(Football news) Premier League champions Manchester City lost to Brentford 1-0 in the final match of the season. Thomas Frank’s side needed the victory and hoped Aston Villa and Tottenham would fail to win against Brighton and Leeds respectively to secure a place in a European competition. While Ethan Pinnock’s goal ensured the Bees held their side of the bargain, victories for Villa and Spurs meant that Brentford remained ninth.
Brentford dominated for large chunks of the game and managed to get a shocking result against City, who lost their first match since February 5th which was against Tottenham Hotspur. Pep Guardiola left Erling Haaland on the bench while Kevin de Bruyne was not in the squad and the champions only had half-chances for most of the game, failing to capitalise on a fantastic opportunity in stoppage time to get a draw.
The defeat could be a bit of an eye opener for City before they shift their focus to securing a historic treble. Pep Guardiola’s side have two of the biggest games of the season coming up, the first being an FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday, June 3rd at the Wembley Stadium. Then they will take on Inter Milan in the Champions League final on June 10th in Istanbul. Guardiola admitted that there were a few niggles in the squad, which resulted in De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Ruben Dias missing out.
Speaking after the match, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said “Congratulations to Brentford, in the second half they pushed more. They are masters of how quick they play and how aggressive and fast they are in all departments. I don’t have any complaints of how good we behaved. I said to the players, today they finish a Premier League which you won deservedly.
Now, two days off and then Wednesday we prepare for first final. Brentford are the best team by far in set pieces but not just in that concept. They’re an exceptional team, I have a lot of admiration for Thomas Frank for many years. You have the feeling and vibes that unity of club is there. Normally people talk about champions, when you see what Bournemouth have done since Gary O’Neil took over and Brentford, it’s exceptional.
“Hopefully next season we can do better and beat them like last season. We have a target for next season. Once you get the title, it’s normal for your mind to go that way. The result is not ideal but I am sure we’d have behaved differently if we needed points to be champion.”
Brentford manager Thomas Frank said “Of course it means something, but it means more for fans. They love that narrative that City can do the treble and we beat them twice. I hope they win the Champions League for English football and City have deserved it over the last few seasons. It’s special. No matter what players City put out there, they are top players.
“They had eight top players and three of the biggest talents in the world. Getting 59 points, maybe we deserved to have even more. We have the second-lowest budget and there was a small window in this season where we didn’t win in six games. Maybe it’s just that game at home to Villa where we were winning and didn’t get that win.
“Everyone in this room would have said in no way, but I said believe in top ten. I knew it would be difficult. The next job is to manage expectations next year. Everyone will expect us to do well. There’s the top six, plus Newcastle and Brighton, we need to fight for the other positions. There are big clubs under us who will invest in summer. We will work hard and come back stronger.”