Updated February 6th, 2024 at 10:23 IST

Phil Foden hat trick leads Manchester City recovery in win over Brentford in EPL

Following Neal Maupay's goal against the flow of play in the 21st minute for Brentford, Foden spearheaded City's comeback. The England midfielder headed home the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute, completed his hat trick in the 70th, and equalised in stoppage time in the first half.

Phil Foden reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Brentford and Manchester City at the Gtech Community Stadium | Image: AP
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Phil Foden scored a hat trick as Manchester City came from behind to beat Brentford 3-1 and move two points behind Liverpool in a congested English Premier League summit on Monday.

Foden led City’s recovery after Neal Maupay’s 21st-minute goal against the run of play for Brentford. The England midfielder equalized in first-half stoppage time, headed home the go-ahead goal in the 53rd, and completed his hat trick in the 70th.

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City is putting together a familiar winning streak in the second half of the season — that’s five in a row since Dec. 27 — and has all of its key players back healthy, with top scorer Erling Haaland making his first start after a nearly two-month injury absence.

It makes City the favorite for the title once again, with Pep Guardiola’s defending champions having a game in hand over Liverpool and third-placed Arsenal and only two points separating the top three. Arsenal is tied for points with City in third, but has an inferior goal difference.

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Haaland came off in the 86th minute. He didn’t add to his 14 goals for the campaign — tied for the most with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah — but did lay on the third for Foden, who was thrown a City scarf from the crowd as he celebrated in front of the away fans. Foden, a homegrown product, wrapped it round his neck before chucking it back into the supporters.

That’s 14 goals in all competitions this season for Foden, who has established himself as a regular in Guardiola’s star-studded team that was stunned by Maupay’s goal. It came from a strange source, with goalkeeper Mark Flekken’s goal kick going straight down the field, between two defenders disturbed by the presence of Ivan Toney, and into the path of Maupay.

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The French striker slotted it home and City was losing to the team that did the home-and-away double over the champions last season.

Foden made sure that won’t happen this time round with his second career hat trick.

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Published February 6th, 2024 at 10:23 IST