[20/04, 10:36 pm] +234 810 126 7754: Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva got on the scoresheet in the second half as Man City beat Brighton to move back to the top of the Premier League.
The hosts were frustrated by Graham Potter’s side before the break at the Etihad.
Deflected strikes from Mahrez and Foden settled their nerves though.
Haaland to City could be sporting and sportswashing triumph
Bernardo Silva settled any nerves completely with a fine third goal for the hosts eight minutes from time.
Liverpool’s hammering of Manchester United on Tuesday had put the pressure back on City in a thrilling title race.
Manager Pep Guardiola made six changes following Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to the Reds, with Kevin De Bruyne and Ederson among those to return.
Consequently there was no shortage of confidence from the home side but Brighton were in no mood to make things easy.
City first showed their threat after 10 minutes as they pieced together a slick move and Foden whipped in a cross from the left but Mahrez failed to make decent contact with his header.
Mahrez was gifted another chance soon after when goalkeeper Robert Sanchez’s clearance fell straight to him but the Algerian took too long and allowed Moises Caicedo to get back and tackle.
Sanchez was more convincing when he punched away away a De Bruyne cross and he also did well to claw away an effort from Silva under his own bar.
The closest City came in the first half was when De Bruyne unleashed a ferocious shot from distance but it flew narrowly wide.
City continued to push but Brighton’s determination was epitomised before the break by captain Lewis Dunk, who stood firm to block an Ilkay Gundogan effort.
City were forced into a change at half-time as Nathan Ake, who started at left-back, was replaced by Ruben Dias after suffering a knock.
Dias, himself returning to action after nine games out injured, took up his familiar position at centre-back with John Stones moving to right-back and Joao Cancelo switching flanks to the left.
City upped the tempo and forced a succession of corners before finally making their breakthrough after 53 minutes.
De Bruyne led a breakaway from deep and fed Mahrez, although the pass was made better by a lucky ricochet.
With the chance opening up, Mahrez raced in on goal and hit a shot that also took a deflection, this time off Dunk, and looped over goalkeeper Sanchez.
With that, a lot of the tension in the air seemed to evaporate and City were roared on further.
Brighton remained resolute enough to block an effort from Stones in a crowded area and for Sanchez to save well from De Bruyne but the visitors were breached again on 65 minutes.
Again City benefited from a stroke of fortune as Foden took aim from distance following a corner and saw his effort clip Enock Mwepu to wrong-foot Sanchez and find the bottom corner.
Foden went close to another after being put through soon after but Sanchez stood tall to save with his legs.
City wrapped up the game late on after Brighton made a mess of playing out from the back.
Substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko won possession and found De Bruyne, who in turn fed Silva to sweep home from the edge of the area.
[21/04, 1:06 am] +234 810 126 7754: They aren’t used to losing, especially at home, but Chelsea have already conceded 11 goals in their previous three games at Stamford Bridge, resulting in three straight defeats in all competitions. This club urgently requires a new owner and a new direction.
Nonetheless, after so much mediocrity, at least one club appears to covet that final Champions League position. Arsenal took the lead three times on Wednesday night, and the final time they didn’t just retain it, but increased it.
Yes, Arsenal is still out of the top four, but only on goal differential. They are level on points and games played with Tottenham, but the chase begins in earnest with Manchester United’s arrival on Saturday.
Despite this, Chelsea should be fine in third place, but defensive form remains a concern. Thomas Tuchel’s stability has vanished. Andreas Christensen was hooked by halftime and was lucky to last that long. Chelsea should close the agreement with Barcelona as soon as possible.
But for Mikel Arteta, it was a fantastic night. The best team won, and his brave decision to go with Eddie Nketiah as his striker was rewarded with two well-taken goals. Alexandre Lacazette, the man he replaced, is supposed to be pining for the Champions League, as if he has no control over it. Nketiah showed him the path forward.
Many of Arsenal’s young players felt the same way. The kids on this team are the heart of the organization: Nketiah, Bakayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, and Emile Smith-Rowe. Build around them and proceed from there. Arsenal’s future is in the hands of its youthful forwards, notably late substitute Gabriel Martinelli.
As concerning as Tuchel’s defensive frailties are, he will be as concerned that he used his £90 million striker in his first league game since February 19, and Arsenal had the stronger goal threat. After 11 minutes, Romelu Lukaku had one notable shot and didn’t quite make it to the hour before being substituted by Kai Havertz.
It’s difficult to see how he can get back here. Arsenal’s front line, on the other hand, is the young nucleus of a very excellent team. This summer, the club must fortify the area around them. Chelsea must also buy, but the emptiness in the stadium’s corners served as a reminder of the challenges ahead.
Even Tuchel was rather somber in the second half, slumped in his seat as Arteta became increasingly agitated, on the verge of a major triumph.
Arsenal’s night was over in the final minute, when Cesar Azpilicueta pushed Bakayo Saka to the ground and referee Moss correctly gave a penalty. Saka took the kick himself, sending Mendy in the opposite direction. It was exactly what the tourists deserved.
Arsenal controlled the game for 42 minutes, with the remaining 48 minutes split evenly between the two teams. Chelsea never had a lead, not even for a minute, and Arsenal outplayed Chelsea in either half. Although we’ve seen a lot of such under Arteta, their jubilation at the end suggested this could be a turning point.