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Phil Foden to fore as Man City thrash Brighton 4-0 to stay on course for another Premier League title

BRIGHTON, England: Manchester City chalked up another big win in their pursuit of an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title, with Phil Foden continuing his career-best scoring season with two goals in a 4-0 thrashing of Brighton on Thursday.

Foden’s first-half double came between goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Julian Alvarez as City extended their unbeaten run in the league to 18 games and trimmed the gap to leader Arsenal to one point. Liverpool are two points further back in third after their title chances were damaged by a 2-0 loss at Everton on Wednesday.

City have five games remaining — one more than Arsenal and Liverpool — and, on current form, are showing no sign of slipping up in the final stretch that still contains trips to Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Tottenham as well as home matches against Wolverhampton and West Ham.

Win all five of those games and City are the champion again. No team have ever won four successive top-flight titles in the history of English soccer.

“I trust my team,” De Bruyne said. “All respect to Arsenal and Liverpool, they are amazing … but we need to do our job.

“We just need to keep going, not get ahead of ourselves, be humble and work hard.”

Since a 0-0 draw with Arsenal at home on March 31, City have won four straight league games and scored 17 goals in the process.

Pep Guardiola’s team kept up that hot streak without the injured Erling Haaland — the league’s joint-top scorer with 20 goals — and that allowed Foden to potentially join the race for the Golden Boot.

It’s 16 goals for the campaign and 24 in 48 games in all club competitions this season for Foden, who delivered another clinical display in front of England coach Gareth Southgate at Amex Stadium — seven weeks out from the start of the European Championship.

“This year I’ve moved inside and it’s helped my game massively,” Foden said of a positional tweak that sees him often play centrally rather out on the wing. “I feel I can get a lot of goals there.”

De Bruyne scored his first-ever headed goal in the Premier League when he met Kyle Walker’s right-wing cross to give City the lead in the 17th and Foden made it 2-0 in the 26th when his shot from a free kick deflected in off the back of Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross.

Foden added a third in the 34th by curling home a low finish from just inside the area after Brighton lost possession attempting to play out from the back.

Alvarez, starting up front in place of Haaland, slotted in for 4-0 in the 62nd after Walker was given space to roam down the right wing and cut inside before sliding in to challenge goalkeeper Jason Steele and get the ball across to the Argentina striker.

The Premier League is the only one of Europe’s top five leagues where the title race is still realistically up for grabs. Bayer Leverkusen have won the German league, Inter Milan have clinched the Italian title, while Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have 11-point leads in Spain and France, respectively.

“Many things can happen,” Guardiola said about the title race. “What happened with Liverpool (losing recently) against Crystal Palace and Everton can happen to us. It can happen to Arsenal. No one is safe.”

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