• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Man City wallop Brighton 4-0 to close Arsenal gap

Foden-Manchester City (1)

Pep Guardiola Manchester City comfortably defeated Brighton 4-0 as Phil Foden’s double lifted the Premier League title chasers to within one point of leaders Arsenal on Thursday night at the American Express Community Stadium;

Guardiola’s side were commanding at the Amex Stadium from the moment Kevin De Bruyne headed them into an early lead.

England forward Foden struck twice before the interval to put the result beyond doubt.

Julian Alvarez ended his goal drought after half-time to ensure injured striker Erling Haaland wasn’t missed as his absence with a muscle problem stretched to a second successive game.

“It is a good result for us, really good,” Guardiola said. “I said before, what we have done in the past, it does not mean we will do it in the future.

“We know the margins are so tight. We have to win everyone. Each game we are closer.”

Liverpool’s surprise defeat at Everton on Wednesday was a welcome boost for Man City in the title race after Arsenal had thrashed Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday.

And City’s stroll on the south coast kept the destiny of the title in their hands.

Guardiola’s team, who have a game in hand on both Arsenal and third-placed Liverpool, will be crowned champions for an unprecedented fourth successive season if they win their last five matches.

With at least four goals in each of their last four league games, City are rounding into form at just the right moment once again.

But Guardiola warned: “What happened to Liverpool, two defeats in a row, it can happen to Arsenal, it can happen to us.

“What is important is that we are still there. There are a lot of games to play.”

Next up for City, who are unbeaten in 18 league games, is a trip to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, while Arsenal head to Tottenham just hours earlier.

Guardiola has bemoaned the “unacceptable” fixture schedule that he believes puts his players’ health at risk, blaming the pile-up for their sluggish performance in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.

While City searched for the energy to propel them a step closer to the title, Brighton couldn’t have been any fresher as they played for the first time in 12 days.

But there was no sign of any weariness from the champions as they took the lead with a typically eye-catching move in the 17th minute.

Foden took possession 30 yards from goal and drifted towards the right flank, where his astute pass found Kyle Walker’s run.