Man City vs Brentford highlights and reaction as Mahrez and De Bruyne secure gritty win

Pep Guardiola guided Manchester City back to winning ways in the Premier League against Brentford this evening to temporarily extend their lead at the top of the table to 12 points.

City ended their long winning run with a tight draw at Southampton last time out, with a winter break and FA Cup weekend meaning it is 18 days since their last league fixture. Brentford were the visitors, who posed a tough test like they did when City were 1-0 winners against the Bees back in December.

Guardiola was without Cole Palmer and Gabriel Jesus again, and named a strange side with his three centre-backs all in the starting line up. City struggled in a tight first half, but went in ahead at the break thanks to Riyad Mahrez’s penalty. Kevin De Bruyne stroked home after a defensive mix-up to make the game safe in the second half, but this was as tough a test as City had faced in a while.

With Liverpool not in action until Thursday, City restored their lead at the top of the table to 12 points with victory, even if they will have played two more games over second place.

Follow below for pre-match build-up, live match updates and post-match reaction from the Etihad.

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FT City 2-0 BrentfordStuart Brennan

Player Ratings

Ederson Earned himself a headache with a brave save after Stones’ slip, but had a nice rest in the second half – 6

John Stones Unfortunate slip presented the Bees with their best chance, but he made up for it by chasing down Ghoddos on a counter – 6

Ruben Days Brilliant block after Ederson’s brave save went unheralded as the whistle had gone for a free kick – 8

Aymeric Laporte Almost scored, and was his usual unflappable self in the face of a pacy Bees counter-attacking effort – 7

Joao Cancelo Fabulous solo effort in the second half just needed a better finish, was excellent after the break – 8

Read the full ratings here.

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their second goal vs Brentford (Image: Getty)

FT City 2-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

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FT City 2-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

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Premier League, Wednesday 9th, 2022

FT City 2-0 BrentfordJoe Bray


There’s the whistle!

It wasn’t always easy, but City edged past Brentford to move 12 clear in the Premier League thanks to goals from Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne in either half.

No doubt Guardiola will want improved performances in future outings, but Brentford provided a tough opponent once against and the three points were the main objective tonight.

Reaction to follow.

Manchester City players celebrate their second goal against Brentford (Image: Man City)

90′ City 2-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Three minutes added on

City are in total control now, Brentford trying to keep the damage to two goals.

85′ City 2-0 BrentfordSimon Bakkowski

I cancel wants a goal

Cancelo is doing everything he can to get on the scoresheet but it shouldn’t go unnoticed that it is a very comfortable night for the defense too as they head towards another clean sheet.

Brentford have only been allowed one shot on target in this half and most of the time the ball is not leaving the Brentford third. The best way of defense has been attack.

80′ City 2-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Rodri effort saved

Another team counter comes out to Rodri, who lines one of his trademark rockets up. It takes a deflection to force Stripe into a smart save.

76′ City 2-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

I cancel over again

City had a good few minutes of uninterrupted possession there, ending in a Joao Cancelo shot that’s deflected over. That would have been a fine team goal.

70′ City 2-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Gundogan comes on

Phil Foden’s switch to the left didn’t last long, as he comes off for Ilkay Gundogan.

For Brentford, Wissa is on for Onyeka.

69′ City 2-0 BrentfordKEY EVENT

De Bruyne scores!!

A mixup at the back from Brentford gifts possession to Raheem Sterling.

His shot is saved, but only into the path of Kevin De Bruyne, who curls in from the edge of the area.

68′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

66′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

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Foden on the wing

Grealish has gone straight into a central role, with Phil Foden moving left, and Raheem Sterling over on the right now.

66′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Mahrez replaced

The goalscorer is off, with Jack Grealish on.

64′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

De Bruyne covers well

Bryan Mbuemo gets clear and has the whole City half to run on goal. John Stones just about keeps up with him – and when the ball is held up it’s Kevin De Bruyne running back to nick the ball off the Brentford man and clear upfield.

Moments later, Joao Cancelo curls an effort straight at David Raya.

62′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Grealish to come on

Jack Grealish is being readied as Pep Guardiola looks to sharpen up this City side.

61′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Brentford pressure

Onyeka hooks a ball safely into Ederson’s arms after a spell of Brentford pressure.

Now they make a double change with Canos and Ghoddos off, Mbuemo and Da Silva on.

58′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

stone scare

John Stones goes down after a bad fall, and is given some treatment. He walks off gingerly, but can hopefully continue.

56′ City 1-0 BrentfordSimon Bakkowski

Brentford keeping it tight

Brentford obviously need to score now if they want to take anything from the game, but it is in their interests to keep the game tight for as long as they can rather than risk allowing City to kill the game off early with a second.

1-0 was the scoreline back in December and the final minutes were horrible for City to survive.

Ruben Dias of Manchester City clears the ball away from Saman Ghoddos of Brentford (Image: Man City)

54′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

great effort

Joao Cancelo slaloms in and out of three challenges into the area and works a shooting opportunity on his right.

The shot lacks power and is a simple save, but that would have been a brilliant solo goal.

49′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

I cancel fires just over

A corner is recycled and comes out to Joao Cancelo, who takes aim and his shot is narrowly over the bar.

45′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

back underground

No sign of any changes at the break, but the City players were deep in conversation as they came out. A sign of a change in tactics?

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HT 1-0 City BrentfordJoe Bray

Sterling sets Premier League record

That penalty was significant as it handed Raheem Sterling a bit of Premier League history.

No player has won more penalties in the history of the competition, with Sterling now on 23 spot kicks won.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City runs with the ball from Mads Roerslev of Brentford (Image: Man City)

HT 1-0 City BrentfordStuart Brennan

Half-time ratings

Ederson – Excellent, brave save 7

stones – Slip gave Bees a chance 6

Days -Set up Laporte, great block at other end 8

Laporte – Closest to scoring from open play 7

I cancel – Poor pass handed Brentford a chance 5

rodry – Starting to close the lid 6

Bernard – A peripheral figure 5

DeBruyne – Lacking his usual precision 6

Mahrez – Great penalty, stretching the Bees 7

Foden – Tireless and creative 7

Sterling – Causing havoc, won penalty 8

Ruben Dias of Manchester City clears the ball away from Saman Ghoddos of Brentford (Image: Man City)

HT 1-0 City BrentfordJoe Bray


Well it wasn’t straightforward, but City finally found the breakthrough in that tight half, with Riyad Mahrez converting from the spot after Raheem Sterling was brought down.

Pep Guardiola may want improvement after the break, though, as Brentford have shown this answer is far from over.

45′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Ederson can continue

Good news as Ederson is back to his feet.

We’re into two minutes of added time.

43′ City 1-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

Panic at the back

Brentford break well after John Stones can’t control a long ball.

Ederson collects the shot but takes a full blow from Sergi Canos, running in and is being checked for a head injury.

He’s responding to physios, who are conducting concussion checks.

39′ City 1-0 BrentfordKEY EVENT

Mahrez scores!

Another confident penalty from the in-form man. He’s scored in his last seven outings for City now.

38′ – City 0-0 BrentfordJoe Bray


Raheem Sterling is brought down and wins a penalty.

37′ – City 0-0 BrentfordJoe Bray


A clearance hits Phil Foden and heads towards Ederson. Ruben Dias tries to clear the path to the goalkeeper to come and collect, but changes his mind at the last minute and unconvincingly kicks it out for a corner.

That’s exactly the scenario Guardiola warned against, but the manager will be relieved it came to nothing in the end.

35′ – City 0-0 BrentfordJoe Bray

So close!

Ruben Dias knocks down a deep free kick for Aymeric Laporte, who chests the ball down and passes the effort millimeters wide of the far post.

City’s best chance yet.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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