Foden claims Man City back to their best after Brighton win

The Warm Down Foden breakthrough enough to seal win against Seagulls

The Warm Down Foden breakthrough enough to seal win against Seagulls

Sterling missed from the spot during Wednesday's 1-0 win over Brighton, with Manchester City fortunate to hold on to the three points after the England winger blazed his spot-kick over the bar in the game's dying moments.

The 10 days since have reinforced that view, with impressive young England midfielder Phil Foden guiding the Blues back along the right path.

Manchester United and Liverpool play each other at the weekend, which means City could be second by the start of next week.

He will be eased back into the England team - national-team manager Gareth Southgate was at Etihad Stadium for the match against Brighton and can not have failed to be impressed - but looks to have established himself in City's best side. Foden received the ball from De Bruyne on the left of the attack.

"It was another good performance".

"That is why he deserves to play".

A player holding himself to the high standards Sterling does is unlikely to take any comfort in the old head-tousling adage of "he was there to miss 'em", but there is something to be said for his relentless desire to contribute to the cause, irrespective of where his individual form resides.

"When that happens the rest is what everyone sees in his performance".

Foden netted his eighth of the season just before half-time - a superb low strike from the edge of the box - as City maintained their recent climb up the table with a fourth successive league win.

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City are now unbeaten in 14 matches in all competitions and building momentum although, as the game comes under increased scrutiny, their goal celebration could attract criticism amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The hosts could have eased the tension in second-half stoppage time but substitute Raheem Sterling lashed a penalty over the crossbar.

"In the last few days, Phil has played against [Chelsea's Cesar] Azpilicueta, one of the most incredible defenders in the Premier League, and was outstanding".

"I am pretty sure he would be selected if it was me".

The Belgian teed up Riyad Mahrez for a far-post volley but Mahrez failed to make proper contact and he forced a great save by keeper Sanchez after a lightning break.

If there was a moment in this match where it was clear City had found themselves, it came a couple of minutes before Foden's first-half victor.

Brighton's Leandro Trossard had a chance to test the returning Ederson in the City goal but he bent his shot wide. With four goals in his last six games, Foden has been City's shining light of late after finally getting a run of games under manager Pep Guardiola.

"The best footballing team in the league", said former Scotland worldwide Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 Live. "They are a joy to watch".

"When you win away against two incredible teams like Chelsea and Man Utd the headlines are nice but the reality was Brighton and we knew it".

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