Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s win against Manchester City.
On the final matchday, Brentford came out in their 5-3-2, but were missing Mathias Jensen to a minor injury. The Bees started Zanka, Pinnock, and Mee as the centerbacks, with Hickey and Henry the wingbacks. The midfield trio was Damsgaard, Janelt, and Onyeka. Mbeumo and Wissa were the pair up top.
Manchester City, having already won the league, featured a heavily rotated squad. Still, City’s spent more on just 3 players in their starting XI than Brentford did on their entire starting XI. City started in a 3-2-4-1, with Alvarez up top. Gomes, Foden, Palmer, and Mahrez were the advanced midfielders and wingers, while Phillips and Lewis the defensive midfielders. Ake, Laporte, and Walker made up the back three.
Possession: Brentford 34% – 66% Manchester City
xG: Brentford 1.3 – 1.6 Manchester City
xGOT: Brentford 1.31 – 0.44 Manchester City
Shots: Brentford 11 – 17 Manchester City
Shots on Target: Brentford 4 – 2 Manchester City
Clearances: Brentford 17 – 15 Manchester City
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 12 (50%)
Brentford ended the season doing the double over the Premier League Champions and a potential treble winning side. Brentford did what they could do to get European football, but other fixtures didn’t result in favourable outcomes. Still, Brentford ended the season on a high note and look to continue their success into their third Premier League season.
Manchester City did not play a full strength lineup, having already won the Premier League and preparing for the FA Cup final, but that shouldn’t take away what was a fantastic performance from Brentford. Thomas Frank’s difficult and demanding tactics, such as man marking, took a whole team effort that was executed almost flawlessly.
Brentford’s backline played a huge role on both sides of the ball. Ben Mee, Pinnock, and Zanka were pressing high up the pitch even 80 minutes into the game. They also provided a consistent threat on set plays along with building out of the back against probably the best team in football. Zanka recorded two key passes, while Mbeumo led the team with 3.
Mbeumo and Damsgaard both had good outings and led the team in xAG. Damsgaard filled in Jensen’s spot, while Onyeka was much less of a liability than he has been in previous matches.
Schade’s presence off the bench was felt and gave Brentford the spark they needed late in the match. Schade’s quick change of pace is consistently giving defenders issues. Brentford didn’t miss Toney as much as some would’ve guessed when playing very direct at times. Brentford’s ability to mix up attacking options kept Manchester City on their toes.
Similar to last week against Spurs, Brentford created less xG, but created more xGOT. Manchester City accumulated 1.6 xG, but only had two shots on target. Brentford, on the other hand, had very similar xG and xGOT. Manchester City got into some good areas and had decent chances, but were very poor finishing.