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Man City 1-0 Brentford: Erling Haaland goal reduces gap to Premier League leaders Liverpool

Bernardo Silva Manchester city

Erling Haaland’s second-half goal moved Manchester City one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool as they beat Brentford 1-0.

City endured a tense evening until Haaland benefitted from Kristoffer Ajer’s slip to score the winner after 71 minutes, putting the frustration of Saturday’s nine missed chances against Chelsea behind him.

Bernardo Silva’s glaring first-half miss and Ben Mee’s clearance off the line to deny Oscar Bobb on his first league start had only added to the anxiety at the Etihad, but Haaland’s 17th league goal secured a seventh league win in eight games for the hosts.

City move a point above Arsenal having taken advantage of their game in hand, while keeping the pressure on Liverpool who host Luton on Wednesday night in the league. The champions face Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal in a daunting run of March fixtures.

Pep Guardiola revealed after the game that Kevin De Bruyne, an unused substitute, was not fit enough to play because he was feeling his hamstring. “It’s just a precaution but he didn’t feel comfortable and so after five months off we didn’t take any risk,” he said.

Brentford had their chances but were wasteful again as Frank Onyeka and Yoane Wissa failed to capitalise when through in the first half. Thomas Frank’s side are five points above the relegation zone after just two wins in their last 11 league games.