Man City beat Brighton to answer Liverpool’s call

Man City beat Brighton to answer Liverpool's call

Man City emphatically responded to Liverpool’s challenge by beating Brighton at home.

Liverpool had taken hold of the first spot in the Premier League table after 4-0 demolition of Manchester United a day earlier.

Second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva earned Man City a 3-0 victory to regain their lead at the top of the table.

It was not the greatest of starts by Pep Guardiola’s side as City struggled to in the first half at the Etihad Stadium against a well-organised Brighton.

However, the defending champions looked more like themselves in the second half with Mahrez breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute.

The opener settled City’s nerves with the hosts scoring a second 12 minutes later as Foden’s effort from distance was helped past Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez by a deflection.

With Brighton beaten, Silva added a late third to seal the win that moved Pep Guardiola’s side onto 77 points from 32 games.

Guardiola’s side had been the overwhelming favourites to win Wednesday’s match given that Brighton had lost eight of their previous nine league games against City, conceding 27 goals in the process.

But the visitors travelled to Manchester having beaten top-four chasing duo Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in their last two matches and looking to spoils City’s title chances.

Employing the same tactics, Brighton frustrated City, restricting the hosts to efforts from a distance.

Mahrez wasted City’s best first-half chance to score as he delayed his shot too long after Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez had left his goal vacant, before captain Kevin De Bruyne drilled just wide.

It was the kind of first half which solidified City’s need for a centre forward with Erling Haaland being the likeliest of the candidates to take over the role.

For now though, a sure-fire half-time tirade from Guardiola worked, as soon enough a rampaging run from De Bruyne pegged Brighton back, with Mahrez on hand to fire home the loose ball for City’s opener.

It was Mahrez’s 23rd goal in all competitions this season -only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored more (30) among Premier League players.

Foden then marked his 50th Premier League start for City with a fortunate second, before Silva got in on the act eight minutes from time, arrowing a fine finish into the bottom corner.

With only six games to go, Manchester City remains one point ahead of Liverpool as they seek a fourth title in five years.

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