From the AMEX – Saturday night time gave Premier League followers a prime 4 conflict to savour – or so the script learn an hour or so from kick off.
One crew is extra comfy on the prime and the opposite is a slight outlier, however that did little to distract from what appeared like being an enchanting battle between Brighton and Manchester Metropolis on the south coast.
The Seagulls really got here out on prime on this corresponding fixture final season, beating Metropolis 3-2 when the guests had already wrapped up the Premier League title.
However there was by no means a whiff of that end result repeating itself this time round.
Brighton persist with their beliefs nonetheless every recreation goes, typically to their credit score and generally – like on this night time – to their discredit. The Seagulls may get nowhere close to Metropolis’s harmful forwards, with the midfield trio of Adam Lallana, Jakub Moder and Pascal Groß all struggling.
Nevertheless it’s ridiculous to deal with the place Brighton went incorrect when it was extra a case of what went so proper for Pep Guardiola’s Metropolis, who gained 4-1 on the AMEX.
Nonetheless with no recognised striker, Phil Foden led the road up prime and was supported by Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus out extensive, and as soon as the three began to click on, the writing was on the wall for Graham Potter’s facet.
With Bernardo Silva additionally buzzing round behind that trio and persevering with his resurgence after a busy and unsure summer season, the guests’ thrust going ahead simply proved an excessive amount of for the hosts to deal with.
Brighton, remaining true to their ethos, performed out from the again and appeared to stretch the play, but it surely was by no means their gamers who benefitted from that tactic. As an alternative, Silva typically picked up possession and drove into area, holding the ball simply lengthy sufficient to draw ample consideration earlier than sending it over to Foden or Grealish.
Whereas the primary purpose took place due to a flap from Robert Sanchez, the second was a trademark Metropolis counter, transferring the ball at tempo however delightfully merely from Silva to Grealish to Foden, who ultimately caught it in regardless of some late stress from Dan Burn.
Foden, after all, is not a basic striker, however he’ll have the ability to get pleasure from video games like this the place he’s given sufficient area to assault by way of the center when gamers like Grealish and Jesus are making inroads out extensive.
The 21-year-old bought his second purpose of the competition three minutes later, although it was extra fortune than inspiration as Jesus’ shot deflected off his bottom and into the again of the online.
Foden and Silva have been extremely sharp all through the night, a lot in order that Kevin De Bruyne’s absence for many of the recreation was barely felt by the guests. The Belgian wasn’t wanted as Silva drove into area time and time once more whereas Foden was medical in entrance of purpose. He even rounded off his night time’s work with an help, laying one on a plate for substitute Riyad Mahrez in stoppage time.
The Premier League title race is as open because it has been at this stage of a season because it has been for years, and that could be a good factor. However whereas the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea appear like contenders as soon as once more, neither would dare miss a participant of De Bruyne’s means, given they only do not have the identical depth.
Metropolis can pull out wonderful performances away from house, they usually do not should lean on their greatest participant. As an alternative, stars like Foden and Silva can step up and make the distinction, and that could be what separates Metropolis from the remainder of the pack come Could subsequent 12 months.
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