Thomas Frank explains how Brentford kept Erling Haaland quiet in win over Man City
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The Manchester City forward was extremely quiet in the 2-1 loss to the Bees at the Etihad and didn’t manage a single shot on target. Haaland made his first start in five games on Saturday as he recovered from a foot injury, but failed to score for just the third time in the Premier League this campaign.
Speaking after the match, Frank explained that his plan for preventing Haaland from scoring didn’t revolve around stifling the Norwegian, but another City star. ”I’m glad you noticed that - I mean that, that also makes me very proud,” said the Brentford manager.
“We have a gameplan and today it definitely succeeded. We tried to be aware of closing down [Kevin] De Bruyne, he had very few balls into dangerous areas and we were very aware of him in the box and I think we only missed him once when he ran past Ben Mee - the whole team did fantastic but especially the three centre-backs.
“I said to the guys before the game ‘I really hope they play Haaland because it will only be a really big win if we beat them with Haaland in the line-up’. But we wanted to try to do that and of course we did a lot of things right. We played maybe the perfect game today and you need to play the perfect game if you want to win at City.”
Franks also thanked Pep Guardiola for his warm words after the match. The Catalan said Brentford deserved to win in what is the clubs’ final game prior to the World Cup break, and said City’s inability to stop Ivan Toney was ultimately what cost his team.
“I agree,” Franks said with a chuckle, in response to Guardiola’s comments. “Pep showed a lot of class like I think he always does.
“Thanks for the kind words he said there. He said something similar just after the game to me so that means a lot for a club like us for him to acknowledge that. It’s probably the best-ever single result in the club’s history,” the Dane added.
“Maybe the most impressive thing is it was well deserved with the amount of big chances. I know they had the ball more but it was well deserved through the game.”