Premier League
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion1Man CityManchester City4

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-4 Manchester City: Versatile Phil Foden can get better, says Pep Guardiola

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Phil Foden scores his first goal against Brighton
Both of Phil Foden's goals came in the first half against Brighton.

Pep Guardiola believes versatile Phil Foden can still get better after he scored twice as Manchester City produced a devastating first-half display to beat Brighton and move up to second in the Premier League.

Foden, playing as a forward against the Seagulls, took his tally to four for the season with his brace as he helped make sure of a win that moved City up to second, two points behind leaders Chelsea.

The 21-year-old has played in a number of positions this season and Guardiola praised the versatility of the England international, and warned there is even more to come from him.

"In the final third he can play up front, has the quality to move and be aggressive one on one and arrive in the box. He can play as a false nine, a winger, wide right or wide left," said the City boss.

"He is a guy who is a midfield player with a big sense of the goal. He is still young and still has a margin to improve."

Brighton could have gone above City with a win but simply could not cope with the away side's sweeping attacks as they scored three goals in 31 minutes.

A brilliant hooked clearance off the line by Lewis Dunk from Gabriel Jesus' shot in the 10th minute was only a brief reprieve for the hosts as City took the lead three minutes later.

Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez dropped a routine save from a deflected shot at the feet of Bernardo Silva, who quickly found Ilkay Gundogan to score from close range.

The visitors made it 2-0 after a devastatingly quick break from a Brighton attack, charging up the pitch before Jack Grealish flicked the ball into Foden's path and the forward made no mistake for his third goal of the season.

Foden got his fourth of the campaign just moments later as Jesus' shot deflected off him after Sanchez could only stab away Grealish's low effort at the near post.

The England international almost got his hat-trick just before half-time but Sanchez made a fine save to keep out a curling effort.

Brighton were better after the break and Ederson had to be alert to keep out decent efforts from Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard.

Ederson was finally beaten in the closing stages when Enock Mwepu was brought down inside the box and Alexis Mac Allister just managed to get the ball past the City goalkeeper's dive.

Brighton came from two goals down to beat Guardiola's side last season but there was to be no fightback this time as City wrapped up the win when an unmarked Riyad Mahrez rifled home in stoppage time as the visitors moved back to within two points of leaders Chelsea.

"I was impressed with everybody in reference to the second half," said Brighton boss Graham Potter.

"I wouldn't want to single anyone out, the first goal was soft from our perspective. I couldn't have been more proud of the boys and what they gave."

Slick City firmly in their groove

City started this season with a 1-0 defeat by Tottenham but if that produced any concerns about their ability to mount a strong title defence they have long since been eradicated.

They have not lost a Premier League game since and the past seven days have seen them at their attacking best, with 11 goals scored in their past three games and just two conceded.

Brighton had come into this game having conceded just two goals in open play in the Premier League after an excellent start to the season, but City got three against them in just 31 minutes as the hosts punished almost every slight mistake the Seagulls made.

City had nine shots on target in the first half - the most by any side in the Premier League this season - and while they were far below that level after the break, the damage had already been done.

Brighton will take heart from a second-half performance that showed their early season form is not a blip, although City did come to life after Mac Allister's late goal.

City have now taken 20 points from the past 24 on offer in the Premier League and show no signs of slowing down in their pursuit of back-to-back league titles.

Player of the match

MarchSolly March

with an average of 8.45

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number20Player nameMarch
    Average rating

    8.45

  2. Squad number2Player nameLamptey
    Average rating

    6.27

  3. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating

    5.89

  4. Squad number3Player nameCucurella
    Average rating

    5.81

  5. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister
    Average rating

    5.76

  6. Squad number14Player nameLallana
    Average rating

    5.60

  7. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    5.60

  8. Squad number15Player nameModer
    Average rating

    5.53

  9. Squad number1Player nameSánchez
    Average rating

    5.49

  10. Squad number12Player nameMwepu
    Average rating

    5.48

  11. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    5.34

  12. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    5.21

  13. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    5.20

  14. Squad number9Player nameMaupay
    Average rating

    5.01

Manchester City

  1. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    7.68

  2. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    7.64

  3. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    7.37

  4. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating

    7.37

  5. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    7.36

  6. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    7.33

  7. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    7.32

  8. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating

    7.30

  9. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    7.19

  10. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    7.18

  11. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    7.15

  12. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    7.15

  13. Squad number17Player nameDe Bruyne
    Average rating

    6.91

  14. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating

    6.88

Line-ups

Brighton

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Sánchez
  • 34Veltman
  • 5Dunk
  • 33BurnSubstituted forLampteyat 57'minutes
  • 20March
  • 13GroßSubstituted forMac Allisterat 72'minutes
  • 14LallanaBooked at 70mins
  • 15ModerBooked at 63mins
  • 3Cucurella
  • 11Trossard
  • 9MaupaySubstituted forMwepuat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Lamptey
  • 4Webster
  • 7Connolly
  • 8Bissouma
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 12Mwepu
  • 23Steele
  • 24Duffy
  • 30Richards

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31EdersonBooked at 84mins
  • 2WalkerBooked at 22mins
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 14Laporte
  • 27CanceloBooked at 60mins
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 16Rodri
  • 8GündoganSubstituted forFernandinhoat 75'minutes
  • 9Gabriel JesusSubstituted forMahrezat 87'minutes
  • 47Foden
  • 10GrealishSubstituted forDe Bruyneat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 6Aké
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 26Mahrez
  • 53Edozie
  • 80Palmer
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
31,215

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home10
Away23
Shots on Target
Home5
Away14
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Manchester City 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Manchester City 4.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Manchester City 4. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Phil Foden.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. João Cancelo (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Joël Veltman.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Joël Veltman.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Gabriel Jesus.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  12. Booking

    Ederson (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  13. Post update

    Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Rúben Dias (Manchester City).

  15. Post update

    Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Manchester City 3. Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton and Hove Albion) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  16. Post update

    Penalty Brighton and Hove Albion. Enock Mwepu draws a foul in the penalty area.

  17. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Ederson (Manchester City) after a foul in the penalty area.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Kyle Walker tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne replaces Jack Grealish.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Joël Veltman.

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