Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Foden’s hat-trick leads Man City recovery in win over Brentford

He has won it all with his boyhood club after coming through academy but hasn’t always been a regular


Phil Foden grabbed the spotlight from fit-again Manchester City superstars Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne by scoring a hat trick in a come-frombehind 3-1 win at Brentford that moved the champions two points behind Liverpool in a congested English Premier League summit.

City’s opponents might be able to stop Haaland from scoring or close down the space for assist king De Bruyne, but there will always be a top-class player somewhere in the team to inflict the damage. Foden was that player against Brentford as he led City’s recovery after Neal Maupay’s 21st-minute goal against the run of play for the hosts.

The England midfielder equalized in first-half stoppage time by pouncing on a poor defensive clearance, headed home the go-ahead goal in the 53rd, and completed his second career hat trick in the 70th with a piercing run and composed finish. “It’s probably the best form I’ve had in a City shirt for a long time, consistent­ly. Long may that continue,” Foden said. His goal tally improved to 14 in all competitio­ns.

Foden has won it all with his boyhood club after coming through the academy but hasn’t always been a regular. He is now and is particular­ly enjoying playing in a central attacking-midfield role where he is closer to the striker and more of a goal threat rather than out on the wing. “It’d help if I played in one position and learnt that position every game,” Foden said of his preference for a central role.

“I’m a person that adapts and plays in a lot of positions when needed. I know in this Man City side I’m going to do that play in a lot of positions and I need to be ready.

“I’m just enjoying playing in the middle. That’s where I see myself playing my best football so hopefully I can keep getting more game time there.” City is putting together a familiar winning streak in the second half of the season that’s five in a row in the league since Dec. 27 and nine straight in all competitio­ns and has all of its key players back healthy, with top scorer Haaland making his first start after a nearly two-month injury absence.

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