Phil Foden’s precise strike moments before half-time gave Manchester City a 1-0 victory over Brighton to move the hosts to third in the Premier League.
Foden snuck inside the close post to Robert Sanchez from Kevin De Bruyne’s pass with just one minute remaining of an opening period in which the hosts were largely held back by their modest visitors.
Riyad Mahrez should have doubled the advantage after half-time but shot wide, before Bernardo Silva hit the post within minutes as City briefly threatened to run away with the win.
Brighton continued to rally but saw their hopes of a late draw appear to be taking a hit when De Bruyne was knocked down by Sanchez in the zone in added time. Substitute Raheem Sterling went 12 yards but soared his penalty well over the bar.
Foden magic proves the difference for City
Less than 24 hours after their nearest neighbors moved three points clear to the top of the Premier League table, City had a perfect chance to at least cut the deficit at the top against a Brighton side with a win in the league since September.
But the visitors’ position in the league has often belied them, as the case in the first half at the Etihad proved, where only two efforts from De Bruyne, both pulling smart saves from Sanchez, seemed to give l benefit to the hosts. Leandro Trossard shot wide after a good run as Brighton sometimes threatened at the break.
It was within the opening period that City’s goal moments before the break came out of thin air, with De Bruyne finding Foden turning away from two defenders on the edge of the box before scoring a weak effort beyond a desperate Sanchez. at his nearby post.
City continued their possession dominance after half-time, but Brighton still had reason to believe they could pull something out of the game given their own expansive style, and 10 minutes at Davy Propper ultimately pulled out a save from the game. Ederson returns from a half-clear corner. .
Brighton quickly found themselves hooked up to a flurry of attacks from the city, with Mahrez being found unscored by a cut free kick before shooting wide, and Silva firing against the post during the rebound of an effort from Ilkay Gundogan.
The Seagulls continued to push but wasted their height advantage in a number of late corners. Sterling then had the chance to double the lead in the last minute after Sanchez took down De Bruyne – but he blew up.
Manchester City have another home game coming up with Crystal Palace visiting the Etihad Stadium on Super sunday, live of Sky Sports Premier League from 7 p.m .: Kick-off at 7.15 p.m.
Brighton travel to Leeds on Saturday, also live Sky Sports Premier League from 2:30 p.m. Kick-off at 3 p.m.