Manchester City’s best bit of business was not selling sublime Bernardo Silva… he is running the show for Pep Guardiola’s side
- Manchester City beat Brighton 4-1 in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
- Phil Foden scored a brace while Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez also struck
- Bernardo Silva continued his fine form with another brilliant performance
Just short of an hour in and Bernardo Silva has the ball. Jakub Moder and Adam Lallana are chasing. He dashes between the duo, they crash into one another and are floored.
While they’re picking themselves up, Silva is away. See you later. There’s a reason he became known as ‘bubble gum’ at Monaco. The ball sticks to that left foot of his.
Phil Foden scored twice against Brighton but he wasn’t the best player at the Amex Stadium. That was Silva, the 27-year-old who has wanted to leave Manchester City in the last few transfer windows for personal reasons. Pep Guardiola is so glad that he stayed.
Manchester City’s best bit of business in the summer was keeping hold of Bernardo Silva
Silva was a pleasure to watch on Saturday. He acrobatically hooked the ball backwards for Ilkay Gundogan to open the scoring. He played the pass in behind for Jack Grealish to assist Foden. He was here, there and everywhere.
It turns out City’s best business in the summer might not be a player they bought, but the one they didn’t find a buyer for. The club were willing to let him leave, remember.
There’s still talk of the Portuguese not being entirely happy in England. If this is him unhappy, crikey. Silva is at the peak of his powers in the Premier League right now.
He was named City’s Player of the Month for September and if he was to win it for October, few would complain.
‘Thank them,’ said Silva when asked if he had a message for the supporters on City’s official YouTube channel, ‘because over the past months it wasn’t easy for me. Their support for me is unbelievable.
The Portuguese winger was brilliant once again as City beat Brighton on Saturday
‘I’m playing in the midfield as I have played many times in the past. It’s the position I love to play in. I feel free to play there, to attack, to defend. I have to respect my position but I feel quite free to do my job.’
That freedom was evident on Saturday. Silva is contracted until 2025, but if and when he does leave, you wonder whether Foden could take over in midfield.
Right now Foden is playing in a multitude of positions. He was a false nine here but can be used on the left wing, right wing or in midfield, as he has been for England. Guardiola doesn’t want to pigeonhole his player. He’s too good for that, he says. ‘There are players who play in one position and players who play football,’ Guardiola said of Foden. ‘What playing football means is that they can play in any position. They understand the game.
‘It doesn’t matter what position he plays. He plays good.’
As for Brighton, they left the Amex knowing they’d been beaten by the better side, simple as that. City were rampant in the first half, taking a 3-0 lead inside 31 minutes. It looked as if they wanted to see how close they could come to Chelsea’s seven earlier in the day.
But Brighton came back into the game. They put up a fight in the second half, scoring via Alexis Mac Allister’s penalty, before Riyad Mahrez made it 4-1.
Brighton boss Graham Potter had no complaints, saying this is what can happen when you play the best of the best.
With Silva running the show, City are definitely that.