Phil Foden starred as Manchester City outclassed Brighton and Hove Albion with a comfortable 4-1 victory at the AMEX Stadium.
Ilkay Gundogan broke the deadlock after 13 minutes with a close-range finish. City upped the ante with Foden bagging a quick-fire brace either side of the half hour mark as the visitors took charge.
Brighton improved in the second half, grabbing a goal back when Alexis Mac Allister converted from the spot after Enock Mwepu was brought down by Ederson, but City stood firm to secure the points with Riyad Mahrez putting added gloss on the performance with a fourth late on.
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The result means City move into second place in the Premier League table, two points behind leaders Chelsea, while Brighton remain in fourth spot ahead of Sunday’s fixtures.
Both sides are in League Cup fourth-round action on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola’s men travel to West Ham United while Graham Potter will need to lift his players for their trip to Leicester City.
This game appeared to stick with the trend of the day which has seen young English talent thriving on the big stage. Phil Foden grabs the headlines for his two goals, but let's not undervalue the role Jack Grealish played today. Both were energetic and relentless in their pursuit of goals, spear-heading City's counter attacks which caused so many problems for Brighton in the first half. Much talk has been about City failing to bring in a striker during the summer window however, they have netted 20 goals this season. These have come from all over the pitch. Gundogan added another to his personal tally while Mahrez picked up from where he left off in the Champions League. Whoever plays and wherever they play, this City squad are going about their business in style.
Man of the Match - Phil Foden
He may not have known too much about the second, but Foden takes home the man of the match award with two goals and one assist to his name. His positional play and awareness were superb, linking up nicely with Grealish and Gabriel Jesus and rotating within the front three to leave Brighton baffled at times. His control, confidence and intelligence are clear to see and on another day, Foden should have taken home the match ball and would have done so if it wasn't for Sanchez in the Brighton goal. Guardiola speaks highly of the player who has repaid the faith his manager has shown in him. After recovering from injury, Foden looks as though he is getting back to his best and the City fans will be loving what they are seeing.
Brighton: Sanchez 8, Veltman 6, Dunk 7, Burn 6, Cucurella 7, Moder 6, Lallana 6, Gross 6, March 7, Trossard 7, Maupay 6.
Subs: Lamptey 7, Mac Allister 7, Mwepu 7.
Man City: Ederson 7, Walker 7, Dias 8, Laporte 7, Cancelo 7, Rodri 7, Gundogan 8, Silva 8, Jesus 8, Foden 9, Grealish, 8.
Subs: De Bruyne 8, Fernandinho 6, Mahrez 7.
GOAL! Brighton 0-1 City (13 mins) - The visitors will not be denied this time! Jesus challenges Sanchez in the air, the ball drops to Silva who hooks the ball towards Gundogan for the German to knock the ball home from close-range. VAR had a look at the challenge on Sanchez and for a potential offside, but saw nothing wrong and the goal stands!
GOAL! Brighton 0-2 City (28 mins) - It's been coming, City have their second and it's Foden who gets his name on the scoresheet! A brilliant counter from inside Brighton's box sees Silva set Grealish on his way, he squares the ball unselfishly to Foden who guides the ball home to put City in control.
GOAL! Brighton 0-3 City (31 mins) - In the blink of an eye, this game has got away from Brighton. City notch a third and it's Foden who bags himself a brace. Grealish gets a shot away in acres of space on the left side of the box, Sanchez is equal to it but cannot keep out the rebound from Jesus which took a nick off Foden on its travels. Clinical City.
GOAL! Brighton 1-3 City (81 mins) - The hosts are awarded a penalty after Mwepu is brought down by Ederson. Mac Allister, who has not been on the pitch long, steps up and converts the penalty despite Ederson getting a hand to the ball. Game on?
GOAL! Brighton 1-4 City (90+5 mins) - Signed, sealed and delivered, that's four! Mahrez has only been on the pitch a few minutes. Foden picks the Algerian out in acres of space on the right side of the box, who fires the ball high into the net beyond Sanchez to seal the points for City and move them into second place in the table.
- Only Mohamed Salah (16) and Harry Kane (15) have scored more Premier League goals in 2021 than City's Ilkay Gundogan (13) - Opta
- City and Chelsea each recorded 13 shots on target in their matches today, the most in a Premier League game this season - Squawka.
- No player created more chances against Brighton than Kevin De Bruyne (4) and he only came on in the 77th minute - Squawka.
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