Ange Postecoglou promised Tottenham would improve and praised the resilience of his squad for not allowing Harry Kane’s departure to distract them after they battled to a 2-2 Premier League draw at Brentford.

Kane’s exit to Bayern Munich – coupled with four full debutants being used in their season opener – contributed to the start of a new dawn at Spurs and along with hosts Brentford, they produced an entertaining affair in west London.

Cristian Romero headed Tottenham in front after 11 minutes before quick-fire efforts from Bees forwards Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa turned around this season opener, but James Maddison – wearing the 10 shirt in Kane’s absence – set up Emerson Royal to level matters on the stroke of half-time.

It stayed 2-2 despite the visitors having 69 per cent possession and 18 shots, which pleased Postecoglou to an extent but the Australian was also aware they must get better in the final third, especially following the £100million sale of their record goal-scorer.

“Football clubs move on pretty quickly,” Postecoglou reflected when asked if he had discussed Kane’s departure with the squad.

“I haven’t needed to address it, I haven’t needed to give them a warm fuzzy cuddle just to see how they are. We had a game to prepare for and they knew that.

“I think that was the important thing for us. If it felt like we were distracted, I was distracted or anyone else, I think you would have seen evidence of it today, particularly after that first half and the way it went.

“We showed a real resilience that we’re going to need because it’s going to be a challenging year for sure.

“It was a good starting point for us today, but we need to improve and we have to improve and we will.

“I think that 2-1 down, having conceded a penalty and an own goal, it would have been very easy for us to drop our heads but I never sensed that in the group.”

After Romero had combined with fellow vice-captain Maddison to open the scoring, he was forced off following an earlier clash of heads with Mbeumo.

The Argentina international wanted to stay on, but Postecoglou had no doubt over the substitution, although was critical over how a pedantic minor error by Spurs’ backroom staff penalised them when it came to further substitutes.

Postecoglou added: “They were pretty sure we needed – for his own benefit – to get him off and obviously what we know about head injuries, for me it is not even an issue. We will always err on the side of caution.

“Disappointed that we apparently filled out the wrong slip and it was not a concussion sub.

“In this day and age, where what we know about head injuries, if we are going to worry about what form we fill out, I thought it was pretty clear what happened – but hopefully he’ll be OK.”

Despite no longer having Kane to call on and with other experienced members of the squad in Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier not involved, Postecoglou was happy to give the away fans reasons for optimism.

“I thought our supporters were outstanding today,” he said.

“It is fair to say we have put them through a fair bit this pre-season and all we can try and do is give them some hope and belief.

“Hopefully they leave the ground, maybe disappointed we weren’t able to get the win, but at least seeing the players are fully committed to us trying to be a football team that makes an impact.”

While a lot of the pre-match focus centred on Tottenham being without Kane, Brentford are missing last season’s top goal-scorer Ivan Toney until January due to his ban for repeated betting breaches.

Bees boss Thomas Frank maintained there was no need for them to sign a new forward and was pleased to be validated in their opening fixture with Mbeumo and Wissa on target.

He said: “There have been quite a few questions from you guys at the end of last season and the start of this about ‘will we buy a striker?’ And I’ve said no, no, no, no and no because we believe the forward players we have will provide enough goals.

“Bryan and Wissa showed it last season and I am so glad they showed it again today.

“Do I want Ivan in the team? Yes, but I know he is not there before January so I am not focused too much on that, only on the players we have now.”

James Maddison provided two assists to help fill the creative void left by Harry Kane’s departure, but Tottenham could only start the Ange Postecoglou era with a 2-2 Premier League draw at Brentford.

Kane’s exit to Bayern Munich – coupled with four full debutants being used in their season opener – contributed to the start of a new dawn at Spurs and along with hosts Brentford, they produced an entertaining affair in west London.

New vice-captain Cristian Romero headed Tottenham in front after 11 minutes, but quick-fire efforts from Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa turned around this Premier League opener for the Bees.

Emerson Royal was able to level on the stroke of half-time after another assist by Maddison, who was wearing the number 10 shirt, and despite both teams fashioning further chances in the second half, the spoils were shared.

It had been a whirlwind period for everyone involved at Tottenham with Kane beginning his journey to Germany on Friday and making his debut for Bayern on Saturday night. By that point, his former club had moved on.

Son Heung-min was confirmed as Spurs’ new captain, with Hugo Lloris still expected to depart before September 1, and Postecoglou handed out several debuts during his own Premier League bow.

A slight delay occurred to kick-off at Brentford due to a sanitation issue inside the stadium, but it took only 11 minutes for Tottenham to score the first goal of this new era.

Maddison curled in a free-kick for fellow vice-captain Romero to head home but that would prove the World Cup winner’s last involvement.

Romero had clashed heads with Mbeumo after five minutes and despite insisting he could carry on, Davinson Sanchez was introduced.

Brentford started to grow into proceedings and Tottenham’s new number one Guglielmo Vicario saved well from Mbeumo before Son started his captaincy duties with a low point.

The Spurs forward caught Mathias Jensen inside the area and – while it looked innocuous at first glance – VAR told referee Robert Jones to review the incident with the pitchside monitor and he pointed to the penalty spot.

With Brentford without the banned Ivan Toney due to repeated betting breaches, Mbeumo took on the spot-kick responsibility and slotted the ball home after 26 minutes in a similar fashion to his fellow strike partner.

Nine minutes later, Thomas Frank’s side were ahead when Rico Henry got in behind Emerson too easily on the right and cut back, where Wissa’s shot was deflected beyond Vicario by fellow debutant Micky Van De Ven.

A booking for Oliver Skipp on the stroke of half-time made it five yellows handed out to the visitors, which included coach Ryan Mason and those minor delays contributed towards 11 minutes being added on at the end of the first half.

It proved enough time for Tottenham to go in level after Emerson rifled home from 22 yards following Maddison’s pass to continue his resurgence after he was booed onto the pitch against Aston Villa at the start of 2023.

Brentford substitute Mikkel Damsgaard should have made it 3-2 after 58 minutes, but he scuffed his effort straight at Vicario from 12 yards after the Italian had punched away Vitaly Janelt’s cross.

Spurs improved afterwards with Son testing Mark Flekken, who produced a strong display after replacing Arsenal-bound David Raya.

Flekken was equal to Richarlison’s 64th-minute effort when Maddison had slipped through the Brazil forward before a host of changes were made by both managers.

Van De Ven breathed a sigh of relief after VAR decided to not intervene when he caught Bees substitute Kevin Schade inside the area with 12 minutes left.

And it proved the final noteworthy moment of an entertaining opener, which showed both sides there was life without talismans Kane and Toney.

The new Premier League season kicks off this weekend with clubs still finalising their squads for the challenge ahead.

Champions Manchester City and last season’s runners-up Arsenal will resume battle with the Gunners’ having struck an early blow in the Community Shield, while newcomers Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton begin the task of ensuring their stay among the big boys is not fleeting.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding the opening fixtures.

Auf wiedersehen, Harry?

Harry Kane’s “will he, won’t he?” summer saga finally approached its conclusion on the eve of the new campaign as he headed for Germany with a view to tying up a £95million switch from Tottenham to Bayern Munich. The England skipper’s impending departure is likely to dismay fans of a club which drastically under-achieved in finishing eighth last season. Spurs open their campaign at Brentford on Sunday with the travelling supporters contemplating what life after Harry may represent.

Big six backlash?

If last season’s top three had a familiar look about it with Manchester United following their neighbours and Arsenal across the finishing line, there was a measure of turbulence below them as Newcastle disturbed the established order to push Liverpool out of the top four and Brighton claimed sixth spot with Aston Villa hot on their heels. Despite losing Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino to the Saudi Arabian exodus, the Reds have added World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai to their ranks with Moises Caicedo also seemingly on his way to Anfield, while James Maddison is perhaps the most eye-catching of Tottenham’s summer arrivals and Chelsea’s spending spree shows no signs of abating as the wounded prepare to fight back.

Baptism of fire

If Gary O’Neil felt hard done by when he was relieved of his duties at Bournemouth in June having steered the club to Premier League safety, it did not blunt his readiness to take on a challenge. The former Portsmouth and Middlesbrough midfielder was parachuted into the hotseat vacated by dissatisfied Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui after the Spaniard and the club decided to go their separate ways as a result of disagreements over recruitment. O’Neil stepped into the void with just days to prepare for Wolves’ opening fixture – a daunting trip to a rejuvenated Manchester United on Monday evening.

Welcome to the jungle

Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton will set foot in the top flight knowing the first and overwhelming priority is survival. Last season was the first since 2017-18 when the three promoted clubs all stayed up, with at least one having made an immediate return to the top flight at the end of each of the previous four. The Hatters last played in England’s top division in 1992, but having worked their way back from the non-league ranks in the last decade, they know all about fighting tooth and nail.

In it for the long haul

Unpopular as it may be with some, referees’ chief Howard Webb has insisted moves to eradicate time-wasting are here to stay, and that means there could be some lengthy matches this season. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester United defender Raphael Varane are among those to have questioned moves to tackle the game’s “dark arts”, as well as behaviour on and off the pitch, but their concerns have fallen on deaf ears. How will they feel after the weekend?

Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya.

The PA news agency understands a fee of £30million has been agreed for the 27-year-old Spaniard, who is reported to be signing a five-year contract.

Raya will provide competition for established number one Aaron Ramsdale and the England international welcomes it.

“Bring it on. Nothing comes easy in football. At the same time you need to move along and adapt as well,” Ramsdale told ITV Sport.

“I’ve done it to other people when I’ve moved clubs so I’m not going to be thinking that it’s never going to happen to me.

“If it happens, it happens and then we’ll fight and we’ll make each other the best version of ourselves because that’s what the manager is telling us as well.

“And I’m sure whoever plays, me or whoever comes in, the goalkeeping union – people laugh at it but it’s a real thing – (means) your individual disappointment will go away.

“You will put the team first and you’ll put that goalkeeper first as well.”

Raya’s arrival will also signal the departure of United States goalkeeper Matt Turner to Nottingham Forest in a deal which could be worth up to £10m.

Chelsea gave the most playing time of any Premier League club to players developed in their own academy last season, research from the PA news agency has revealed.

Despite the focus on their extraordinary spending in both the summer and winter transfer windows under new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, the Blues fielded seven players developed in-house for a combined 9,473 minutes.

That was one more player and nearly 2,000 minutes more than any other Premier League academy and here, PA looks at the figures in detail.

Cobham producing the goods

Five Chelsea academy products have been a regular feature of the club’s line-up in recent years and played over 1,000 minutes apiece last season, with Conor Gallagher leading the way at 1,812, narrowly ahead of Trevoh Chalobah, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

While the latter pair have left the club this summer, Reece James’ playing time is likely to increase from the 1,381 minutes he managed in an injury-hit season. Lewis Hall played 700 minutes and Armando Broja also featured before a long-term injury of his own.

Levi Colwill could also return from his loan at Brighton to help keep up the club’s homegrown quota, after starring for England’s Under-21 European champions.

Chelsea’s targets for their academy under their ‘Vision 2030’ banner include having Cobham graduates make up 25 per cent of their first-team squad and 15 per cent of playing time, and to have more in the professional game than any other academy.

Seven of last season’s 32 players were developed in-house and accounted for almost 23 per cent of their playing time, while leading the field for Premier League players indicates they are on track for the latter aim as well.

Three other clubs – Tottenham, Southampton and Liverpool – used six each of their own graduates but the closest club to Chelsea in terms of playing time were Nottingham Forest, with 7,619 minutes from four players.

Brennan Johnson played over 3,000 minutes, captain Joe Worrall almost 2,500 and Ryan Yates just short of 2,000, while Alex Mighten made one brief appearance before going out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.

Crystal Palace were just 38 minutes behind in third, with Leicester and Brighton completing the top five ahead of Spurs.

Bees no-show

At the other end of the scale, Brentford were the only Premier League club not to give any playing time to graduates of their own academy.

The Bees have benefitted from their innovative link-up with Danish club Midtjylland, importing a number of talented players from Scandinavia and finishing 13th and ninth in their two seasons since promotion to the top flight.

They have barely developed any homegrown talent, though, with Ryan Trevitt and Nathan Young-Coombes making matchday squads but yet to take to the pitch in the Premier League.

Leeds fared little better last season in terms of player development, their 73 minutes coming in a solitary early-season appearance for Cody Drameh before his successful loan at Luton.

Fulham managed just 339 minutes, mostly from Marek Rodak and Jay Stansfield, while Hugo Bueno accounted for the vast majority of Wolves’ 1,742 minutes.

One extreme or the other

There were 83 players in last season’s top flight tagged as academy graduates of the same club they played for.

While those included several club captains such as James Ward-Prowse, Declan Rice and Lewis Dunk and stalwart players like Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, many others were on the periphery.

Thirty played less than 90 minutes while 23 made just one appearance each, ranging from one minute and 40 seconds for West Ham midfielder Conor Coventry against Manchester City to a full 90 minutes plus nine of stoppage time for Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher in the 4-4 draw with Southampton.

Nine players cleared the 3,000-minute mark and a further eight played over 2,000 minutes, with 34 in all playing 1,000 minutes or more for the club that developed them.

Brentford have completed the signing of Republic of Ireland defender Nathan Collins from Wolves for a club-record fee on a six-year deal.

The 22-year-old arrives in west London after spending just one season at Molineux, having previously played for Stoke and Burnley, and has 45 Premier League appearances to his name.

Bees head coach Thomas Frank likes what he has seen from Collins and feels he will prove to be “a perfect Brentford player”.

“I’m very pleased that we’ve managed to sign Nathan,” Frank told the club’s website.

“He’s a very talented centre-back and still young. He has a lot of very good abilities that we value a lot. He’s a composed and calm defender.

“His heading in both boxes is a big thing, both in open play and from set-pieces, which is massive in the Premier League.

“His character is really good, and we know that character is everything. He will fit into our culture, I have no doubt about that.

“I see leadership potential in Nathan. He’s a perfect Brentford player – hungry and ambitious with a desire to learn.”

Collins, who cost Brentford a reported £23million, is now aiming to help the club build on their highest-ever league finish after they ended the 2022-23 term in ninth place.

“I talked with the manager and a few of the backroom staff about the project here,” he said.

“It’s a club on the rise and I can see where they want to go. It’s exciting to be here.

“I like to play football. I want to dribble, play and create. It starts at the back. I can play long balls and short balls. But, at the end of the day, I’m a defender and I have to head the ball, win it and win my challenges.”

The arrival of Collins comes on the back of Brentford signing goalkeeper Mark Flekken from Freiburg, with Kevin Schade’s loan from the Bundesliga side also made permanent this summer.

Brentford B have announced the signing of Romeo Beckham from Inter Miami on a one-year deal following an impressive loan spell.

The 20-year-old son of David Beckham – who is co-owner of Inter Miami – spent the second half of last season on loan with Brentford’s B side but has now put pen to paper on a permanent contract, with the option of a further year.

Beckham helped the Bees lift the Premier League Cup last season and featured 15 times, scoring a late goal against National League side Wealdstone in the Middlesex Senior Cup.

Brentford B head coach Neil MacFarlane will be hoping the youngster can continue where he left off in west London.

He told the club website: “We added Romeo to our squad in January and he’s been fantastic for the group.

“He’s had a terrific end to the season in terms of his recent match against Manchester City where he showed what he’s learned during his loan with us.

“We’ve continued to develop him in and out of possession and we look forward to him coming back in good spirits to continue working with him next season.”

Brentford have completed the permanent signing of German forward Kevin Schade for a club-record fee believed to be around £20million.

Schade, 21, initially joined the Bees on loan from Freiburg in January and has now signed a five-year contract.

Brentford director of football Phil Giles told the club’s official website: “When Kevin joined us on loan in January, we agreed with Freiburg that the move would become permanent this summer if certain conditions were met, which included Brentford remaining a Premier League team for next season.

“We have all been pleased with Kevin’s contribution so far, both on the pitch and his professionalism off it, so to have him with us now until 2028 is fantastic for the club.

“We all hope both Kevin and Brentford can make further progress from here and look forward to the challenge.”

Schade made 19 appearances for the Bees over the second half of last season.

Tottenham are progressing with a move for Brentford goalkeeper David Raya.

The Spain international could become Ange Postecoglou’s first Spurs signing after positive talks, the PA news agency understands.

Tottenham are still the only club in discussions with Raya’s representatives and remain in pole position and, despite being linked, Chelsea have not been in touch.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has set a £40million price tag for the 27-year-old – who only has 12 months left on his deal at the club – but Raya’s representatives feel the asking price is too high for someone who only has a year left on their contract.

There has been no formal agreement between the clubs, with Spurs thought to be unwilling to pay Brentford’s asking price.

Raya is set to leave the Gtech Community Stadium having confirmed to the PA news agency in February he turned down two contract offers from the Bees but he is settled in London – which gives Spurs an additional advantage.

Raya, who has made 161 appearances for Brentford since joining in 2019, is away with Spain for the Nations League finals in the Netherlands and they face Italy in their semi-final on June 15.

Brentford have already signed Mark Flekken from Freiburg as they prepare for life without the former Blackburn goalkeeper.

Raya made the most saves in the Premier League last season – 154 – as Brentford finished ninth, a point and a place behind Tottenham.

Spurs are hunting a new number one after Hugo Lloris admitted he wanted a new challenge after 11 years at the club, although the former France international still has a year left on his contract.

Postecoglou has moved fast since agreeing a four-year deal to join from Celtic last week and he will officially take over on July 1.

Lydia Bedford has been announced as Brentford Under-18s head coach in a landmark appointment.

Bedford has left her position as assistant boss with Arsenal’s women team to become the first female coach to take the reins at a men’s professional side in England.

The former Leicester manager is set to work alongside Jon-Paul Pittman, who will join as assistant coach from Forest Green.

Brentford director of football Phil Giles said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to attract such talented coaches as Lydia and Jon-Paul to our under-18 team for next year.

“We undertook an extensive recruitment process for these roles. Lydia and Jon-Paul were the two best candidates, and thankfully we were able to finalise their recruitment to the staff.

“I’m sure they will excel, and we all look forward to working with them through pre-season and beyond.”

Brentford have signed Netherlands goalkeeper Mark Flekken on a four-year contract.

The deal, which brings the four-times capped Flekken from Bundesliga side Freiburg, is subject to international clearance and work permit.

“We’re very happy to have signed Mark,” head coach Thomas Frank told the official Brentford website.

“He’s a player with a lot of quality who will strengthen our goalkeeper group.

“He has big experience and joins us after two great seasons with Freiburg, who have just had a top season in the Bundesliga, finishing fifth and qualifying for the Europa League.

“He was a big part of the team there and now he’s coming to us and will hopefully make the group better and the team better.

“He’s a very good shot-stopper and comfortable with the ball at his feet. His distribution is very impressive.”

Flekken began his career in his native Netherlands at RKVV WDZ and Roda before moving to Germany, where he has played for Alemannia Aachen, Greuther Furth, Duisburg and Freiburg.

The 29-year-old made his Netherlands debut in March 2022 and kept 13 clean sheets in 34 Bundesliga matches – the highest tally in the division last season.

Frank has said Brentford goalkeeper David Raya could leave the club this summer after four successful seasons in West London.

But Frank warned interested parties that it will cost them £40million to sign the 27-year-old Spaniard.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank values goalkeeper David Raya at £40million.

Tottenham and Manchester United have been heavily linked with Spaniard Raya, who has a year left on his Bees contract having turned down a new one.

The 27-year-old kept his 12th clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 win against Manchester City on Sunday but Frank admits his future probably lies elsewhere.

“I think we only have one player for sale,” said Frank. “That’s the one that’s been talked about a lot, David. He costs £40million, I think I said.”

Frank himself is on the radar of bigger clubs having guided Brentford to a ninth-placed finish in their second season in the Premier League.

Other players, such as full-backs Rico Henry and Aaron Hickey, will also attract interest this summer.

But Frank added: “We are a selling club. I don’t think that’s a secret. But they need to be crazy high amounts for the players for anyone to leave.

“I’m pretty sure that everyone, including myself, is very happy here at Brentford.”

Ethan Pinnock’s 85th-minute goal saw the Bees became the only club to do the double over City this season.

The champions have bigger fish to fry, however, as they chase an historic treble with the FA Cup final against Manchester United to come next weekend, followed by the Champions League showpiece with Inter Milan on June 10.

Pep Guardiola left the likes of Erling Haaland, John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan on the bench and used the occasion to give 19-year-old Shea Charles his debut as a substitute.

“Shea Charles, against this team with top, top strikers, fast and strong, it’s not the easiest debut,” said the City boss.

“At the same time we didn’t play for points. We know him, he trains quite regularly with us. He’s so good, so composed.

“When you can make your debut, after joining the club aged nine, is the biggest compliment for all the managers he had and the trainers and those that take care of him. I’m pretty sure it was a big moment for him.”

Pep Guardiola admits he does not know if Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish will be fit for next weekend’s FA Cup final.

Manchester City’s attacking duo, and defender Ruben Dias, missed the
1-0 final-day defeat at Brentford through injury.

The champions, who face Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday as they bid to complete the second leg of an historic Treble, were consigned to defeat by Ethan Pinnock’s late goal.

With De Bruyne and Grealish missing completely and left on the bench, it was a scratch City side and those established stars who did play, like Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez, had little impact.

But Guardiola said: “Congratulations to Brentford for the victory. It’s difficult to faze them, how quick they play, how aggressive they are in all departments.

“I’m pretty sure we would have behaved a little bit different if we needed the points.

“I don’t have any complaints of how we behaved, I said to the players just now ‘you won the title, enjoy two days with your families and then we will prepare for the first final’.

“The guys who didn’t play who normally play were exhausted yesterday, mentally completely drained. They needed to rest to arrive with the right energy to face United.”

When asked if the players who missed out would be fit for Wembley, Guardiola said: “I don’t know right now. Hopefully.

“Ruben, Jack and Kevin couldn’t play. It is what it is. I think they will be ready but it’s hard to get ready in training. That’s why I had to see the players who played today.”

Pinnock’s 85th-minute strike made Brentford the only team to do the double over City this season, and only the fifth since Guardiola took over in 2016.

The Spaniard added: “They are the best team by far at set-pieces, they are exceptional. What Thomas Frank has done for years is amazing and the unity of his squad is there for all to see.

“Hopefully we can do better and beat them like we did last season, so we have a target for next season already.”

The Bees still needed a double save from goalkeeper David Raya to deny Cole Palmer at the death to end another impressive season on a high.

They had a slim chance to qualify for the Europa Conference League, and although victories for Tottenham and Aston Villa ultimately scuppered that dream, they finished a creditable ninth.

“Of course beating them twice means something, it means even more for the fans, they like that narrative and hopefully City win the Treble,” said Frank.

“Ending ninth in the Premier League, getting 59 points – and maybe deserve to have even more – it’s incredible the journey we have been on.

“What advice would I give United and Inter Milan? Well, I think we top performed in those two games.

“They are the best offensive team in then world so you need to defend very well and we did, and we were very brave throughout the game. I loved that from my players.”

Ethan Pinnock consigned Treble-chasing Manchester City to a final-day defeat as Brentford completed a Premier League double over the champions.

Defender Pinnock celebrated signing a new four-year contract earlier in the day by scoring an 85th-minute winner to snatch a 1-0 victory for the Bees.

With the title long since sewn up, Pep Guardiola rested some of his big hitters ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup final, and a potentially historic Champions League showpiece seven days later.

With Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish missing completely and Erling Haaland left on the bench, it was a scratch City side and those established stars who did play, like Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez, had little impact.

Brentford still had something to play for, by contrast, as they were in with a slim chance of qualifying for the Europa Conference League before wins for Tottenham and Aston Villa ultimately scuppered their hopes.

Their players applauded the champions onto the pitch, but that was as far as the respect stretched.

The Bees may still be adjusting to life without suspended striker Ivan Toney but they remain a potent threat, with Yoane Wissa beating Emerson with a curler against the far post before an offside flag was raised.

Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, who looks destined to leave the club this summer, had to make an early diving save to deny Cole Palmer before Kalvin Phillips, getting another run-out in a midfield three alongside Palmer and Rico Lewis, sent a low shot wide.

Emerson saved well from Vitaly Janelt’s snap-shot at a corner as Brentford pressed, and the German midfielder lifted another effort over the crossbar.

After the break Brentford, who won at the Etihad in November, felt they should have had a penalty after Lewis slid in on Ben Mee.

But referee John Brooks waved away the appeals – with VAR agreeing – and then booked Bees head coach Thomas Frank for his protests.

By now City well and truly had their eye on the bigger battles to come, but the Bees kept driving forward and Frank Onyeka’s drive flew over before Bryan Mbeumo just failed to get a touch on to Janelt’s chip into the area.

The winner came from a cross by substitute Kevin Schade which was headed back across goal by Mbeumo and emphatically finished by Pinnock.

City briefly woke up and Raya somehow denied Palmer an equaliser from close range.

Defeat meant City did not break the 90-point mark for a record fourth time in the Premier League, which will irritate Guardiola,  but if they win their next two matches – at Wembley and in Istanbul – even the perfectionist will have forgotten that.

Ethan Pinnock has signed a new four-year contract at Brentford.

The defender, who turns 30 on Monday, will now stay with the Bees until the summer of 2027.

Pinnock joined Brentford from Barnsley in 2019 and has made 153 appearances for the club.

Bees boss Thomas Frank told the club’s official website: “This is great news for Brentford and I am incredibly pleased that we have Ethan with us for four more years, I am sure our fans are delighted.

“Ethan has been a mountain in defence for us for the last four years. He played a key role in our journey to the top half of the Premier League. He is a top, top player and a great person.

“He has stepped seamlessly in the Premier League and it is an amazing story for him, and for football, that he can progress from non-league to the top of the game so quickly.

“He has proven himself to be a typical Brentford signing, he meets every challenge he faces and we think there is still more development for him.

“Ethan has been so reliable and consistent for us and I am sure that will continue. He will be spending the prime years of his career with us and we look forward to him helping the team be successful in the coming seasons.”

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