Brighton 1-4 Manchester City: Champions shine on the South Coast to move second
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City at American Express Community Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)

Manchester City put on an offensive clinic against Brighton & Hove Albion on a dreary evening on the South Coast to inflict a second Premier League defeat of the season upon the home side. 

It was a competitive affair during the opening stages of the first half, that is until Ilkay Gundogan capitalised on a goalkeeping error after 13 minutes to commence a flow of attacks on the Brighton goal.

Foden dazzled in his false-nine role, clinching two goals in three minutes to put City in complete control at half time.

City move up to second in the division, two points off leaders Chelsea, with their sixth league win of the campaign, whilst Brighton now enter a four-match winless run after a trio of draws. 

Story of the match

Brighton entered the contest on a three-match drawing run, but failed to exhibit the sturdy and composed defensive structure that has aided their start to the current season.

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Robert Sanchez suffered a costly lapse in concentration to gift City an early opening goal, reaching to claim a routine cross and spilling the ball into the feet of Bernardo Silva,, who gracefully flicked the ball upwards and into the path of Gundogan.

Foden then continued his fine form in a new talismanic role with a well-taken goal from a swift City counter-attack, latching onto Jack Grealish's deft pass to put his team in control. 

Not four minutes later, Foden claimed his brace after Gabriel Jesus' fierce strike deflected off the 21-year-old after Sanchez saved Grealish's attempt from the left. 

The Seagulls did offer some resilience and inspired confidence after the break and pulled a goal back through an Alexis Mac Allister penalty in the 81st minute. 

To finish a clinical display off, Riyad Mahrez calmly collected Foden's neat delivery in the box in the dying seconds, driving a powerful shot into the net to impose a heavy defeat for Graham Potter's side. 

Key takeaways

Foden

Manchester City's young prodigy has continued to demonstrate his worth with a direct hand in all three goals; his presence was pivotal, and a man of the match award was well deserved after another excellent showing.

With four goals and assists apiece in nine matches across all competitions, Foden is seamlessly transitioning from one of football's brightest talents to one of City's most vital cogs. 

VAR controversy

The AMEX burst into life when Enock Mwepu was adjudged to have been fouled by the stretching Ederson, and Mac Allister's subsequent penalty was dispatched to offer a glimpse of hope to Brighton.

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However, the foul was not without its controversy.

Solly March looked to be offside in the build up, but the incident was deemed to have occurred before the final passage of play.

Next time out

Both sides continue their respective Carabao Cup campaigns on Wednesday night; Brighton travel to FA Cup winners Leicester City whilst Pep Guardiola's squad take on West Ham United in London.

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