Manchester City beat a resolute Brighton side 3-0 to move back to the top of the Premier League table.
Pep Guardiola’s side were frustrated by Brighton’s defensive shape for much of the opening for 45 minutes and struggled to create chances.
The best opportunity fell to Riyad Mahrez after a poor Robert Sanchez clearance but the Algerian took too long on the ball and was tackled.
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The hosts improved after the break and Kevin De Bruyne drove through the midfield avoiding challenges eventually poking it through for Mahrez who finished to put City one up.
City settled any nerves when Phil Foden’s shot took a huge deflection off Enock Mwepu completely wrong footing Sanchez putting them two goals to the good.
They wrapped it up when Bernardo Silva curled in a brilliant third.
It secured a huge three points for the current champions as they responded well to falling behind Liverpool in the title race after their 4-0 demolition of Man United last night.
The pressure was firmly on City but they didn't crack despite tension in the crowd after a below par start to the game. However, once City got one goal the result was never in doubt.
Brighton will be disappointed at the score line as they performed well and will deem themselves as unlucky as both the hosts first two goals took deflections.

TALKING POINT - CITY BACK IN CHARGE OF TITLE RACE

The eyes of the world were on Guardiola's men and Liverpool fans became Brighton supporters for the evening. The Seagulls had a great record away from home (the 6th best in the league prior to the match) and it was definitely a potential banana skin for Man City. But as all great teams do, they found a way to not just win but win comfortably and net three times to make the victory look very convincing.
Next up in the Premier League, City face Watford, Leeds and Newcastle with the huge Champions League semi-final tie versus Real Madrid in there too.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2022 in Manchester, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

For Liverpool it's rivals Everton, Newcastle and Tottenham with their Champions League semi-final against Villarreal in the mix also.
This title race will go right down to the wire and can still go either way but neither side is showing any signs that they will drop points. City are one point ahead, could that be all it takes to seperate them.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Kevin De Bruyne

He turned on the style when his team needed him most. City were struggling to break down Brighton but when he picked up the ball on the half turn and drove at the visitors' back line there was no stopping him as he pushed challenges aside. The goal he created was crucial in giving his team control of the match and stopping panic setting in.
His fantastic assist for the third goal by Silva topped of a vintage De Bruyne display.

PLAYER RATINGS

Man City: Ederson 7, Cancelo 7, Stones 6, Laporte 6, Ake 6, Rodri 6, Gundogan 6, De Bruyne 9, Silva 8, Mahrez 8, Foden 8
Subs: Dias 6, Zinchenko 7, Jesus 6.
Brighton: Sanchez 5, Veltman 6, Dunk 6, Cucurella 6, Lamptey 6, Gross 7, Caicedo 7, Mwepu 6, March 6, Mac Allister 6, Welbeck 6
Subs: Webster 6, Sarimento 6, Maupay 5

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

16’ – BIG CHANCE: Sanchez tries to play out from the back and Mahrez intercepts it and has time on the ball in front of goal but he doesn't pass or shoot. Eventually Caicedo gets back and tackles him. City don't take their gift.
53’ – GOAL: They finally break the deadlock and it's Mahrez! De Bruyne charges through on the counter attack shrugging off defenders and he pokes it through to Mahrez. He shoots and it hits Veltman who is sliding in to block the shot and it loopes over Sanchez.
65' - GOAL: Foden scores but it takes a huge deflection off Mwepu. It's a short corner to the edge of the box and Foden strikes - it's not a great shot but it wrong foots Sanchez after it comes off Mwepu's foot as he tries to block. A big slice of luck.
82' - GOAL: Brighton try to play out and Zinchenko intercepts and it finds De Bruyne who flicks it to Silva. He strikes the ball first time and curls it into the net. Great finish.

KEY STAT

Pep Guardiola has reached 250 wins in 344 matches in all competitions with Man City. The quickest manager to reach this total with any top flight English club.
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