EPL

Manchester City 1-2 Brentford: Dramatic Toney double downs below-par champions

By Sports Desk November 12, 2022

Ivan Toney responded to his failure to make England's World Cup squad by firing Brentford to a stunning 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, preventing the champions from going top of the Premier League.

Brentford went ahead after 16 minutes when Toney nodded beyond Ederson, but City levelled through Phil Foden's brilliant half-volley after pinning the visitors back.

However, Pep Guardiola's men struggled to break down the stubborn Bees in a stop-start second half, and Toney finished off a fine Brentford break by tapping home a dramatic winner in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

The result saw City sign off for the World Cup break in frustrating fashion, leaving them two points behind leaders Arsenal ahead of the Gunners' trip to Wolves later on Saturday. 

 

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  • Transfer deadline day: Chelsea working on record Fernandez deal, Cancelo to go and Caicedo to stay? Transfer deadline day: Chelsea working on record Fernandez deal, Cancelo to go and Caicedo to stay?

    Chelsea have splashed the cash this month and could break the Premier League record by landing Enzo Fernandez before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

    The Blues have already spent big to bring Mykhailo Mudryk to Stamford Bridge, while Noni Madueke, Joao Felix and Benoit Badiashile are among their other recruits.

    Fernandez could follow from Benfica on what promises to be a busy deadline day as clubs across Europe scramble to get late deals done.

    It remains to be seen if Arsenal can tempt Brighton and Hove Albion to part with Moises Caicedo.

    Joao Cancelo looks set to swap Manchester City for Bayern Munich on loan and Paris Saint-Germain could finally seal a deal for long-time target Milan Skriniar along with Hakim Ziyech.

    Stats Perform has picked out the standout transfers that could go through before the deadline.

     

    BLUES TO SHOW THE COLOUR OF THEIR MONEY FOR WORLD-CUP WINNER?

    Fernandez emerged as a target for Chelsea following his influential displays for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar.

    The London club have wasted no time in building a new-look squad since a Todd Boehly-led consortium completed a takeover and Graham Potter arrived as head coach.

    They have already made huge statements this month, none more so than snaring winger Mudryk from under the noses of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

    Chelsea are working on trying to secure the services of Fernandez for a reported fee of £105.5million (€120m), which would break the Premier League record of £100m City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish.

    CAICEDO A NO-GO?

    Arsenal have already raided Brighton to bring wantaway winger Leonadro Trossard to the capital.

    The Gunners have failed with big-money offers for centre midfielder Caicedo, who last week made it clear he wants to join the Premier League leaders.

    Arsenal are said to be ready to test the Seagulls' resolve again on deadline-day with a third bid of £75m, but Brighton want to keep him for the rest of the season.

    If they do not get an offer they cannot refuse, Arsenal could turn to Leicester City's Youri Tielemans or Chelsea's Jorginho.

    CANCELO BAYERN-BOUND

    Eyebrows were raised on Monday when it came to light that Bayern are poised to bring Cancelo to the Bundesliga from City.

    The Portugal full-back Cancelo has fallen out of favour at the Etihad Stadium, having reportedly had a bust-up with Pep Guardiola.

    A loan deal would be great business for Bayern as they hunt more trophies and this one is expected to go through.

    PSG'S SKRINIAR PERSISTENCE COULD PAY OFF, ZIYECH TO FOLLOW?

    While Bayern's move for Cancelo has come late in the window, Skriniar has long since been a target for PSG.

    The Inter centre-back is only under contract at the end of the season and with the Serie A giants unable to tie him to a deal, it has been seemingly only a matter of time before he moves on.

    PSG should finally get their man before the window closes, with the defender having already confirmed he has agreed terms with the Ligue 1 champions. Chelsea winger Ziyech could also be on his way to the French capital.

  • Rumour Has It: Arsenal make late push for midfield reinforcements including Jorginho, Tielemans Rumour Has It: Arsenal make late push for midfield reinforcements including Jorginho, Tielemans

    Arsenal are still desperate to add a new face in central midfield and will reportedly make late runs at Chelsea's Jorginho and Leicester City's Youri Tielemans before the transfer deadline.

    Tielemans is one of Leicester's top talents, appearing in all 20 of their Premier League games this season while contributing three goals and an assist from his 18 starts.

    Jorginho is in his fifth season at Stamford Bridge and remains an integral part of Chelsea's squad, making 15 league starts this season, including wearing the captain's armband in their two most recent fixtures.

    However, both players are in the final six months of their contracts and are set to become available via free transfers at the end of the campaign, and their clubs may be willing to accept a significantly reduced figure for highly valuable assets.

     

    TOP STORY – GUNNERS GUNNING FOR MIDFIELD ACTION AT THE DEADLINE

    According to Football London, Arsenal's pursuit of 21-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion standout Moises Caicedo appears to have been unsuccessful, and they now view Jorginho as an acceptable alternative.

    The report states Chelsea are willing to let the Italy international leave, indicating he will become expendable if the impending arrival of Benfica's Enzo Fernandez comes to fruition.

    Football London also adds Arsenal will make another push at both Caicedo and Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi, but they are considered unlikely options.

    Meanwhile, 90min claims Leicester would be more open to allowing Tielemans to leave if they were not locked in a relegation battle, but as it stands they would need a "huge" bid to prioritise a transfer fee over their Premier League survival.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – Calciomercato is reporting Leeds United will try to secure Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo after he snubbed Bournemouth, but Roma are unlikely to accept unless the full transfer fee is paid up front.

    – According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a loan move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, who would prefer a loan to France instead of a fellow Premier League side.

    – Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has rejected a loan approach from Inter and will instead opt to fight for his place, although he will re-evaluate his future at the end of the season, per the Daily Star.

    – El Nacional is reporting Liverpool will make a run at signing Chelsea's N'Golo Kante when his contract expires after the season.

    – According to Football Insider, Southampton have agreed to meet the £26.2million (€30m) release clause for 22-year-old Braga forward Vitinha.

  • Lillard carries the Trail Blazers yet again as he builds under-the-radar MVP case Lillard carries the Trail Blazers yet again as he builds under-the-radar MVP case

    Damian Lillard's red-hot scoring form continued on Monday as he posted his eighth 40-point game of the season.

    Lillard was the star of the show in the Portland Trail Blazers' 129-125 home win against the Atlanta Hawks, scoring 42 points on 10-of-21 shooting after finishing a perfect 17-of-17 from the free throw line. Only Joel Embiid (nine), Giannis Antetokounmpo (10) and Luka Doncic (11) have scored 40 more often this season.

    He outdueled Dejounte Murray of the Hawks, who was terrific in his own right, collecting a career-high 40 points (13-of-26 shooting), eight rebounds and seven assists.

    Having already claimed the record as the Trail Blazers' all-time leading scorer earlier this season, Lillard is showing no signs of slowing down, and is on pace for arguably the best statistical season of his career.

    He is averaging a career-high 30.4 points per game, while also tying his career-best field goal percentage of 46.3. Lillard has never averaged more than the 4.1 three-pointers he is making each game, while he is also on track for his fourth season with at least seven assists per game, and his fourth season shooting at least 90 per cent from the line.

    He started the season in fine fashion as he posted back-to-back 41 point games in the opening week, but after his scoring average dipped to 22.3 in November, Lillard has hit a rich vein of form since the beginning of the new year.

    The six-time All-NBA selection is averaging 34.5 points per game in January – trailing only Philadelphia 76ers powerhouse Embiid with 34.9 – and nobody in the league is averaging better than Lillard's 38.8 points across their past 10 contests.

    Portland are 19-19 in the 38 games their star point guard has suited up for this season, and are 5-7 without him, but that does not accurately portray how valuable Lillard is for his franchise.

    Lillard's overall plus/minus this season of plus 129 is the best figure on the team, while Josh Hart (plus 110) is the only other player with a mark better than Jusuf Nurkic's plus 52.

    His impact on the Trail Blazers' offense is massive, as the team boasts an offensive rating of 118.7 while he is on the floor, but it drops to 112.4 when he is on the bench or not available. For reference, that 118.7 mark is higher than the league-leading Denver Nuggets (117.4), while 112.4 would tie them with the 23rd-ranked Los Angeles Clippers.

    Lillard will likely not receive any MVP consideration unless the Blazers make a late push into the Western Conference's top-six, but since the calendar flipped over to 2023 there has arguably not been a better player in the sport.

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