Brighton 0-5 Manchester City
(Sterling 21’ 53’, 81’, Jesus 44’, B.Silva 56’)
Manchester City ran rampant against a completely outclassed Brighton and Hove Albion side, as City got back to winning ways on the road and subsequently secured a second place finish.
Raheem Sterling was in blistering form as he scored his third hat-trick of the season, to demonstrate his importance to the City team.
Sterling put Pep Guardiola’s side ahead with a brilliant low drive from outside the area, receiving a Gabriel Jesus flick and cutting in from the left before rifling his shot into the opposite corner of the net.
City continued to exert their dominance and soon doubled their lead through a Jesus tap in after a Rodri header found him unmarked from two yards out .
Sterling was soon in on the act again, causing mayhem for the Brighton defence as he ghosted in between two defenders to head emphatically home after an inch perfect Riyad Mahrez cross.
City at this point didn’t need any assistance, but they got some from a mistake by the Brighton keeper Mat Ryan after he couldn’t hold onto a Bernardo Silva shot, which allowed the Portugal international to follow up and slot home to make it four for City.
As it was, it was left to City’s wing wizard Sterling to have the final say, his relentless closing down and pressure on the Brighton backline caused panic and the ball bounced off the back of his head and rolled into the net for his hat-trick and City’s fifth.
Pep Guardiola will surely be hoping Sterling, who now has 27 goals in all competitions for City this season can maintain his current run of form for upcoming FA Cup and Champions League commitments.
What does this mean?
City’s emphatic win secures them a second place finish. Brighton are by no means safe and will be eagerly anticipating the weekends round of fixtures to see how their rivals get on.
Brighton travel to the south coast to face Southampton, whilst Manchester City host relegation threatened Bournemouth.