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Hat trick hero Phil Foden nearly perfect as Manchester City wear down Brentford

Phil Foden scored once before halftime and twice after the break as Manchester City wore down Brentford, eventually cruising to a 3-1 win at Brentford Community Stadium on Monday.

Neal Maupay scored and Brentford keeper Mark Flekken made nine saves before Foden's first goal, as Man City went on to put 14 of its 23 shots on frame in the win. Erling Haalan and Kevin De Bruyne registered assists in the win.

WATCH BRENTFORD vs MANCHESTER CITY FULL MATCH REPLAY

City now has 49 points, level with Arsenal and two points behind leaders Liverpool. Man City has a match-in-hand on both Premier League title rivals.

Thomas Frank's men have looked dangerous with Ivan Toney back in the fold but have lost seven-of-eight and nine-of-11 Premier League matches. Their 22 points are just three above the bottom three.

Man City is going in decidedly the other direction following a rough start to December, winners of nine straight across all competitions since drawing Crystal Palace on Dec. 16 and going to the Club World Cup.

Phil Foden as Pep’s prototype

If Pep Guardiola's attacking philosophy could be embodied by a player over 90 minutes, it's Phil Foden's day versus Brentford.

Foden's been raised in the game by the Catalan wizard for all the years, and what's emerged is a La Masia esque talent.

He doesn't waste the ball, rarely shoots if it's not a decent chance, and the 23-year-old's hat trick also came in a game in which he was recovered the ball nearly as often as he was dispossessed.

Phil Foden vs Brentford (fotmob.com)
Phil Foden vs Brentford (fotmob.com)

What’s next?

Man City host Everton at 7:30am ET Saturday to kick off Week 24 of the Premier League season, while Brentford visit Wolves 2.5 hours later.


Brentford vs Manchester City final score: 1-3

Goal: Maupay (20'), Foden (45+3', 53', 70')


Phil Foden completes hat trick

Rodri has time on the ball and cuts the ball to the top of the 18 to Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian sends Foden into the box past several chasing Bees, and the swarm can't stop the hat trick.


Phil Foden strikes again

Kevin De Bruyne sweeps a cross in from the left side — he is all over the pitch — and Foden's central for it.

He's got work to do, and he cranes his neck before snapping to push the ball inside the post. 2-1 just like that, eight minutes into the second frame.


Brentford vs Manchester City halftime analysis: 1-1

Mark Flekken hasn't had an incredible season replacing David Raya at Brentford, but the Bees goalkeeper is flying today.

Flekken had nine first-half saves before Foden poked in late, as Man City is out-attempting Brentford 17-3. Brentford is yet to complete 100 passes, but is leading 1-0.


Phil Foden goal (video)

Kevin De Bruyne's cross is knocked back by Ethan Pinnock's off-balance header, but Phil Foden's in a prime position.

Foden chests down the loose ball and passes beyond the reach of Flekken for 1-0.

Flekken had made nine saves before that first-half stoppage time concession.


Neal Maupay goal (video)

Clever stuff from Brentford off a goal kick.

Mark Flekken's long pass is aimed for Ivan Toney, who holds up Nathan Ake and allows the ball to bound behind the Man City back line.

Maupay is at a full sprint to meet it and Josko Gvardiol is a step slow behind him. A low shot beats Ederson, and it's 1-0.


How to watch Brentford vs Manchester City live, stream link, time

Kickoff: 3pm ET Monday

Odds: Brentford (+600) vs Man City (-250) | Draw (+400)

TV Channel: USA Network

Stream: Stream online via nbcsports.com


Brentford lineup

Manchester City lineup


Focus on Brentford, injury news

OUT: Bryan Mbeumo (ankle), Yoane Wissa (international duty), Frank Onyeka (international duty), Saman Ghoddos (international duty), Rico Henry (torn ACL - out for season), Kevin Schade (adductor), Aaron Hickey (hamstring)

Focus on Manchester City, injury news

City have no injuries.