On the last day of the Premier League season on Sunday, a late goal from Ethan Pinnock gave Brentford a 1-0 home win over champions Manchester City. Despite the victory, however, it was not enough for Brentford to guarantee a spot in Europe for the upcoming season.
In order for Brentford to finish seventh and qualify for the Europa Conference League, they needed to win their game and hope that Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur would both lose points.
However, as both sides also won their games against Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United, respectively, the side captained by Thomas Frank finished ninth overall in the league.
City, who was going for the treble and had already won the league title despite still having three games to play, was in first place in the standings with 89 points, four points ahead of Arsenal. The final tally for Brentford was 59 points, which was one point less than eighth-placed Spurs.
“There is a lot of credit that should go to the team. It was a terrific season all around,” said Frank, adding that he did not feel cheated out of going to Europe because of it.
“In order to get through this, we had to… You need to have a look at where we truly originated from in the past. It is unfathomable that they came in ninth place with 59 points and the second lowest budget. Right now, our goal is to get some rest so that we can return as strong as we can.
The most of the game consisted of Brentford limiting a heavily rotated City lineup to only half-chances, and they finally scored the goal they deserved with five minutes left on the clock.
Pinnock, who had only earlier that day signed a contract for four years, smashed the ball into the back of the net from close range after Bryan Mbeumo deflected a cross from the replacement Kevin Schade into his path.
Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, made seven substitutions from the team that played Brighton in the midweek draw. Striker Erling Haaland was left on the bench, while Kevin De Bruyne was not included in the squad at all. Next month, City will compete in the finals of the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Even though City didn’t play with their normal vigor, they still had a chance to salvage a draw in the dying seconds of the game when Cole Palmer had two of his shots blocked by Pinnock and Ben Mee had another shot cleared off the line.
This season, City’s undefeated streak in all competitions was snapped by Brentford, who also became the only team to defeat City both at their home stadium and on the road.
On June 3, City will play in the final of the FA Cup against Manchester United. A week later, on June 10, City will play in the final of the Champions League against Inter Milan.
“We have four or five players with niggles, not injured but not fit for a few days,” said Guardiola. “These players are not expected to miss a significant amount of time.” “The players who didn’t play yesterday were psychologically and physically weary since they didn’t get any exercise. They were in need of some rest.
“Ruben Dias didn’t train for ten days, and Jack Grealish has a niggle,” the manager said. After Brighton, Kevin had the same pain that he had felt weeks earlier, which prevented him from playing before. It’s not a huge deal. I believe that they will be prepared.
Now is the time for us to arrive at United for the final of the Champions League with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm.