“Phil Foden Hat-Trick Lifts Man City Close to Premier League Lead”

City move level with Arsenal on 49 points, two points behind Liverpool, but Guardiola’s men still have a game in hand to get ahead.

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Pep Guardiola said Phil Foden is enjoying his best season at Manchester City as the England international beat Brentford 3-1 on Monday to leave the Premier League top three just two points apart.

City moved level with Arsenal on 49 points, two points behind Liverpool, but Guardiola’s men have a game in hand to get ahead.

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The defending champions became the first team in Premier League history to win four consecutive games away from home despite trailing in all matches.

Neal Maupay fired the Bees in front against the run of play, but there was little doubt about the result after Foden equalized in first-half stoppage time.

Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland helped the England international complete his second career hat-trick after the break.

“He’s a man with a sense of goal,” Guardiola said after Foden took his number of players to 14 for the season.

“I think he is having his best season since we have been together. The incidence of goals and assists playing in this central position is incredible.”

City’s rivals for the title may regret missing out, with De Bruyne and Haaland sidelined by injury in recent months, as they aim to become the first team to win four consecutive English top-flight titles. Moving forward.

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Flekken inspired

Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flecken started the night as statistically the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League in terms of percentage of shots saved.

However, the Dutchman was in inspired form in the opening 45 minutes to frustrate the champions as he made nine saves before the break.

Brentford barely posed any threat before going in front in the 21st minute, as City have kept just one Premier League clean sheet since October.

Flekken got an assist from behind for his heroics as from his goal-kick, Ivan Toney fouled Nathan Ake, allowing Maupay to run clear and score for the fifth consecutive game.

Haaland had a great chance to score on his first start for two months when he scored moments later, but could not beat Flekken when he sent a clean through on goal.

In all, City made 17 attempts on goal, including 10 in the first half and ultimately converting their final effort.

Ethan Pinnock headed De Bruyne’s cross straight into the path of Foden, who controlled his chest and fired the ball low into the corner.

Eight minutes into the second period, De Bruyne’s ball this time bounced off Foden’s head and straight to Flekken.

Brentford rallied and had a chance to get back on level terms as Ruben Dias produced a vital block to deflect Christian Norgaard’s shot.

“If we want to beat the best team in the world we have to take these chances,” said Brentford boss Thomas Frank.

“No matter what you do against City, it is difficult. We did a lot of things right and there were important moments where we did not have the quality or they showed their quality.”

20 minutes from time City secured their 11th win in their last 12 matches.

Haaland may not have got his own goal, but the Norwegian played his part with a perfectly weighted pass for Foden to get the ball on goal and easily past Flekken.

Brentford are still just three points above the relegation zone after the defeat.

Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday kept the Gunners in the race for their first league title in 20 years.
But that result was also in City’s hands and they remain the team to beat as the business end of the season approaches.

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