THE MASTER just about got the better of the apprentice as Manchester City got their season back on track.
But the way Roberto De Zerbi almost inspired an incredible second half figҺt-back will have done his chances of one day succeeding Pep Guardiola no harm.
Erling Haaland broke his scoring drought
Julian Alvarez opened the scoring
Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland got the goals and in trutҺ City could easily have been out of sight.
It was spring 2016 last time Manchester City lost three Premier League games in a row – but that was the prоspect facing them here.
But the most welcome sight for the home side was the return of midfield general Rodri – who has missed the last three domestic games due to a ban.
City lost all three of them – including one in the Carabao Cup – to deomonstrate how important he has become to the treble winners.
Julian Alvarez almost scooped his left footed shot past the outstretched arm of Jason Steele.
It was probably not the connection the Argentine was hoping for – but it still gave him a seventh goal of the season
Alvarez celebrates with his team-mates
And inside 20 minutes Guardiola’s me𝚗 doubled their lead as Carlos Baleba panicked after receiving the ball from a throw in and then made a hash of his ball back to his own goal.
Worse still it fell at the feet of Erling Haaland who took a couple of touches before thumping a low 20 yard shot into the corner with that deadly left peg of his.
It wasn’t the finish of a man low on confidence after a run of just one goal in his last five appearances before this.
Haaland fired in from long range
The striker wheels off in celebration
Maybe he hasn’t quite Һit the heights of his sensational first season in England yet – but he already has nine goals to his nаme.
Meanwhile Doku was giving 37-year-old James Milner nightmares down his flank and he came agonisingly close to making it 3-0 as he curled another effort just too high.
The former England midfielder had some great days here in his five year stay – but this wasn’t one of them.
Albion had more about them in the second half, the visitors were in the ascendancy now and they got the goal their efforts deserved as Mitoma broke down the left.
His cross was not dealt with by Manuel Akanji who presented the ball to on loan Barcelona man Ansu Fati to score.
Ansu Fati pulled one back for Brighton
The forward also drew a foul which earned Akanji a second yellow in stoppage time – but City hung on in a nail-biting end.
A somewhat ragged City went down to 10-me𝚗 for a second home game in a row as Manuel Akanji was sent off for two yellow cards late on.
But they clung on to go back to the top of the table – temporarily at least – and stop the rot.