Manchester – Erling Haaland struck twice and Kevin de Bruyne scored a stunning second-half goal as Manchester City earned a 3-1 home win over Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.
The victory moved second-placed City on to 26 points after 11 games, one behind leaders Arsenal who visit Southampton on Sunday. Brighton are eighth on 15 points.
Haaland scored for the seventh consecutive home game in all competitions to give City the lead midway through the first half and then fired in a penalty in the 43rd minute after a video assistant referee review ruled that visiting captain Lewis Dunk had fouled Bernardo Silva.
Brighton deservedly pulled back a goal early in the second half when Leandro Trossard rifled a shot under diving City goalkeeper Ederson from the edge of the area.
Trossard nearly found an equaliser when he tore down the left wing and towards goal, but this time Ederson got the better of him and blocked the shot to force a corner.
City captain De Bruyne then killed off the visitors’ hopes of snatching a point by curling a shot from outside the area high into the net in the 75th minute.
Brighton are still searching for their first win under Roberto De Zerbi, but gave a good account of themselves, pressing City high up the pitch and doing a far better job of containing the champions than any other visiting team this season.
But they fell behind to the type of goal City are not usually associated with, a long kick downfield from goalkeeper Ederson which landed at the feet of Haaland after a mix-up between Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez and defender Adam Webster.
The Norwegian striker outmuscled Webster and then walked the ball into the net, grabbing his 21st goal of the season in all competitions after failing to score for the first time in 11 matches in last week’s 1-0 defeat away to Liverpool.
Brighton continued to play well, but were pegged back again when referee Craig Pawson was advised by the VAR to review the tackle by Dunk on Silva, having initially allowed play to continue.
Haaland made no mistake to tot up his 22nd goal of the campaign, which was also City’s 600th Premier League strike under Pep Guardiola, who became the third manager to reach the milestone after Alex Ferguson with Manchester United and Arsene Wenger with Arsenal.