Manchester City 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion - Second-half masterclass moves Citizens top of the Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their team's third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester City bounced back from their FA Cup semi-final defeat in style, as they cruised past Brighton & Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium.

Second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva helped City to leapfrog Liverpool and retake their place at the top of the Premier League table.

Story of the Match

Manchester City started the evening in second place, after Liverpool thumped Manchester United at Anfield on Tuesday night to keep their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple alive. 

City made a host of changes from the side that suffered defeat at Wembley on Saturday, with Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne all recalled. Brighton made three chances, Solly March, Enock Mwepu and Moisés Caicedo all handed a start for the Seagulls.

The hosts flew out of the blocks and could've taken the lead inside five minutes, however Mahrez blazed an opening high and wide from inside the 18-yard box.

It was one way traffic throughout the opening exchanges, and it was Mahrez who was guilty of spurning the next big opening, as the Algerian intercepted Robert Sanchez' clearance. But with the goal at his mercy, his indecisiveness proved vital as he was closed down.

City continued to press throughout the opening 45 but they did little to trouble Sanchez, Kevin De Bruyne coming closest with an effort from the edge of the box that flew narrowly wide of the upright.

The Citizens introduced Ruben Dias at half-time, the Portuguese defender making his first appearance since picking up a hamstring injury in the FA Cup win at Peterborough in March. He replaced Nathan Ake, who himself looked to be having treatment on the Manchester City bench.

City made the breakthrough less than ten minutes into the second half, as Kevin De Bruyne shrugged off three challenges before feeding Mahrez via the aid of a deflection. Mahrez made no mistake this time, bundling home past Sanchez to give the Citizens the lead.

Embed from Getty Images

Phil Foden doubled the home sides advantage from range just after the hour mark. Again the hosts were the beneficiaries of a deflection, this time Enock Mwepu was the victim, as he unwittingly wrong-footed Sanchez in an attempt to block the Englishman's effort.

Brighton grew more expansive in an attempt to find a way back into the game, but in doing so, they left themselves vulnerable to Manchester City's free-flowing attack, and Bernardo Silva took advantage of that ten minutes from time as he fired home a third to secure all three points for Manchester City.

Embed from Getty Images

The result moves Manchester City a point clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. They welcome Watford to East Manchester on Saturday afternoon as they look to secure back-to-back Premier League titles for the second time in the Pep Guardiola era.

Starting XI's

Manchester City: Ederson; Ake, Laporte, Stones, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan (C), Bernardo; Foden, Mahrez, De Bruyne

Brighton: Sanchez; March, Cucurella, Dunk (C), Veltmann, Lamptey; Caicedo, Mac Allister, Mwepu; Welbeck, Gross