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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s loss against Manchester City.

Thomas Frank made a few changes to the starting XI that faced Liverpool. A quick turnaround on a Tuesday night, led to Jensen, Collins, and Maupay getting some rest. Onyeka, Zanka, and Wissa replaced them in Brentford’s 3-5-2. Ben Mee and Zanka were the wide CBs while Ajer continued in Pinnock’s central role. Janelt, Nørgaard, and Onyeka consisted of the midfield with Reguilon and Roerslev the wingbacks. Toney and Wissa started up top with Lewis-Potter ready to make an impact from the bench.

Pep Guardiola’s side also included a few rotational changes, with Kevin De Bruyne getting some rest. The backline consisted of Walker, Stones, Dias, and Akanji. Rodri was the defensive midfielder, while Foden, Silva, Alvarez, and Oscar Bobb freely floated ahead. Haaland the lone striker up top, although with City’s in-possession formation, he received plenty of support.

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Quick Stats:

Possession: Man City 70% – 30% Brentford

xG: Man City 2.45 – 0.35 Brentford

xGOT: Man City 2.82 – 0.42 Brentford

Shots: Man City 25 – 6 Brentford

Shots on Target: Man City 11 – 2 Brentford

Clearances: Man City 20 – 27 Brentford

PPDA: Man City 12.36 – 17.55 Brentford

Other Brentford stats:

Interceptions: 8

Aerial duels won:13 (48%)


Man City had 70% possession and racked up nearly 2.5 xG. They had 25 shots and more shots on target than off target. City had difficulty breaking down Brentford’s low block, creating some chances, but only scoring in a transitional phase.

The underlying numbers suggest that City probably deserved much more than a 1-0 win, but Flekken had another strong showing where he massively overperformed. His growing confidence should be one bright spot for Brentford fans.

On the other end, the Bees rarely created much going forward, although Ajer actually contributed to a few chances with his pinpoint crossing. Brentford continue to slip up, no pun intended, in crucial moments which ends up costing them much needed points.

Thomas Frank’s tactical adjustments from the last match against City led to a few chances such Onyeka running in on goal. It was impressive to see Brentford tweaking their style and trying to build out of the back even against one of the best teams in the world. Thomas Frank has slowly added in these tactical wrinkles throughout the past season, which is definitely something to keep an eye on.