London: Phil Foden hit his second career hat-trick to seal a 3-1 comeback victory at Brentford and move Manchester City within two points of the Premier League summit.
Neal Maupay gave Brentford a surprise lead but Foden equalised just before half-time and he then added his second and third in the second half to claim the match ball on Monday night.
It is the fourth successive Premier League away match in which City have trailed before going on to claim all three points. In fact, Pep Guardiola’s side have now won nine matches in a row across all competitions.
City have 49 points from 22 Premier League games and breathing down the neck of leaders Liverpool on 51 points from 23 matches.
There was more positive news at the beginning of a hectic February, with Erling Haaland making his first start in almost two months. Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva also returned to the side.
City started the match in control, with Mark Flekken called into action early as he denied two long-range strikes from Julian Alvarez and another from Walker.
However, it was Brentford who took a surprise lead in the 21st minute through Maupay as the French striker raced through on goal before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom-left corner, Premier League reports.
Haaland then had a brilliant chance to equalise moments later when a poor backpass from Vitaly Janelt put him through on goal, but Mark Flekken made another great save to keep Man City out.
Foden followed up his late goal in the first half with an early one in the second period as he got on the end of Kevin De Bruyne’s cross and headed it past Flekken. Brentford pushed for an equaliser, with Maupay, Toney and Christian Norgaard all going close, but they were unable to find their second goal.
Foden then completed his hat-trick and secured the win for Man City with 20 minutes to go as he finished off a well-worked move, assisted by Haaland.
Foden’s third strike also meant it was a record number for goals in a single Matchweek, with 45 being scored across the 10 Premier League fixtures over the weekend. IANS