Ivan Toney put his disdain in England behind him by scoring twice, including a stoppage-time winner, to give Brentford a memorable 2-1 win at Manchester City.
The Brentford captain produced the perfect response to Gareth Southgate’s omission from England’s 26-man squad for Qatar to surprise the reigning champions and leave Arsenal top of the league on Christmas Day.
Foden hit a wonderful volley in first-half stoppage time to equalize for the hosts, after Toney’s deserved header in the 16th minute.
City, who missed the chance to go top of the Premier League, were frustrated by a mix of poor finishing, wasteful passing and resilient Brentford defending before Toney capped a statement performance with a sensational 97th-minute winner.
Man City: Ederson (7), Stones (6), Cancelo (5), Gundogan (5), Haaland (5), Laporte (6), Rodri (6), De Bruyne (6), Silva (6), Akanji (6) , Foden (7).
Subscriptions: Alvarez (not available).
Brentford: Raya (8), Henry (7), Pinnock (7), Jensen (7), Zanka (7), Onyeka (7), Mee (7), Toney (9), Mbeumo (7), Janelt (7), Roerslev (7).
Subscriptions: Norgaard (6), Dasilva (n/a), Wissa (6).
Player of the match: Ivan Toney
As Toney gave the perfect answer
Brentford should have been ahead even before Toney took the lead. Ederson was denied by Frank Onyeka when he broke through in just the fourth minute, and then the City keeper had to save Toney’s shot from outside the box.
But there was little he could do about the goal, which came after Ben Mee headed in a free-kick and Toney got the better of Aymeric Laporte and slotted the ball over the keeper.
The hosts were denied a penalty when VAR ruled that Rico Henry had played the ball just outside the area before a second decision was denied when Kevin De Bruyne went down after a challenge from the left-back.
- Erling Haaland returned to the starting line-up for Manchester City with Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte. Those were the three changes Pep Guardiola made after last weekend’s 2-1 win over Fulham as Julian Alvarez, Nathan Ake and Jack Grealish dropped out.
- Ivan Toney started after serving a one-game suspension in the 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest. Frank Onyeka and Zanka also came on for Josh Dasilva, Yoana Wiss and Keana Lewis-Potter.
Foden, however, offered City some relief as he scored a sweet half-volley in first-half stoppage time. The goal led to a period of dominance at the start of the second half, but Ilkay Gundogan missed a clear chance and City struggled to get Erling Haaland, who returned from injury, into the game.
And so it was left to Brentford’s talisman to take center stage. Ederson denied Toney early in the 10 minutes of added time – granted due to Laporte’s long injury lay-off during the second half – but he was not going to miss from close range when Josh Dasilva played a perfect pass from six yards out. frame at the end of the split. Toney was even denied a hat-trick in the final minute after clearing the net.
Pep: We were dictated by the long balls that we lost
Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola: “The best team won, we struggled from the start and couldn’t deal with their long balls. Usually you press balls to win but this was different. They defended so deep and so well.
“Today we didn’t have the dynamics because we were dictated by the long balls that we lost. The game was so difficult, it was tight. They worked really well with the plan they had and they were better.
“We did outstanding results in the Champions League and well in the Premier League. Now we will come back and prepare for the second half of the season.”
Frank: We are just a bus station in Hounslow
Thomas Frank, head coach of Brentford: “One of the most satisfying wins we’ve had, I think the play-off final will always be the one that takes us to the promised land. But of course it’s worse.
“Talking to some people at the club, this is probably the biggest single result ever, against one of the richest clubs in the world and we have one of the lowest budgets in the division. We’re just a bus stop in Hounslow.
“From my perspective, it was well deserved if you look at the chances. I think we eliminated them. I’m incredibly proud. We’re also missing four of our starters. Amazing performance.”
About Ivan Toney: “Fantastic, I can’t praise him enough. What a good person he is, his emotional intelligence with his teammates and everyone at the club. But also what a player! What a striker! He scored two, I guess he should have scored another. Hat-trick here, I thought it’s only for Haaland.”
On Brentford stopping Haaland: “We talked a lot about wow are we going to eliminate Haaland? We stopped the source in him and when he got into the box we defended brilliantly.”
Fantasy Premier League statistics
FPL Stats: Man City v Brentford
|Goals||Foden | Tony (2)|
|Assists||Akanji | Oh, Dasilva|
|Bonus points||Toney (3), Foden (2), Akanji (1)|
Play Fantasy Premier League and see more stats here
Opta: Late is great for Toney
- The result ended Manchester City’s 20-game unbeaten run at home in all competitions (winning each of their last 16), with this being their first defeat at home since February (2-3 v Tottenham).
- Brentford picked up their first away league win of the season. Each of the last five teams to win away from home against the reigning Premier League champions were London clubs (Chelsea and Fulham v Liverpool in March 2021 and Crystal Palace and Tottenham v Man City last season).
- Ivan Toney’s goal for Brentford at 97:16 was the last match-winning goal scored against Manchester City in the Premier League since exact times of goals were available (2006-07). Indeed, it is the third last game-winning goal in the competition since then.
- Manchester City had 29 shots in the game, their most in a Premier League home game since April 2021 – a 2-1 home defeat by Leeds in which they conceded a 90th-minute winner.
Manchester City visit Leeds on Wednesday 28 December at 8pm after the World Cup break, while Brentford host Tottenham on Boxing Day at 12.30pm.