Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Manchester City 5
Albion took a real beating from City, with Raheem Sterling notching up an Amex hat-trick for the visitors.
The Manchester club looking like they had stopped playing for the last few minutes as they passed the ball about in triangles as though it was a training match.
The commentators and pundits might say that Albion are safe but a win for Aston Villa at home to Crystal Palace tomorrow (Sunday 12 July) and another against Everton, who have little to play for, a few days later and the Seagulls could face an unnecessarily nervous final three matches.
Remember, the Albion have never been in the bottom three of the Premier League. How ironic if they were for the first time come Sunday 26 July.
City players with FA Cup and Champions League fixtures coming up have lots to play for.
Albion’s midfielders’ tendency to give the ball away recently was apparent again, Gabriel Jesus picking up a loose ball and finding Raheem Sterling who steered the ball away from Maty Ryan into the bottom corner to put City in front.
Albion weathered the storm for a while as Aaron Connolly tried to get in behind the City defence.
Pascal Gross was spraying the ball around well and one centre saw Leandro Trossard head narrowly over.
At the other end Davy Propper gave the ball away again and Bernardo Silva saw his shot cannon off Dunk and hit the bar.
A few minutes later from a corner Jesus was lost by Albion’s Bernardo and tapped home a second, inside the six-yard box.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, City were three up. Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne linked up well to provide a great cross for Sterling to head home his second and City’s third.
Three minutes later Bernardo Silva made it four. His original shot was saved by Ryan. But as Jesus and Dunk lunged towards the ball, it came back to Silva who fired past Ryan.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh came on for his first taste off post lockdown action, replacing the increasingly frustrated Connolly.
Silva found Mahrez who, although getting passed Dunk and Adam Webster, toe-poked the ball into the side netting.
Albion introduced Dan Burn as their final sub and he was involved in City’s fifth, which was Sterling’s third, and the game’s most bizarre.
Similar to Newcastle’s goal at the Amex in February 2017, David Silva played the ball into Sterling but Dunk seemed to get there first. However, the ball ricocheted off Ryan and with Sterling laying prone on the pitch the ball hit his head and went in off the post, despite Burn best long-legged efforts to keep it out.
City had few chances to add to their tally. Another would have matched Albion’s 8-2 home defeat to Bristol Rovers 47 years ago. It did equal the thrashing Bournemouth handed out at the Amex last March.
Albion travel to their other south coast rivals Southampton on Thursday (16 July).
But if Villa don’t beat Crystal Palace at home tomorrow afternoon and Bournemouth can’t beat Champions League-chasing Leicester at the Vitality Stadium tomorrow evening, then to be honest, that should be enough for a fourth season of Premier League football at the Amex. Here’s hoping.
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