Manchester City extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions with a hard-fought win over struggling Brighton.
Phil Foden grabbed the only goal just before half-time when he collected Kevin de Bruyne’s pass, created space and fired into the bottom corner.
The hosts had chances to extend the lead, Riyad Mahrez shooting just wide, Ilkay Gundogan seeing an effort saved by Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and Bernardo Silva hitting the crossbar. Most culpably, Raheem Sterling sent an injury-time penalty over the bar after Sanchez had fouled De Bruyne.
Alexis Mac Allister had perhaps the Seagulls’ best chance to equalise but shot over the top.
City’s fourth straight win in the league moves them up to third, although they will drop back to fourth if Tottenham win at home against Fulham in the late game on Wednesday.
Brighton, meanwhile, have now not won in nine league matches and could find themselves in the bottom three if 18th-placed Fulham come out on top at Spurs.
Brighton, without a win in the Premier League since they beat Aston Villa 2-1 on 21 November, will be encouraged by their battling performance, but lacked the quality up front to get a point.
Graham Potter’s side had to wait 40 minutes for their first corner, and then the delivery was poor and City quickly broke with De Bruyne forcing a fine save from Sanchez.
The Seagulls did not have a shot on target until 10 minutes into the second half and that was no trouble for Ederson as Davy Propper’s strike was straight at him.
Percy Tau, making his Premier League debut more than two years after signing for Brighton, set up Mac Allister, who shot narrowly over.
Potter brought on top goalscorer Neal Maupay for Tau for the last 22 minutes, but the Frenchman could not inspire an equaliser.
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