A superb goal from Phil Foden proved to be decisive as Man City claimed four consecutive league wins after beating Brighton at the Etihad.
Man city took immediate control of possession in the early stages.
The tempo was lacking in their game at the start, but the pace quickly picked up as the 15 minutes approached.
Fluid movement saw Ilkay Gundogan put Kevin De Bruyne on goal, but Brighton Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez won to repel the Belgian’s weak effort.
The increased risk in their offensive play quickly opened the door for the Seagulls to counter.
Lenadro Trossard was released, and despite close attentions from both downtown halves, buckled an effort just past Ederson’s far post.
City were then offered a unique opportunity to score from an indirect free kick just 10 meters from goal.
Adam Webster’s back pass was picked up by Sanchez, but Alexis Mac Allister reacted sharply to block De Bruyne’s effort on the save.
A rare foray into Man City brought a corner for Brighton. Trossard’s delivery made work light for Ederson, whose rapid distribution set a counter in motion.
De Bruyne and Foden broke to pace, with De Bruyne eventually forcing a save on a shot that turned out to be too central.
At the stroke of half-time, the impasse was finally broken in a truly impressive way.
De Bruyne and Foden combined again to pull the youngster away before shooting low and accurately with his weaker foot in the bottom corner.
A beautifully crafted lens from Phil Foden! 👏
The perfect first touch to create the space, and he chooses his place inside the nearest post 🎯
– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 13, 2021
Man City continued to dominate after the break, and failed to double their advantage for a crazy 60-second period.
Mahrez wrapped up a close low workout before Gundogan saw his effort superbly saved. The rebound fell to Bernardo Silva, and after taking a touch to control a high ball, fired a shot against the woodwork, much to Brighton’s relief.
Other chances have come and gone from Joao Cancelo and the vibrant De Bruyne. It was only a matter of time before a second goal came.
As full time approached, Brighton improved their game looking for what would be a crux.
The waste set in in dead ball situations, however, ensuring their greatest chances of a equalizer often ended in failure.
City would eventually claim a 1-0 victory after Raheem Sterling inflicted an added time penalty on the crossbar.
The victory slips back into the top four and into the heart of what promises to be a hotly contested title race.