Erling Haaland led Manchester City to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Brentford on Tuesday, bringing City within one point of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland

The closely contested match saw Haaland finally break the deadlock in the 19th minute of the second half, seizing the opportunity created by Julian Alvarez’s pass to score his 22nd goal of the season.

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Despite dominating possession with nearly 70% and unleashing 25 shots on goal, City struggled to make their superiority count.

Pep Guardiola opted to keep Kevin De Bruyne on the bench for the entire match, managing the Belgian’s minutes after he returned from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the first five months of the season.

Brentford, the last visiting team to win at the Etihad 14 months ago, posed a challenge to City. Ederson denied Frank Onyeka in a one-on-one situation, and Ivan Toney’s free-kick narrowly missed the target.

While City’s goalkeeper Mark Flekken made several crucial saves, Brentford held their ground, and the first half concluded with a goalless scoreline.

City’s quest for a decisive advantage continued in the second half, and it was Haaland who finally seized the moment, capitalizing on a defensive lapse by Brentford’s Kristoffer Ajer. Haaland raced clear on goal, maintaining his composure to secure the vital goal.

Despite Haaland’s breakthrough, City couldn’t extend their lead further, with Brentford’s resilient defense and goalkeeper Flekken thwarting late attempts by Phil Foden. Foden, who had scored a hat-trick in their previous encounter, was denied twice by Flekken in the closing stages of the match.

The victory leaves City trailing Liverpool by just one point, intensifying the race for the Premier League title with Arsenal closely following in third place, just two points adrift of City.

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