Foden brace leads dominant Manchester City past Brighton

Manchester City showed they have no intention of letting go of their Premier League crown after cruising past Brighton 4-0 on Thursday night.

The result means Pep Guardiola’s men remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to the title race, as they moved to within one point of leaders Arsenal with a game in hand. However, it’s City’s performance that was the biggest warning to the Gunners, as they dominated from start to finish at the American Express Community Stadium.

Nevertheless, it was Brighton who started strong, building up from the back and testing the away side. The first chance even fell to Danny Welbeck, but the former Arsenal man’s effort was easily dealt with by Ederson.

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City responded when Phil Foden’s swinging free-kick fell to Nathan Ake in space, but he hooked his effort over the bar.

Guardiola’s men delivered an emphatic response soon after by taking the lead in the 17th minute courtesy of Kevin De Bruyne. Kyle Walker’s swinging cross found the Belgian, who threw himself to meet the cross and beat Jason Steele with a thundering header.

Lewis Dunk almost equalized immediately, only for his header to hit the ground and fizzle out before bouncing into Ederson’s gloves. Instead, it was City who doubled their advantage courtesy of Foden.

The English international was taken down in a dangerous position outside the area, and then proceeded to blast an effort that hit the back of Pascal Gross and flew past Steele. It was Foden’s 50th Premier League goal.

Brighton had no answers for incisive City

Roberto De Zerbi looked a frustrated figure following the two goals and wasn’t helped when City soon netted a third. With Brighton attempting to play it out from the back, Bernardo Silva won the ball off Valentin Barco, with Foden latching on to the ball and firing it into the bottom corner.

Brighton brought on Odeluga Offiah and Simon Adingra for Joel Veltman and Adam Lallana at halftime in an attempt to turn things around. However, aside from a timid penalty shout from the home side, there was no signs of Brighton getting back into the contest.

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In fact, things got worse when Julian Alvarez got in on the scoring in the 62nd minute. Ederson’s long ball found an onrushing Kyle Walker, and despite a heavy touch, he managed to find the Argentine, who fired home into an empty net.

Brighton saw another penalty appeal waved away when Joao Pedro went down after pressure from Josko Gvardiol, with the home fans making their feelings known.

Unfortunately for the home side the boos summed up their evening, as Brighton were simply second-best in all aspects against a City side intent on defending their Premier League crown.

Guardiola’s side now sit one point back of Arsenal ahead of a weekend visit to Nottingham Forest, while the Gunners travel to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the North London derby against Spurs.

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