Riyad Mahrez highlights key Man City tactic during Brighton victory
Patience was a virtue for Manchester City and Riyad Mahrez as they headed straight back to the Premier League summit with a 3-0 victory against Brighton on Wednesday night. After watching title rivals Liverpool smash neighbours Manchester United on Tuesday night, the stage was set for Pep Guardiola and his star-studded team 24 hours later at the Etihad Stadium.
It was a challenge they, ultimately, accepted and embraced. Goals from Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva did the damage for City as they restored their one-point advantage at the top – with both teams having six matches to play in what is shaping up to be a mouth-watering finale to the season.
City found chances hard to come by in the opening 45 minutes as they came up against a confident Brighton side who had been energised by victories over top-four contenders Tottenham and Arsenal. Both results came in north London and offered a clear warning sign to Guardiola.
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However, after keeping the Seagulls at arms length until half-time, City emerged from the restart with impetus as they put the game to bed with second-half goals from Mahrez, Foden and Bernardo. There was some fortune with the first two, but the Algeria captain argues City deserved that rub of the green.
During his post-match interview, Mahrez said: “It was a tough game that we controlled. We had to score the first goal to open the game. We were patient and then we were comfortable once we scored. We had to score in any way we possibly could – and I did that.”
Next up for City is a meeting with relegation-threatened Watford on Saturday afternoon at the same venue (3pm). Liverpool are poised for the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday afternoon (4.30pm).
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