EPL

Manchester City 3-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Clinical champions return to the summit

By Sports Desk April 20, 2022

Second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva put Manchester City back on top of the Premier League as Brighton and Hove Albion were consigned to a 3-0 defeat.

Liverpool had moved to the summit with a 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United on Tuesday, but Pep Guardiola's side responded 24 hours later to keep their fate in their own hands in the title race.

Deflected strikes from Mahrez and Foden put the champions in command at the Etihad Stadium and Silva added a third as they moved a point ahead of the Reds with six games to play after losing to Jurgen Klopp's men in an FA Cup semi-final last Saturday.

City had been without a win in three matches, but normal service was resumed in their quest for a Premier League and Champions League double.

Moises Caicedo spared Robert Sanchez's blushes when he produced a brilliant challenge on Mahrez after the Seagulls goalkeeper gifted the City winger a chance to open the scoring early on with a terrible pass.

The hosts were not at their devastating best in the first half, but Brighton had another let-off when they made a mess of trying to play out from the back again and this time Lewis Dunk came to the rescue by blocking Ilkay Gundogan's strike.

The fit-again Ruben Dias replaced Nathan Ake at the break to make his first appearance since March 1 and the City defender was fortunate to get away with late challenge on Alexis Mac Allister soon after his introduction.

Kevin De Bruyne was the architect for the opening goal eight minutes into the second half, bursting forward from inside his own half before picking out Mahrez, who benefited from a couple of fortunate deflections before his finish struck Dunk and beat Sanchez.

Foden doubled City's lead 12 minutes later, this time Enock Mwepu sticking out a leg in an attempt to keep out the midfielder's drive from outside the box but seeing the ball flash past a helpless Sanchez.

There was concern for City when John Stones was withdrawn late on after sustaining an injury, but Silva put the icing on the cake with a clinical left-foot finish in the 82nd minute as Brighton shot themselves in the foot again trying to play out from the back.

Related items

  • Tuchel and Conte charged by FA after London derby confrontation Tuchel and Conte charged by FA after London derby confrontation

    Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte have been charged by The Football Association (FA) after their heated confrontation at the end of Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Sunday.

    The two head coaches appeared to be antagonising one another during the second half of the dramatic Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.

    On the final whistle, shortly after Harry Kane headed in Spurs' equaliser, Tuchel and Conte shook hands, with the Chelsea boss pulling the Italian back when he did not make eye contact.

    This sparked further words being said and several backroom staff from both teams having to separate the two, which resulted in Tuchel and Conte being shown red cards by referee Anthony Taylor.

    The FA said in a statement on Monday: "Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte have both been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3, following the Premier League fixture between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday 14 August 2022.

    "It is alleged that the behaviour of both managers was improper following the end of the fixture.

    "Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte have until Thursday 18 August 2022 to provide their respective responses."

    Spurs boss Conte appeared to fan the flames further on Sunday when he took to Instagram to post a story of Tuchel running down the sideline in front of him while celebrating Reece James' goal to make it 2-1 to Chelsea, captioning it: "Lucky I didn't see you… making you trip over would have been well deserved" followed by three laughing emojis.

    Stats Perform also understands The FA is looking into Tuchel's post-game comments about referee Taylor, whose performance he criticised.

    The FA's investigation will focus on whether Tuchel has brought the game into "disrepute" by implying bias or attacking the integrity of a referee.

  • Klopp latest to question Barcelona transfer policy as Kounde remains unregistered Klopp latest to question Barcelona transfer policy as Kounde remains unregistered

    Jurgen Klopp admits he does not understand how Barcelona have been able to conduct their high-spending transfer plans, and has cautioned that the club may face irreparable damage down the line.

    The Catalan giants have bolstered their ranks with a slew of major recruits ahead of the new campaign, including Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.

    But the club's long-documented financial struggles has seen them forced to sell off non-playing assets and activate various 'levers' in order to register them in line with rules laid out by La Liga.

    Even then, the Spanish giants have not been able to get all of their new faces on board, with Kounde still waiting for sufficient cap space to be made in order to include him in Xavi's squad.

    President Joan Laporta previously hit out at comments by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann over their transfer dealings, but Liverpool boss Klopp concurs with his compatriot over their dealings.

    "No, [I do not understand] for various reasons," he was quoted by Bild. "One reason is that I'm not a financial expert.

    "[But] the second [is] if you tell me I don't have any money, then I don't spend anything anymore. I'm watching this like a football fan, I don't understand."

    Barcelona have sold part of their stadium in order to secure the deals, effectively ransoming their future if their gamble fails to pay off.

    Klopp speculated that such a move could lead to bankruptcy, and drew parallels to Borussia Dortmund, who sold their stadium rights and narrowly avoided financial ruin after Hans-Joachim Watzke took over in 2005.

    "The only club I know that once sold the stadium and other rights in advance was Borussia Dortmund," he added. "Aki Watzke had to come at the last second and save the whole thing.

    "I don't know if there is an Aki Watzke in Barcelona."

  • Tuchel comments under investigation by the FA Tuchel comments under investigation by the FA

    Thomas Tuchel's post-match comments about referee Anthony Taylor following Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Tottenham are under investigation by the Football Association (FA).

    Tuchel was furious at some of the decisions made by Taylor during the feisty stalemate at Stamford Bridge, a game that saw tensions boil over.

    The German suggested Spurs' first goal should have been disallowed due to the offside Richarlison standing in Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's line of sight, and then he felt aggrieved over the visitors' second equaliser due to two incidents.

    Firstly, he felt Kai Havertz was fouled by Rodrigo Bentancur in the build-up to the corner that Harry Kane ultimately headed home from, and at the same set-piece Cristian Romero avoided being penalised for pulling Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair.

    Tuchel and Spurs coach Antonio Conte clashed during and after the game, with their second confrontation resulting in both bosses being shown red cards.

    This was a particular bone of contention for Tuchel, who sarcastically said: "I cannot coach but the referee can whistle the next game? Good."

    Chelsea fans have voiced their displeasure with Taylor before, but Tuchel went even further when asked about the supporters' concerns, as he suggested "the whole dressing room of us, every person thinks that."

    He was then pushed on whether the players are worried when Taylor is the official in charge, and he added: "Yeah, of course."

    Stats Perform understands the FA is already looking into Tuchel's comments, meaning disciplinary action could be forthcoming.

    The FA's investigation will focus on whether Tuchel has brought the game into "disrepute" by implying bias or attacking the integrity of a referee.

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.