English Premiership

Slick Man City blow away Brighton

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Phil Foden. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)
Phil Foden. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola lauded Brighton for playing like a "top-four" side despite being on the end of a 4-1 thrashing from his Manchester City side on Saturday.

The English champions had the points sealed by half-time as Ilkay Gundogan tapped into an empty net on 13 minutes before Phil Foden finished off two fine team moves.

Alexis Mac Allister's penalty pulled a goal back for Brighton, before Riyad Mahrez put the seal on a slick City display.

Brighton remain in fourth after an impressive start to the season and Guardiola believes the Seagulls deserve to be in that exalted position in the table.

"It's really good because I knew which team we face today," said Guardiola after City moved up to second in the table, two points behind leaders Chelsea.

"They are aggressive and when they have the ball they know what they have to do. They have all the mechanisms of a big team.

"They have courage. I admire them for that. They play like a top-four or five team."

Guardiola made just two changes to the side that smashed Club Brugge 5-1 in the Champions League in midweek as Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus replaced Kevin De Bruyne and Mahrez.

And Brighton were on the same end of a similar hiding.

Joao Cancelo forced a smart save from Robert Sanchez and Lewis Dunk cleared an effort from Jesus off the line early on.

But Brighton did not help themselves with some disastrous defending for the opening goal as Sanchez dropped the ball under minimal pressure from Jesus.

The Brazilian hooked the ball back across goal and Gundogan turned into an unguarded net.

Bernardo Silva's scintillating form has made the Portugal midfielder almost undroppable despite the wealth of midfield talent on offer to Guardiola.

Silva was the instigator for the second goal as his defence splitting pass played Jack Grealish in behind and he unselfishly squared for his England teammate Foden to force the ball in.

There was plenty of fortune about Foden's second as he got in the way of Jesus' shot and got enough of a deflection to bamboozle Sanchez, who let the ball through his grasp.

Brighton made a far better contest of the second-half as City conserved their energy amid a run of seven games in 22 days.

"It was a good lesson," added Guardiola. "For 30 minutes they were better than us."

Graham Potter's men got their reward with a consolation nine minutes from time when Ederson wiped out Enock Mwepu as he rushed from his goal and Mac Allister slotted home from the penalty spot.

"We suffered a bit in the first half but the second half response was fantastic," said Potter.

"Of course it's disappointing to lose. We have to say Manchester City were better but our performance was something to be proud of."

City still had the final say as Foden rounded off a superb performance by picking out Mahrez to smash the visitors' fourth high past Sanchez.

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Fixtures
Sun 28 Nov 21 16:00 PM (SAST)
Burnley
Tottenham Hotspur
Turf Moor, Burnley
Fri 10 Dec 21 22:00 PM (SAST)
Brentford
Watford
Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford, Middlesex
Sat 11 Dec 21 14:30 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Results
Mon 06 Dec 21
Everton 2
Arsenal 1
Sun 05 Dec 21
Aston Villa 2
Leicester City 1
Sun 05 Dec 21
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Norwich City 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Manchester City
15
11
35
2. Liverpool
15
10
34
3. Chelsea
15
10
33
4. West Ham
15
8
27