The Warm Down: Foden breakthrough enough to seal win against Seagulls
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on January 13, 2021 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

A Phil Foden strike made all the difference in a hard-fought battle between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Foden, who is currently City's leading goal-scorer in the Premier League this season, passed a shot into the near corner, giving Robert Sanchez absolutely no chance.

Despite a fourth win in a row for the Citizens, it was not as smooth sailing for the home side as the stats may suggest with Brighton creating chances through Leandro Trossard and Percy Tau.

Wanted: Striker

City struggled for most parts of the game to make anything more than a half-chance.

Just like any game, Kevin De Bruyne was at the centre of anything and everything good for the men in blue. However, the lack of a target man up front meant many chances, and balls into the box went begging.

If not for a superb pass into the bottom corner from Foden, it may have not been all three points for City. With Sergio Aguero self-isolating and Gabriel Jesus low on confidence, it could be a struggle for the next couple of games for Pep Guardiola's men.

Positives, but no points for Brighton

In recent years, Man City vs Brighton has not normally been a close affair. This game, however, did not seem like a top-six side versus a team battling relegation.

If any football fans were unsure of Matty Ryan being replaced in this Brighton side, Sanchez had definitely stated his case with tonight's performance against the likes of De Bruyne, Foden, and Riyad Mahrez.

At the other end, Graham Potter seems to have unearthed a gem in Tau who threatened Ederson's goal on multiple occasions and found gaps in the City midfield on the counter.

Sterling misses chance to boost confidence

With seconds remaining in the match, De Bruyne beat Sanchez to the ball and was brought down in the area, following a poor header back from Lewis Dunk.

De Bruyne, the designated penalty taker for City, was still available to take it but instead, gave Raheem Sterling the chance to make it 2-0. The Englishman stepped up to the spot but blazed his kick high over the bar, unable to add to his four Premier League goals so far this season.

The winger has been kept out of the starting XI by Foden, Bernardo Silva, and Mahrez in recent times, and this penalty miss will not help his confidence at all.