By 90Min
September 29, 2018

Manchester City ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against Chris Hughton's Brighton, with goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero sealing the win for the Citizens.

Guardiola's team started the game sloppily, giving the ball away with uncharacteristic ease. However, in the 29th minute, a moment of slick movement saw City carve the Seagulls open down the left hand-side, as Leroy Sané burst towards the byline before providing Raheem Sterling with a simple tap-in at the far post.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

The Citizens pressed for a second before half-time but were left frustrated by Brighton's resolute defensive display. Sterling came closest to scoring his and City's second but was thwarted by the strong left hand of Mathew Ryan. 

City started the second half as they finished the first, probing the Brighton defence in search of a second goal to crush any remaining defiance from the opposition. In the 65th minute, the pressure finally told as Sergio Agüero applied the finishing touches to a wonderful passing move, just as the Argentine was about to make way for Gabriel Jesus.

City settled for their two-goal lead, and saw out the rest of the game with ease, as Brighton struggled to make an impact on the game. 


MANCHESTER CITY


Key Talking Point


Manchester City were not at their blistering best throughout large parts of their match against Brighton. However, ahead of Liverpool's game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the result took priority for the Citizens.

By getting maximum points against Brighton, Guardiola's team ensured that they piled even more pressure on the Reds to get a result at Stamford Bridge. 

With City due to play Liverpool in their next Premier League fixture, it was of the upmost importance for Guardiola that his team did not allow Liverpool to further widen the gap at the top of the table. 


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Otamendi (6), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (8), D. Silva (8), Fernandinho (7), B. Silva (8), Sterling (8), Agüero (8), Sané (8).


Substitutes: Muric, Danilo, Stones, Kompany, Foden (6), Mahrez (6), Jesus (6).


STAR MAN - Raheem Sterling had a somewhat disappointing World Cup after a stellar season for Manchester City last season. However, since returning to club football, the electric winger seems to have recaptured his form.

Against Brighton, Sterling was often unplayable at times. The Englishman opened the scoring for Manchester City and could have had another had he not selflessly passed the ball to Sergio Agüero to guarantee City's second goal of the game. 


WORST PLAYER - City were totally untested by Brighton on Saturday. However, usually so reliable, Fernandinho seemed slightly off the pace today.

The Brazilian was dispossessed too easily on occasion, especially in the first half, whilst his decision making in the final third was at times wasteful.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

In the late stages of the match, Fernandinho was fortunate not to concede a penalty as he handled the ball in the penalty area, topping off a disappointing performance for the Brazilian midfielder. 

In Saturday's fixture it did not matter, but Guardiola will know that any sloppiness will be pounced upon next weekend against Liverpool. 


BRIGHTON


Key Talking Point


Brighton's loss to Manchester City, whilst expected, marks a worrying statistic for Chris Hughton. His side have now failed to win a match in their last six fixtures in all competitions. It means that the Seagulls have currently only won one match in the league this season.

LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

However, it must be noted that Brighton have played three of the four teams that finished in the top four last season. 

Their upcoming games represent more presentable opportunities for points but it's essential that they start picking up wins soon, or they'll find themselves in a relegation dogfight.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Ryan (7), Montoya (5), Dunk (6), Duffy (6), Bong (6), Knockaert (6), Propper (5), Kayal (5), March (6), Bissouma (6), Locadia (5)


Substitutes: Button, Balogun, Bernardo Fernandes, Bruno, Jahanbakhsh (6), Izquierdo (6), Murray (6).


STAR MAN - Ryan was unsurprisingly busy today, as City peppered his goal with shots. The scoreline could have been far more embarrassing for the Seagulls had Ryan not been on hand to deny the likes of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané throughout the game.

The Australian goalkeeper has been a reliable figure in Brighton's team since their promotion to the Premier League and his saves could be crucial if Chris Hughton's team are to survive another season in the Premier League. 


WORST PLAYER - Brighton's Montoya had a torrid time against City, as he was tasked with keeping the pacy Leroy Sané quiet. The Spanish right back struggled all game, and was constantly beaten for speed and power as City got in behind him time and time again.

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Montoya must have been breathing a sigh of relief when Sané was subbed off. However, things got even worse as Sterling was moved onto the left wing. Montoya was quickly booked as the English winger danced past him once more. 


Looking Ahead


Next weekend City take on title rivals at Anfield, in what promises to be a nail-biting contest. In the same fixture last season Guardiola's team were beaten 4-3, as Liverpool dashed City's hopes for an unbeaten season in the Premier League.

For Brighton, they have a home match against the resurgent West Ham. Whilst the game promises to be a tough contest, Chris Hughton will be hoping that his side can return to winning ways and stop their worrying early season rot.

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