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Match Review: Manchester City 1-0 Brighton Hove Albion

Manchester City inflicted more woe on struggling Brighton, courtesy of Phil Foden’s first half strike.

Phil Foden shone again for City.

Manchester City beat Brighton Hove Albion, 1-0, as they extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches.

The Citizens faced Graham Potter’s team, who have struggled in the Premier League this season.

Guardiola’s side went into the game on the back of a 3-0 FA Cup victory over Birmingham.

Raheem Sterling missed a stoppage-time penalty.

City made 4 changes from that victory, as Ederson, Stones, Zinchenko and Gundogan, all came back into the side.

That meant that City once again played without a recognized with No.9, with Guardiola opting for a more fluid and inter-changeable attacking force.

Brighton made 7 changes from the team that was taken to penalties by League Two, Newport County, in the FA Cup.

Key players were missing for Brighton, such as:  Lamptey (injury), Connolly (injury), Welbeck (injury), Lallana (illness) and Bissouma (suspension).

Manchester City had won all of their previous Premier League encounters with Brighton.

Manchester City won this fixture 4-0 last season.

City, understandably, dominated from the start, with the Blues enjoying all of the possession and chances.

Kevin De Bruyne, who was operating as a No.9 again, was the beating heart of all of City’s moves, with the Belgium midfielder providing a classy performance.

He had a shot saved from Sanchez from a tight angle and then released Mahrez, who could only shoot wide.

Manchester City had plenty of opportunities to score in the first half, however, it looked as though Brighton would hold on until half-time, with the score deadlocked.

However, one minute until the break, De Bruyne found Phil Foden, who brilliantly evaded the Brighton defenders before shooting past Sanchez.

Phil Foden is now Manchester City’s top scorer this season.

After the break, City had multiple chances to extend their lead, with Mahrez shooting inches wide, Gundogan being denied by Sanchez and Bernardo Silva hitting the crossbar.

However, Brighton grew into the game in the second half, and Alexis Mac Allister had a fine chance to equalise for Brighton but shot over the crossbar.

Brighton, in truth, never really looked like scoring and lacked a clinical edge in front of goal, despite top scorer, Maupay, coming on with 20 minutes left.

City had a golden chance to wrap things up, in stoppage time, after De Bruyne won a penalty.

Raheem Sterling stepped up to double City’s advantage but missed.

It wasn’t a vintage display by City but it was an important win as they look to apply the pressure on Manchester United and Liverpool.

‘It definitely feels we are back to our best’

Phil Foden has claimed City are ‘back to their best’.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told BBC Sport: “We knew how tough it would be. Brighton had a good mentality to play.

“We had a really good first half and had chances. After we missed a really clear chance in the second half, they were better.

“We need to win these sort of games. It is a good lesson for us. Every game will be like this. 

“Phil Foden is 20 years old. Look at the stats, the amount of games, the assists compared to the bigger stars in football. He can play both sides, in the middle as a false nine. He is so clever in front of goal. That is why he deserves to play.”

Manchester City match-winner Phil Foden said: “It definitely feels like we’re back to our best. We’ve taken confidence from the last few results.

“We could have done better but overall I’m very proud of the team. It’s a great result.

“Brighton defended really well and had a good gameplan. To get the goal before half-time was really important. It ended up as the winning goal so I’m delighted.”

The Stats

  • Manchester City have won their past four Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 11 in the competition (won four, drew five, lost two).
  • Brighton are without a win in nine Premier League games, the longest current run in the competition (drew five, lost four).
  • No side have kept more Premier League clean sheets this season than Manchester City (eight), who also having the fewest goals conceded (13).
  • City have won all seven of their Premier League meetings with Brighton, by an aggregate score of 21-2.
  • City have missed seven penalties in the Premier League since the start of last season, more than any other side. Three of these have been missed by Raheem Sterling.
  • Phil Foden scored his eighth goal of the season in all competitions, more than any other Manchester City player. 
  • City’s Kevin de Bruyne provided his 14th assist of the season in all competitions – no Premier League player has more.

What Next?

Manchester City will be at home again when they host Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Sunday.

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