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Man City battle past spirited Brighton

Aguero

Premier League title favourites Manchester City had to wait to break down promoted Brighton before two late goals gave them victory on the south coast.

The Seagulls, back in the top flight after a 34-year absence, had showed impressive organisation and resolve to keep City at bay until David Silva played in Sergio Aguero to fire home after 70 minutes.

Lewis Dunk headed Fernandinho’s cross into his own net five minutes to make sure of the points for Pep Guardiola’s new-look side.

Brighton, who had less than 25% of possession, spent most of the game defending in their own half but had chances with the score at 0-0.

Shane Duffy had a shot deflected just wide and, after City’s new £35m goalkeeper Ederson flapped at the resulting corner, Dunk had two shots blocked in quick succession.

That was as much of a test as City’s backline got, and they never looked in serious danger of suffering an opening weekend upset in the manner of some of their title rivals.

This was was more of a test of whether Guardiola’s rebooted team could break down a massed defence. They did not do it enough in his first season at City but at the Amex Stadium, eventually, they found a way through.

City not making most of new width

New personnel meant a change to a 3-1-4-2 formation for Guardiola, something he tried during his side’s recent tour of the United States.

It was hard to gauge an accurate impression of City’s new shape because Brighton sat so deep in their own half and saw so little of the ball.

Even so, the signs are that City are still adjusting to it themselves.

Kyle Walker and Danilo, signed for a combined £68m over the summer, did exactly what they were supposed to do as wing-backs – constantly getting forward and overlapping down the outside.

All too often, though, their runs were ignored and City played the ball inside, where space was limited, before attacks broke down.

Width was the way forward for City, however, and moves along the right flank provided both their goals.

Dale Stephens’ mistake allowed Walker to start the attack that led to Aguero scoring, while Fernandinho provided the cross that Dunk put into his own net.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 2Bruno
  • 22Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 29Suttner
  • 20MarchSubstituted forKnockaertat 77′minutes
  • 6Stephens
  • 24Pröpper
  • 37BrownSubstituted forMurphyat 24′minutes
  • 13Groß
  • 10HemedSubstituted forMurrayat 60′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Hünemeier
  • 11Knockaert
  • 12Mäenpää
  • 14Sidwell
  • 15Murphy
  • 17Murray
  • 23Rosenior

Man City

  • 31Santana de Moraes
  • 4Kompany
  • 5Stones
  • 30Otamendi
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 2Walker
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 21Silva
  • 3DaniloSubstituted forSanéat 68′minutes
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 83′minutes
  • 33de JesusBooked at 29minsSubstituted forSterlingat 78′minutesBooked at 82mins

Substitutes

  • 1Bravo
  • 7Sterling
  • 15Mangala
  • 19Sané
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 42Y Touré
  • 47Foden
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
30,415

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home22%
Away78%
Shots
Home6
Away14
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away10
Fouls
Home6
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Manchester City 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Manchester City 2.

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Markus Suttner.

Foul by Leroy Sané (Manchester City).

Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Bernardo Silva replaces Sergio Agüero.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Pascal Groß tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.

Booking

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Fernandinho.

Foul by Leroy Sané (Manchester City).

Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Raheem Sterling replaces Gabriel Jesus.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bruno tries a through ball, but Pascal Groß is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Anthony Knockaert replaces Solly March.

Goal!

Own Goal by Lewis Dunk, Brighton and Hove Albion. Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Manchester City 2.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Solly March.

Kyle Walker (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jamie Murphy (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Goal!

Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Manchester City 1. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Silva.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Leroy Sané replaces Danilo.

.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Lewis Dunk.

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kyle Walker.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Davy Pröpper.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Lewis Dunk.

Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Glenn Murray replaces Tomer Hemed.

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by David Silva.

Attempt missed. Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.

Attempt blocked. Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Dunk with a headed pass.

goal

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