Phil Foden revels, Bernardo marvels as City crush Brighton – Brighton 1-4 Manchester City Review
Manchester City made a Premier League statement on Saturday night as goals from Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan and a late goal from Riyad Mahrez secured a blitzing 4-1 over Brighton to go second in the table.
City, coming off the back of two successive wins over Burnley and Club Brugge, made two changes from their last outing as Ilkay Gundogan replaced Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus came in for Riyad Mahrez. Brighton made one change from the XI that drew with Norwich as Solly March came in for Shane Duffy.
The warning signs were there from the off as City pressed relentlessly and Brighton were never able to settle. The first of many chances for the Blues was a huge one as Lewis Dunk was forced to clear a Gabriel Jesus effort off the line (11).
Two minutes later and Brighton were punished for the first time. A cross into Gabriel Jesus had Robert Sanchez scurrying out of his goal to collect but the 'keeper wasn't commanding enough, dropping the ball into Bernardo Silva who then with a bicycle kick played a looping pass into Ilkay Gundogan, who tapped into an empty net (13).
Ilkay Gundogan scored his second Premier League goal of the season in Saturday night's victory over Brighton
City continued to probe throughout the half and Brighton's only notable moment was a snapshot from Leandro Trossard - a very speculative effort that went sailing over Ederson's crossbar (17).
City's second didn't come from their patient build-up play though as an electric fast-break was the blueprint to expose Brighton this time. Winning the ball back in his own half, Bernardo Silva played Jack Grealish through on goal but the winger was unselfish and with Sanchez caught in no man's land, all he had to do was square for Phil Foden to bundle into an empty net (28).
Phil Foden has scored twenty goals since the start of the 20/21 season.
Two turned into three a few minutes later as City looked to seal the win before half-time. Jack Grealish forced an initial save from Robert Sanchez but the 'keeper only saved the ball right back onto the edge of the box - where Gabriel Jesus was on hand to slam home - Phil Foden appeared to have unknowingly deflected the ball on target and beyond Sanchez and the goal was awarded to the 20-year-old, putting him on course a hat-trick (32).
City stepped off the gas a little in the second half and Brighton looked to find a way back into the contest as they tested Ederson several times early in the half. Leandro Trossard had the clearest cut effort on 58 minutes, although the Belgian could only direct an effort straight into the 'keeper's arms.
Brighton's changes, bringing on Tariq Lamptey and Enock Mwepu, had a positive impact as Leandro Trossard again had an effort saved by Ederson and the hosts had a couple of corners ultimately cleared away by the Champions.
It wouldn't be a comfortable and routine City win without a crazy moment from Ederson though. Mwepu, going nowhere, was taken out by the Brazilian and Mac Allister, taking the penalty, smashed the ball into the roof of the net (81).
Riyad Mahrez put the stamp on a brilliant win though with a late, late goal to add to the goal difference and put the exclamation point on a statement to Chelsea and Liverpool. (90+5)
Ederson (6), Walker (6), Dias (7), Laporte (6), Cancelo (6), Rodri (7), Bernardo Silva (9), Grealish (8), Foden (9), Jesus (8)
Substitutes: Fernandinho (6), De Bruyne (N/A), Mahrez (N/A)
Man of the Match: Phil Foden
Phil Foden was again sensational as he scored twice in the win. The winger has been in impeccable form this season and built on his magnificent goal and assist in the victory over Brugge with two more goals and an assist for Riyad Mahrez in Saturday's win. Foden now has four goals and four assists for the campaign and will only build on those stats as the season goes on. There's no denying now that he's one of the first names on the team sheet for Pep Guardiola.
Bernardo Silva marvels
The best midfielder in the world. He might not deliver the consistent goal and assist that the modern-day football fan craves but he offers an influence on a football pitch that not many in the world can match. His energy, his burning passion, his work rate and his natural, technical ability all rolled into this perfect, 5'8 dark haired mercurial wonder of a footballer is a huge part of what Pep and City are able to do, and it's tough to put into words just what he offers this club. To think that he could've left in the summer is just a baffling thought with how important he is and the hope with all fans including myself is that he'll see how much he's loved and choose to stay beyond this season. He's a crucial part of the team, an essential cog, the essence of this philosophy.
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