcastle United 22 -20 18
18 Norwich City 23 -32 17
19 Watford 22 -18 15
20 Burnley 20 -11 14
Link To Full Table