Arsenal top Premier League ahead of World Cup as Brentford shock Manchester City

Brentford striker Ivan Toney scores his team's winning goal in the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brentford on 12 November, 2022 at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom
(Image credit: Charlotte Tattersall / Getty Images)

Arsenal (opens in new tab) will sit top of the Premier League as the season pauses for the World Cup (opens in new tab), after Manchester City (opens in new tab) suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Brentford (opens in new tab).

Ivan Toney – two days after being left out of Gareth Southgate's England (opens in new tab) squad for Qatar – bagged a brace, including a 98th-minute winner, as the Bees stunned the champions.

The result saw City drop points at the Etihad Stadium for the first time in any competition since April's 2-2 league draw with Liverpool (opens in new tab), ending a 16-match winning streak.

City entered this game having dramatically beaten Fulham with 10 men last time out in the league through Erling Haaland's 95th-minute penalty.

But the Norwegian goal machine – who will now be put on standby mode for the next five weeks, wasn't able to rescue his side on Saturday – drawing a blank for just the fifth time in his City career.

Brentford led after 16 minutes, Toney looping a header over Ederson – and the visitors faced near constant pressure from there on in as they tried to hold on for a famous victory.

When Phil Foden smashed in the equaliser in first-half stoppage time, it looked like City would – as they have done on such a routine basis in the past – recover to win comfortably, but Thomas Frank's side had other ideas.

In the dying embers of a contest in which they'd seen countless VAR penalty reviews correctly go in their favour, with Pep Guardiola's side pushing for a winner of their own, Brentford broke in numbers from a City corner and there was Toney to turn in Josh Dasilva's low cross in front of a delirious travelling support.

The Bees have now beaten both Manchester clubs in 2021/22, having memorably thrashed United 4-0 at home on the second weekend of the campaign.

Arsenal travel to Wolves (opens in new tab) for the Saturday night kick-off, where victory will take them five points clear of City heading into the World Cup.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...