Player rating when Cityzens works to victory


Phil Foden’s strike in the first half was enough for Manchester City to win a 1-0 victory over Brentford on Wednesday night.

The victory gives Cityzen eight points at the Premier League summit, and takes advantage of Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Leicester the night before and Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Brighton, which started earlier on Wednesday night.

It was a strenuous performance from Pep Guardiola’s men, but one that signals ten straight league victories and one that consolidates its place at the top of the table against 2022.

In what was a tight opening change, City breathed a sigh of relief after Ederson showed fantastic reflexes to keep Yoane Wissas’ rejected cross from his net before Joao Cancelo cleared the line from the resulting corner.

Guardiola’s team broke through and immediately took the lead after overcoming that pressure from Brentford. Kevin De Bruyne’s lovely inch-perfect first-time post put the ball on a plate for Foden, who made a nice finish to convert from close range.

Starlet thought he had doubled his lead five minutes into the second half, heading into Gabriel Jesus’ whipped cross, only for a clear offside to be seen by the lineman. The visiting side most likely looked to get the second goal of the match after that, and it almost did when De Bruyne struck standing with a daisy-cutter of a left-footed strike.

A 19th goal in four games would not come true, but Aymeric Laporte also saw a nod that is not allowed with three minutes left of the match.

City eventually did enough to secure their 1-0 victory, consolidating their place at the top of the Premier League as the Bees’ 14th and nine points ahead of the relegation zone.

Ethan Pinnock and Pontus Jansson watch as Phil Foden nods in a eventually illicit goal / Chloe Knott – Danehouse / GettyImages

Alvaro Fernandez (GK) – 5/10 – Could not do much about Foden’s strike and was not called upon so much afterwards.

Ethan Pinnock (CB) – 7/10 – Good position awareness and bite into the challenge and looks the same as his star-studded opponent for most of the game.

Pontus Jansson (CB) – 7/10 – Should have done better to hold back Foden for the opening goal but was largely dominant in the heart of the three back, registered nine defensive interventions.

Mads Sorensen (CB) – 6/10 – Always put his body on the edge of his side and produced a couple of moments that really pissed the audience off.

Mathias Jensen fights with Kevin De Bruyne / Clive Rose / GettyImages

Mads Roerslev (RWB) – 6/10 – Fought persistently against the one who appeared on City’s left wing, made two tackles and pressed incessantly.

Shandon Baptiste (CM) – 5/10 – Fighting in his defensive tasks but it would have been good to see him try to influence the game further up the field, as he has shown that he can do this season.

Mathias Jensen (CM) – 7/10 – Clogged gaps really smart to stifle and limit City’s ability to play through the hosts and managed to recover with four balls.

Frank Onyeka (CM) – 5/10 – Demonstrated great dynamism as he whizzed around the pitch but seemed to fade out of the game as time went on.

Dominic Thompson (LWB) – 6/10 – Worked tirelessly, made three ball recoveries and never withered in the face of opposition.

Ivan Toney was tremendously physical all the time / Catherine Ivill / GettyImages

Yoane Wissa (ST) – 4/10 – Pressed hard but never seemed to be able to produce the crucial moment that Brentford needed.

Ivan Toney (ST) – 5/10 – Provided a decent outlet for his side and sat down all the time, especially engaged in some first-class argy-bargy with Fernandinho.

69 ‘Our first change!

What a shift, Wissa!

? 0-1? #BrentfordFC #BREMCI

– Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) December 29, 2021

Sergi Canos (ST) – 5/10

Mads Bidstrup (CM) – 5/10

Saman Ghoddos (LWB) – N / A

Eddy for action! ? #ManCity

– Manchester City (@ManCity) December 29, 2021

Ederson (GK) – 6/10 – Produced a good early stop to keep the match goalless and was then largely unconcerned.

Joao Cancelo (RB) – 7/10 – Blown upwards in the typical way, finding and using the ball so effectively in dangerous areas. Was also brilliant on the back foot and made five ball recoveries.

Ruben Dias (CB) – 6/10 – Looked bizarrely shaky in the first half, seemingly uncomfortable with Brentford’s energetic pressure and almost scored an own goal, but recovered after the break.

Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 6/10 – Played out of defense nicely, did not miss a pass all the way, and was unlucky to be called just offside when he went home late.

Nathan Åke (LB) – 6/10 – Made a couple of good recovery tackles and proved very strong in terms of air.

Kevin De Bruyne was the source of most of Manchester City’s quality / Catherine Ivill / GettyImages

Fernandinho (DM) – 7/10 – Distributed the ball brilliantly and showed his experience with an effective screening of his back four.

Bernardo Silva (CM) – 6/10 – Floated around so elusive and was crucial in much of his side’s build-up game, even if it failed to produce anything penetrating. Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 8/10 – Showed great energy in all aspects of his game, knitted moves really well and was proven to be mostly positive for the guests. Put in an amazing ball to assist his team opener and be the creator in your head all the time.

De Bruyne ➡️ The Foot ➡️ GOAL!

A beautiful delivery from the Belgian and @ManCity opens the goal scorer at Brentford! #PLonPrime #BREMCI

– Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 29, 2021

Gabriel Jesus (RW) – 5/10 – Appeared all over the store but mostly failed to penetrate a resolute Brentford back line.

Jack Grealish (CF) – 4/10 – Good movement but was barely involved in the action at all.

Phil Foden (LW) – 7/10 – Produced a clinical finish to open the score and was a general threat all the time, and tied sharply to colleagues.

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