City flattered by scoreline as Albion show their tenacity

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Manchester City 4

Albion were at times outclassed by Premier League Champions Manchester City who had raced into a three-goal lead within 31 minutes.

Lewis Dunk made a miraculous clearance from underneath the crossbar from an effort by Jesus.

The big screens eventually showed that the goal-line technology had confirmed that the ball didn’t cross the line.

City’s first goal came after Albion keeper Rob Sanchez failed to deal with a challenge from Phil Foden and Silva.

The latter played the ball into the path of Ilkay Gundogan who had the simple task of sidefooting it home into an empty goal.

Albion surrounded referee Kevin Friend but a VAR check confirmed the goal was good.

Foden and Jack Grealish at times were scything through Albion’s defence with consummate ease – and from one of these forays Grealish picked out Foden whose effort hit the roof of the net, but it might just as easily have been an own goal from Dan Burn.

Albion had a couple of half chances and a couple of corners as a result but the game was put to bed after a mistake from Neal Maupay.

Grealish shoy but his effort was saved by Sanchez. Jesus directed the ball back towards goal and Foden finished it off for for City to go three up.

After this, Sanchez made a good one-handed stop from Jesus, and Solly March stung the hands of Ederson in the City goal – Albion’s only on-target effort of the first half. Some fancied the Champions had at least 12 goal attempts.

City continued to press Albion early in the second half but the almost comedy-value substitution of Tariq Lamptey for Dan Burn – with the 14 inches between them – and the more routine replacement of Enock Mwepu for a crestfallen Maupay almost changed the game for Albion.

Without a recognised striker and with Trossard seemingly filling the role and with March able to get forward more, it could be said that Albion had City on the rack for a while.

Lamptey was giving Grealish and Kyle Walker a torrid time, literally turning them inside out and always getting a telling cross in. It wouldn’t be too bold a statement to say that Tariq Lamptey is the most exciting Albion player since the great Vicente.

Gross was replaced by Alexis Mac Allister as Albion effectively penned City back into their own half.

Trossard drew an brilliant save from Ederson and was then involved again as Mwepu was clattered into by Ederson. Friend gave the penalty and Mac Allister put it away via the glove pf the City keeper, his first goal in front of a crowd at the Amex and for a moment it was game on.

But City are a world-class team and snuffed out Albion’s renewed enthusiasm and apart from Marc Cucurella gaining more plaudits for his brilliant attacking play from wing back, Albion’s fight-back petered out.

Right at the end, Moder played Dunk into trouble and Riyad Marhez with only Sanchez to beat, scored City a very flattering fourth.

However, Albion stay fourth in the Premier League for today at least – it doesn’t get easier – when does it in the world’s greatest football competition? As next week they travel to Liverpool – but most of us in Brighton and Hove wouldn’t have it any other way.

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