From the AMEX – Phil Foden starred on the south coast as he scored twice during Manchester City’s 4-1 victory at Brighton on Saturday, taking the Premier League champions to within two points of leaders Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola’s side played around their hosts with embarrassing ease at times and pressed the Seagulls into oblivion whenever they didn’t have the ball, though did have to hold off some pressure as Graham Potter’s side pushed on in the second half.
It was Ilkay Gundogan who opened the scoring, capitalising on Robert Sanchez’s clanger to bag a tap in, before Phil Foden netted twice within three minutes to effectively end the contest with just over half an hour played.
Brighton did stage a resurgence in the second half and got their reward when Ederson brought down substitute Enock Mwepu, allowing fellow replacement Alexis Mac Allister to curl in a penalty to reduce the deficit. That, however, was as good as it got for the hosts, and Riyad Mahrez put some gloss on the scoreline when he curled in his side’s fourth in injury time.
Here are the player ratings from East Sussex.
Robert Sanchez (GK) – 4/10 – Sharp early on to save a Rodri effort. Dropped the ball under pressure for City’s opener, wasn’t happy about it but should have been stronger.
Joel Veltman (CB) – 5/10 – Often left scrambling at the back whenever City’s menacing forwards rushed towards him. Little he could do as he was usually outnumbered.
Lewis Dunk (CB) – 6/10 – Pulled out a sensational clearance to deny Gabriel Jesus before City went ahead. Probably the best of Brighton’s defenders but was often chasing shadows.
Dan Burn (CB) – 4/10 – Pushed pretty high at times from defensive set pieces which was an interesting tactical move. It didn’t work out and instead gave City more space to enjoy once they breezed past him. Subbed off before the hour mark.
Solly March (RWB) – 5/10 – Hammered one towards goal which Ederson juggled but saved comfortably in the end. Got in behind a few times in the second half but end product left a little to be desired.
Pascal Groß (CM) – 5/10 – His midfield partnership with Lallana and Moder was sieve-like at times during the first half. City looked dangerous whenever they countered and nobody in Brighton’s midfield could get anywhere near Foden, Silva and Grealish.
Adam Lallana (CM) – 5/10 – Almost identical to the above. He did actually make four tackles in the first half but was played around for the majority of the contest. Shown a yellow card.
Jakub Moder (CM) – 5/10 – A really anonymous showing from the Poland international in the first half. Got a little bit of confidence in the second as he attempted some dribbles near the City box. Also booked.
Marc Cucurella (LWB) – 7/10 – Got free down Brighton’s left a few times
and whipped in some dangerous deliveries. Gave Walker a good workout.
Leandro Trossard (ST) – 5/10 – Turned into a good shooting position but scooped high and wide when he should have done better. Another low effort nearly went past Ederson but the Brazilian got just enough on it to deflect it away from danger. Bright and breezy without anything concrete to show for it.
Neal Maupay (ST) – 4/10 – Industrious as ever and nearly made something of a few loose balls but just couldn’t get anything substantial going in his favour.
Tariq Lamptey (RB) – 7/10 – Another appearance for the youngster as he continues his comeback from injury. Brilliant dribbling on the right carved out a few opportunities for his side.
Enock Mwepu (CM) – 7/10 – Got in behind and drew Ederson into a needless lunge for the penalty.
Alexis Mac Allister (CM) – 7/10 – Curled in said penalty despite Ederson getting a finger to it.
Ederson (GK) – 5/10 – Made one jumbled save in the first half and denied Trossard with an important stop as Brighton applied some pressure. Gave away a penalty and got booked for time wasting late on.
Kyle Walker (RB) – 6/10 – Booked when he caught Cucurella late on the ankle. Solid, though his battle with Cucurella was far from one sided.
Ruben Dias (CB) – 7/10 – Rarely tested in the air and had the pace to deal with any threat Brighton tried to get in behind, importantly denying March on one occasion in particular. A pretty comfortable night’s work.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 7/10 – Pretty much the exact same as Dias. Guardiola may chop and change between Dias, Laporte and John Stones, but he usually gets excellent performances from whichever combination he chooses, and that was the case here.
Joao Cancelo (LB) – 7/10 – Tested Sanchez early on with a decent drive. A great attacking threat for the Citizens and dealt comfortably with March and Trossard whenever they ventured into his space. Booked for catching Lamptey heavily when the ball had gone.
Bernardo Silva (CM) – 8/10 – Gathered the loose ball and played it across to Gundogan to make it 1-0. Held the ball for just the right amount of time before sliding in Grealish for the second. Wasn’t the big FPL point scorer of the evening but his excellent resurgence this season continues.
Rodri (CM) – 7/10 – Was always available to receive the ball and give it to City’s more exciting outlets. Not the headline man but makes everything else work.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 8/10 – Was on hand to capitalise on Sanchez’s fumble, prodding in Silva’s cross. Helped City break quickly in transition throughout the game and looked as sharp as he was last season.
Gabriel Jesus (RW) – 7/10 – So unlucky not to score when Dunk miraculously deflected his goal bound shot off the line. Might be a little peeved that Foden nicked what could have been his goal but played his role well as part of City’s fluid frontline.
Phil Foden (ST) – 9/10 – Finished well under pressure from Burn for City’s second. Fortuitous with his second strike as Jesus’ effort deflected in off him, but Brighton afforded him so much space throughout the game and he made them pay with a terrific display. Might have. had a hat trick if it weren’t for some lunging blocks from Brighton’s defenders.
Jack Grealish (LW) – 8/10 – Always threatening on the counter. Scampered down the left and played it across goal for Foden to convert. Always had time on the ball.
Fernandinho (CM) – 6/10 – Shored things up in classic ‘off the bench’ Fernandinho style.
Kevin De Bruyne (CM) – 6/10 – Got into space a few times and looked to find his trademark filler passes when he could.
Riyad Mahrez (RW) – 7/10 – Given a late run at the end but had just enough time to seal the victory with a nice finish in the 95th minute.
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