Riyad Mahrez had a goal and an assist as Manchester City went back atop the Premier League table with a late-arriving but thorough 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The final ball eluded City over a controlling first half but the PL leaders broke through in the 53rd minute and never looked back.
Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva scored City’s second and third goals, driving Pep Guardiola’s men to 77 points and a two-point advantage on Liverpool.
Brighton remains 10th on 40 points, one behind Leicester CIty and ahead of Newcastle on goal differential.
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Man City vs Brighton final score, stats
Man City 3, Brighton and Hove Albion 0
Scorers: Mahrez (53′), Foden (65′), Silva (82′)
Shot attempts: Man City 17, Brighton 1
Shots on goal: Man City 5, Brighton 1
Possession: Man City 65, Brighton 35
Three things we learned from Man City vs Brighton
1. Turning control into goals: We’ve seen this so often from Manchester City over the years, when they are at their possessive best but need time to break down strong, organized back lines. This was very much the case with Brighton, who almost never appeared ready to threaten Ederson’s goal but were stout with six busy players stacked in the center of the back. City, of course, did break through, but it’s lack of a clinical striker to climb the ladder — cough, Erling, cough — is what’s keeping a title race running right now.
2. Mahrez the magician: When Riyad Mahrez went from being Leicester City’s talisman to another face in the crowd, there were questions about how he’d deal with it. He’s done pretty well, hasn’t he, as the
third fourth fifth sixth (?) wheel in City’s attack. It’s easy to gush about Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden and (over the years) Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane, but Mahrez has just quietly gone about doing his job and putting up important big numbers on the era’s most dominant PL team.
3. Bissouma a huge miss: Brighton’s sold some big names over the years including Ben White, but If they are really going to entertain bids for Yves Bissouma for understandable reasons, they should watch matches like this without him and adjust the price tag. Brighton is a totally different team with Bissouma in the center of the park, and his absence was screaming off the screen as he served a suspension for his 10th yellow card of the season.
Man of the Match: — Riyad Mahrez