Manchester City took a giant step towards retaining their Premier League title on Wednesday evening.
On the same night Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw versus Brighton thanks to Danny Welbeck’s stoppage-time equaliser, the Citizens secured a priceless 1-0 victory away at Brentford.
Phil Foden’s first half goal was enough for the three points, Kevin De Bruyne stylishly assisting the English prodigy with a trademark whipped cross into the box.
City were certainly made to work for their 1-0 victory, though.
Brentford gave as good as they got, with star striker Ivan Toney a constant menace throughout what was an enthralling 90 minutes in west London.
The former Newcastle man was determined to make things as hostile as possible, although he may have taken things a tad too far towards the end of the first half.
Fernandinho was the man on the receiving end of Toney’s antics, the Englishman appearing to stamp on the City midfielder’s leg after the whistle had been blown.
After watching replays of the clash, it was slightly surprising that VAR didn’t at least suggest that the referee should go over and check the monitor.
Toney wasn’t even given a yellow card, so Fernandinho took matters into his own hands.
Just before the half-time break, the Brazilian stalwart looked as if he intentionally trod on Toney’s toe before the pair tumbled to the ground.
Take a look at both incidents here…
Video: Fernandinho & Toney’s battle during Brentford 0-1 Man City
It was certainly a bit naughty from both and a minor miracle that neither player was shown a yellow card during the course of the match.
City’s victory means they have now opened up an eight point gap over second-place Chelsea as they motor towards a fourth Premier League title in just five years.
Up next for the champions is a trip to in-form Arsenal, which has all the ingredients to be a real New Year’s Day cracker.