Haaland Breaks Brentford’s Resistance As Man City Close On Liverpool

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland brought them within one point of Premier League leaders Liverpool, but the champions had to work hard for their 1-0 victory over Brentford on Tuesday.

The top three are separated by just two points in an intriguing title chase, with Arsenal one point behind City with 13 games remaining.

Haaland was eager to make apologies for a disappointing night in front of goal in City’s 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea on Saturday.

However, the Norwegian had to wait until 19 minutes from time to break the deadlock, when he sprinted onto Julian Alvarez’s ball and scored his 22nd goal of the season.

Pep Guardiola placed Kevin De Bruyne on the bench for the whole game, managing the Belgian’s minutes after he missed the first five months of the season with a hamstring injury.

De Bruyne’s creativity was missed as City struggled to convert their dominance, despite having nearly 70% possession and 25 efforts on goal.

The Bees were the last visiting team to win at the Etihad 14 months ago, and they had the opportunity to spring another massive surprise.

Frank Onyeka failed to beat Ederson one-on-one midway through the first half, and Ivan Toney blasted a dipping free-kick inches past the bar.

The vast majority of goalmouth action, however, came from the other end, with Mark Flekken keeping Brentford in the contest.

Manuel Akanji stretched Flekken into great stops, as did Ruben Dias twice.

Oscar Bobb came close to opening the scoring in the first half, a rare start for the Norwegian youngster, but his shot was cleared off the line by Ben Mee.

Bernardo Silva also missed a wonderful opportunity as Thomas Frank’s side held out till the break.

Liverpool and Arsenal’s prospects of a second unlikely gift from City in the title battle in four days would have been boosted by a quiet opening to the second period.

However, City remain in contention to become the first team to win four successive English Premier League titles for a reason.

One slip by Brentford defender Kristoffer Ajer offered the opportunity Haaland had been looking for, as he sprinted clear on goal and kept his cool to score for only the third time in his past eight outings.

City should have extended their lead, especially since goal difference might still be vital in the title battle.

When the sides met earlier this month, City won 3-1 in west London, with Phil Foden scoring a hat trick.

But the England international was denied again late on by Flekken, who tipped over a blazing shot before standing up superbly to prevent Foden’s attempt to go around him.

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