|Ivan Toney celebrates after scoring the winner against Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday. Brentford beat City 2-1. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Manchester City suffered a loss on home soil for the first time in sixteen games after Ivan Toney responded to Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad list omission with a sensational brace.
The Cityzens had another opportunity to heap pressure on Arsenal with a win at the early kickoff of the penultimate league game round before the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar but fluffed their chances in a shock result at the Etihad on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola fielded his strongest forward line with Phil Foden back upfront to partner Erling Haaland but it was Toney’s return to the starting line up after sitting out last round due to suspension that had the important say in the game.
Ben Mee headed Toney through on goal and he rose higher than Aymeric Laporte to hand the visitors the shock lead. For all City’s dominance, the champions didn’t have a shot on target until late in the first half but eventually leveled things just before halftime break.
Foden smashed one in in the Brentford area off a Manuel Akanji pass and it all felt like City would blow Thomas Frank’s side away. City pelted the Bees with barrages of attacks but the visitors stood firm and then hit on the break when they had the chance to.
Ten extra minutes were added to the normal time at fulltime and it all felt like the champions would settle for a point but Toney wasn’t done. Joshua DaSilva broke free on the right and set up Toney who tapped in past Ederson in the City goal.
Brentford could have added a third but Toney’s effort for his hattrick on the day was cleared off the line by Kevin De Bruyne. The loss meant City would not be able to catch Arsenal even if the Gunners doesn’t win at Wolves in the final game of the day until at least after Christmas.