Back from the Africa Cup of Nations with a bang, Riyad Mahrez may have endured continental disappointment with Algeria, but the former Leicester City man was on top form to help Pep Guardiola’s men comfortably see off Fulham in the FA Cup.
Mahrez struck twice after the break following Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones’s efforts in the first half, with Man City forced to come from behind on their own turf after Liverpool target Fabio Carvalho broke the deadlock within four minutes.
A trip to Peterborough United awaits Man City in the fifth round as they seek to keep their hopes of a historic treble alive, although a 1-1 draw at Southampton before the international break has made the title race somewhat more interesting.
Guardiola’s side still hold a comfortable nine-point lead at the summit over Liverpool, but the Reds do have a game in hand over the reigning champions, so a couple of dissatisfactory results for Man City could blow the race for glory wide open in the coming weeks.
City will certainly not expect to slip up at the fortress that is the Etihad, though, with the 4-1 win over Fulham representing their ninth home victory on the bounce across all competitions – a run that includes six consecutive Premier League triumphs on their own territory.
In stark contrast, a streak of red has since begun to overshadow Brentford’s strong start to their first-ever Premier League season, and their fortunes did not improve in the FA Cup against a Frank Lampard-marshalled Everton side.
Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate, Richarlison and Andros Townsend were all on target for the Toffees as Brentford exited in the fourth round with a whimper, and attention now turns to trying to end a worrying losing run in the Premier League before the threat of a relegation dogfight presents itself.
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The 4-1 defeat to Everton marked a fifth defeat in a row in all competitions for Brentford, who have also lost each of their last four in the Premier League, with Thomas Frank’s side now occupying 14th position in the table – still eight points clear of the dotted line, though.
Performances on the road have been extremely difficult to come by for Brentford over the past couple of months, with the Bees now winless in seven away from home in the top flight – losing five of them while conceding a whopping 19 goals in that miserable pattern.
Man City could only claim a 1-0 win when they paid a visit to the Brentford Community Stadium back in December, but the visiting crowd may very well harbour fears of their side getting carved open at will by the merciless leaders in midweek