Composed Haaland strike moves City within a point of leaders Liverpool

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Composed Haaland strike moves City within a point of leaders Liverpool
Erling Haaland scored the only goal in Tuesday's game at the Etihad
Erling Haaland scored the only goal in Tuesday's game at the Etihad
AFP
Erling Haaland's composed finish gave Manchester City a 1-0 victory over Brentford, which moved Pep Guardiola's side within one point of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Smarting from Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Chelsea, Manchester City wasted no time in getting after Brentford from the off, with both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden coming close to an early opener.

They weren’t having it all their own way though, as the Bees – the last visiting team to win on this ground way back in November 2022 – spurned a glorious chance to nose ahead when Frank Onyeka broke clear in the inside left channel but could only sting the palms of Ederson rather than find the corner.

Brentford looked threatening on the break throughout the first half, but the best chances were falling the way of City. Unfortunately for the home side, it was one of their ex-players, Ben Mee, who denied them an opener when his heroic block on the line thwarted Oscar Bobb on his first-ever Premier League start.

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Undeterred, Thomas Frank’s side were still forging openings on the counter, and Onyeka was once again involved, this time forcing a fine flying save out of Ederson to claim his goal-bound header.

Struggling to break Brentford down, Guardiola soon looked to his star-studded bench for inspiration, introducing Jérémy Doku shortly after the hour mark in a desperate attempt to inject some life into his side’s faltering attack.

But as it turned out, it was one of his starters who produced a telling moment when Haaland pounced upon Kristoffer Ajer’s last-man slip, broke through on goal, and to the surprise of no one inside the Etihad, fired City into the lead.

The Norwegian did have the ball in the net again soon after, but Kyle Walker had strayed offside in the build-up.

However, one goal proved to be enough for City, who secure three points that take them to within a point of Liverpool at the Premier League summit.

The picture is much less promising for Brentford though, who continue to look nervously over their shoulder, just five points above the drop zone.

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