An early strike from Phil Foden was all Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City needed to end year 2021 on a high although it could have been two but the other was chalked off by the VAR.

Brentford almost got the lead in the 16th minute as a well taken corner was driven deep and headed back across goal towards the unmarked Wissa. His shot was saved by Ederson, but would still have spun into the net had Cancelo not headed it away at the far post.

Only for City to score almost immediately as De Bruyne, 20 yards from goal in the inside-right channel curled a wicked first-time cross towards Foden at the near post. He opened his body smartly to sidefoot a volley past Fernandez.

The youngster almost made it two for his side 49 seconds after restart.  It was another wicked ball in from De Bruyne towards the near post but this time it came at head rather than ankle height, and Foden’s flicked header drifted just wide of the far post.

City dominated the better part of the game although Brentford were resilient and weren’t giving up.

Six minutes past the hour mark Kevin De Bruyne struck the post as he threaded a low shot from 20 yards that beat the sprawling Fernandez and hit the outside of the near post.

Eventually the defending Champions got a second as De Bruyne again clipped this time a flat free-kick into the middle, where Laporte steered an accomplished header back across Fernandez but the goal was chalked off as Laporte was adjudged to be offside.

Manchester City go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, with Chelsea playing Liverpool on Sunday, it is definite another side in the top three will drop points while if they beat Arsenal in their own game the margin becomes wider.