Premier League: Manchester City keep up pressure on leaders Arsenal

Phil Foden
Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring their third goal. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Brighton: Phil Foden struck twice as Manchester City stepped up their bid for a fourth Premier League crown in a row with a ruthless 4-0 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday.

A day after Liverpool's title challenge suffered a huge blow with a 2-0 defeat at Everton, City kept up the pressure on leaders Arsenal with a dominant display that left them one point behind the London club with a game in hand.

"The statement is three points," City manager Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports. "There are five games left, we know the margins are so tight. We have to win every one. Each game we are closer."

He added that it remains very much a three-team race.

"What happened to Liverpool, two defeats in a row, it can happen to Arsenal, it can happen to us," Guardiola said. "What is important is that still we are there. There is a lot of games to play."

Kevin De Bruyne's superb diving header put City, missing top scorer Erling Haaland due to injury, ahead in the 17th minute.

"It doesn't happen too much, does it? I think the only way I could reach it was jumping to the ball, and it goes in like a little lob, but it's obviously not something I'm really good at," De Bruyne said after netting his first headed goal in the Premier League.

Foden scored his first with a deflected free kick and Brighton defensive errors allowed Bernardo Silva to win the ball and set up the England midfielder to sweep a shot into the bottom corner before half-time.

"With Kev's first goal and a bit lucky with my second goal, it settled us a little bit and we grew into the game, in the first half was frightening with the way we attacked," Foden said.

Foden, whose hat-trick led City to a 4-1 win over Aston Villa three weeks ago, became only the third player to score 50 top-flight goals under manager Pep Guardiola aged 23 or younger, after Lionel Messi and Haaland.

Julian Alvarez completed the rout midway through the second half and Brighton, who remained 11th in the table, never looked capable of launching a fightback.

 Julian Alvarez
Manchester City's Julian Alvarez scores their fourth goal. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Manchester City are unbeaten in 30 games in all competitions with 24 wins and six draws, making them the third English top-flight side to reach that landmark after Nottingham Forest (40 in 1978) and Manchester United (34 in 1993-94 and 33 in 1998-99).

Their last loss excluding penalty shootouts was against Aston Villa in early December.

Brighton's best chance came when City keeper Ederson gifted them a late opportunity when he raced out of his box, only to fire the ball straight at Odeluga Offiah who failed to take advantage.

"City are one of the best teams in the world and today they played very well," Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said.

City head to relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest on Sunday. They close out the season with matches against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

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