Manuel Akanji has praised the combination of offensive and defensive work by the team to overcome Brentford 1-0 in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium.

Erling Haaland scored the only goal of the game after 71 minutes, racing through on goal from a Julian Alvarez pass before coolly slotting into the corner beyond Mark Flekken.

Phil Foden came close to doubling the lead in stoppage time, but was denied expertly by the sprawling Flekken.


Akanji, who was named the Player of the Match after an efficient, commanding and assured display at the back, was proud of the team’s display in all aspects.

“We know how hard it is to play against Brentford,” he said. “They defend really well, play a lot of long balls and are great at set-pieces. So we knew it wouldn’t be easy playing against the back five. 

“We did pretty well today. I can’t remember any big chances they had. We did well defensively and offensively we stayed patient and waited until we scored. 

“Yeah it wasn’t easy today. Brentford defended really well. We tried to attack from the first minute until the last. We scored the goal on a counter attack.

“Brentford had a good opportunity but we got the ball and went on the counter, the defender slipped, Erling went through on goal and the efficiency was there, he scored a great goal.

“I was like please score, please score! The second chance as well with Phil to finish the game, unfortunately the goalkeeper made a great save.

“We stayed solid until the end and that was really important today.”

The win was only the third instance of one team beating another twice in the same calendar month in the Premier League, after our 3-1 victory at the Gtech Community Stadium earlier this month.


The win also takes Pep Guardiola‘s side within one point of league-leaders Liverpool, with Akanji stressing the importance of the three points after last weekend’s draw with Chelsea.

“Yeah [important to win], especially after the game on the weekend,” he said.

“We knew we had to show a reaction and I think we did that today.

“We have to keep working hard and improve from game to game.”