Monday, 25 January, 2021

Guardiola claims Brighton victory provided 'good lesson' for Man City

Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Man City v Brighton Percy Tau shines despite Brighton's loss to Manchester City
Cary Erickson | 14 January, 2021, 17:19

The England worldwide has started just seven of City's 16 Premier League matches this season compared to nine in European and domestic competitions.

'Against the top teams like Man City you don't get a lot of chances and if you get chances you need to finish them, but I think we put a lot of effort in and it was only 1-0, so I think we did a great job.

The hosts could have eased the tension in stoppage time but substitute Raheem Sterling lashed a penalty over the crossbar.

Given leaders and local rivals Manchester United visit second-placed Liverpool on Sunday and have a resurgent Arsenal among their next opponents, while Jurgen Klopp's men must also face Tottenham before January is over, it would be a courageous man who ruled out City topping the table by the end of a month in which they entertain Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Sheffield United, and travel to West Brom.

After a slow start to the season Pep Guardiola's side initially made steady progress up the table but are now accelerating and are in the thick of the title race.

"It definitely feels like we're back to our best".

In a season in which injuries and coronavirus have robbed Guardiola of so many of his star players so often, it has been a time for others to step up.

England global Foden took his tally for the season to eight goals in all competitions at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, making him City's highest-scoring player in 2020-21.

But Foden stepped up when City needed him most, deciding the game with a goal with a moment of instinct and quality.

'I just want to keep helping the team as best as I can. He deserves to play.

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"He is 20 years old; just look at the stats!"

"We are delighted. He can play both sides, as a winger, in the middle as a false nine". He is so, so clever in front of goal. Today he is playing good.

"Maybe one day he is going to rest, but right now he deserves to play".

The Belgian teed up Riyad Mahrez for a far-post volley but Mahrez failed to make proper contact and he forced a great save by keeper Sanchez after a lightning break.

De Bruyne slipped a pass to Foden whose first touch left two defenders for dead before the England worldwide dispatched a slide rule low shot inside the post and beyond the dive of Sanchez.

Brighton were not completely devoid of ambition and went close when Leonardo Trossard curled a shot just beyond the far post.

City turned the screws after the break and Mahrez again wasted a good opportunity, shooting wide after going clear.

City's relief at finally breaking through was evident, although amid renewed calls for players to curb goal celebrations, the large group hug that formed may attract scrutiny.

Adam Webster was reduced to fouling Foden, as Brighton simply couldn't handle the England worldwide until he was substituted for Raheem Sterling (who blazed a late penalty over the bar) towards the end of the game.