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Manchester City vs Brighton and Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Lee Mason
29th September 2018 3:00 PM (BST)
  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘29' Raheem Sterling
    • ‘65' Sergio Agüero
  • 0 Brighton and Hove Albion


Commentary By Caroline Oatway



That's your lot from me! Another pleasing afternoon's work...

I'll finish by telling you Chelsea and Liverpool drew 1-1, meaning we stay top of the table! Awwyeah.

Check out the highlights of today's win on from midnight tonight. In the meantime, there's plenty of post-match reaction live on the website now for your perusal. Enjoy.

Also, if statistics are your thing, number-crunch to your heart's content right here on the Matchday Centre in the Line-up and Stats tabs.

Happy Saturday night, everyone!


Raheem Sterling

"The earlier the first goal comes, the better and the important thing was to score early today because I thought Brighton were solid today.

"We knew it would be difficult and they would set up well so I thought the boys deserve full credit today. We've got some amazing attacking players and we're learning more each day and we're always finding out how to break teams down."

(On targets for the season): "My target is to be up there with the team again. Our aim is to get a second Premier League title under our belts and the only way we'll do that is to keep fighting and keep the pressure on."


Brighton's Gaetan Bong:

"I think we played well but it is hard to come here and have the ball. We caused them trouble but they have quality players. We were focused to stay in the game but it was tough after they scored the first goal. We have to learn from this loss.

"We have quick players and that's why it is important to stay in the game until it opens up for us. We tried today and it wasn't working but we have to focus on the next game.

"It's a tough place to go, even for the top teams, and that's why we knew today would be hard to take a point or even win."


"I’m a lucky guy to have this group of fantastic human beings.

"Every time we lost the ball, we recovered and attacked with players at the edge of their penalty box. That is a dream for us."


Pep Guardiola:

"Sergio Aguero is struggling with some problems in his feet.

"We spoke about him playing 55, 60 mins. That’s what happened. We were lucky he scored a goal in that moment (before he was substituted).

"Hopefully, he will be okay for Tuesday."


Oleks Zinchenko...

"For us, it was important to get three points and we had a lot of chances to score but Brighton are a good team defensively and have quality players in front."

(On Pep Guardiola): "He is number one coach in the world and he wants to see the best of us."

(On our midweek trip to Hoffenheim): "Of course, the Champions League is important to us so we hope to get three points."


A job well done

Solid from back to front, as the Blues continue our fine start to the season.

Two moments of sheer quality shone through in the end to claim the points.

More reaction to follow...



The referee blows his whistle and City run out 2-0 victors, courtesy of goals in either half from Sterling and Aguero.

A thoroughly professional performance.



Brief stoppage in play, as Laporte is down, holding his head.

In the meantime, Brighton make a change, as Jahanbakhsh is brought on in place of Knockaert.


This is how it feels to be City

The Blue faithful really enjoying themselves now, belting out a selection of classic songs, which I'm sure you can guess the topic of!



Just watched another replay of it. There's even a nutmeg in Aguero's burst forward. As if it wasn't good enough!

Pep Guardiola celebrated with Kun , as he came off. Only the striker will know whether he was buoyed by the sight of Gabriel Jesus in the technical area - but who cares?!


City change

It does prove to be Aguero's final involvement, as he is replaced by Gabriel Jesus.

As always, he leaves the field to a standing ovation, especially on the back of that wonderful goal.


Just in time!

That was absolutely glorious. Aguero at his absolute best, driving at the defence, weaving his way forward.

He plays through to Sterling, who squares it back into his path, and needless to say, the finish is perfect.

It may be his last action - but wow, what an exit!


How did that stay out?!

Somehow, Brighton survive as City lay siege on the visitors' goal. The ball must have gone across goal five times with four shots - all either blocked by last-ditch challenges or saved. Proper football, ha!



Sane arrives at the backpost to reach Bernardo's lofted delivery. He heads down, aiming for the far post but it bounces up and over the bar!



So, an even start as both sides settled into the game and sought to grab an early advantage.

Simultaneously, City gained control to press and Brighton sat back to defend. As we've seen so often, it's only a matter of time when that's the case...

City clinched the breakthrough with a well-worked move and the Blues have been on top ever since.

Still, it's only 1-0... so plenty to be cautious about.


Faster, faster!


Half-time scores...

Arsenal 0-0 Watford

Everton 0-0 Fulham

Huddersfield 0-2 Tottenham

Newcastle 0-1 Leicester

Wolves 0-0 Southampton

And I know you already know this but... West Ham beat United 3-1 in the earlier kick-off.



That's that. The first half comes to a close with City leading 1-0 at the break, thanks to Sterling's effort.

Almost a case of 'curse of the commentator' there just before the whistle, as Knockaert had a shot blocked - but the Blues head into half-time fully deserving of the advantage.



Brighton's attacking threat has disappeared completely in the last 20 minutes or so. They've been reduced to long-balls, which have either sailed through to Ederson or bounced straight out of play.



Wing men

City are having a lot of joy down the left flank. Zinc, Sane, Silva and Aguero all combining excellently.

A moment ago, Sane executed a delicious flick into the box to find Silva.


Sterling work

Sterling goes in search of a second, jinking his way into a yard of space. His strike to the nearpost top corner is well-saved.


Almost a second!

Bernardo looks to continue his impressive form with another goal, driving a low effort goalward - but it's the wrong side of the near post.



It had been coming. The Blues have hit our stride in the past few minutes, getting more shots away in the process.

'Twas a simple goal in regards to conversion but as effective as any other! 


Get in there!

A lovely team goal, as Aguero releases Sane and the German drills across the face of goal, where Sterling slides in to convert at the backpost!



Aguero with another attempted bicycle kick. He doesn't make the right connection this time - but again, it would have been some goal had it been on target!


Magic man

Incredible from David Silva, who somehow ghosts past three Brighton defenders on the left before floating a dangerous cross to the backpost, which Ryan claws away.


Yellow card

It's been brought to my attention that Knockaert was booked early on for a high boot on Zinchenko.

Apologies, I missed that one. I *might* have been singing along to the Zabaleta chant...



Buoyant Brighton

The visitors have no intentions of sitting back in these early stages. Been a very even contest so far with the Seagulls pushing men forward on the attack.



Can't take your eyes off this one!

At the other end, Bong creates space on the flank and crosses for Knockaert, whose first-time shot is deflected wide.

The resulting corner is headed over.


Fantasy Football

Sergio Aguero has produced a goal or an assist in all three of his home Premier League appearances, averaging 11 Fantasy Football points per match.

By comparison, he has totalled 10 points in his three away fixtures.

Aguero’s 31 shots and 21 shots inside the penalty area are both more than any other player.

Raheem Sterling is also strong at the Etihad, scoring in both of his home appearances.

Brighton are one of only three sides yet to record a clean sheet.



Clayton continues: "Expect the Blues to play 4-3-3 today.

"Brighton will likely look to keep it tight, with two banks of defensive lines in front of their goalkeeper.

"City may need to be patient and if so, there will be plenty of probing in and around the Brighton box as the champions look to find gaps."


Team news and tactics

In total, Pep Guardiola makes eight changes from the Carabao Cup starting XI.

As Club journalist David Clayton reports: "Oleksandr Zinchenko’s fine display against Oxford wins him a staring berth this afternoon.

"Danilo can play left-back, but only has one 90 minutes under his belt this season.

"Fabian Delph and Benjamin Mendy remain side-lined with injury.

"David Silva and Bernardo look set to play centrally in front of Fernandinho, with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane on the wing and Sergio Aguero the lone striker."


City XI, presented by Hays

Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Silva (c), Sane, Sterling, Bernardo, Aguero.

SUBS: Muric, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Mahrez, Jesus, Foden.


Pep on Sterling

"My feeling is he is more mature than last season and I like it.

"Sometimes it's not about statistics. Maybe I am wrong, but he is more mature and believes in himself more than last season.

"Our target is to make the players feel like they are better than the previous season."


Brighton boss Chris Hughton

"Along with playing Liverpool away, I would say that this is the toughest game. We did okay in the Liverpool one and might've got a result there, so you always have to be positive going into games like this.

"No-one expects us to get anything from it, so that's normal and that pressure is taken off, but we want to do as well as we can." 


Foden on his goal at Oxford

"It still hasn’t sunk in yet - getting my first goal for a club I’ve supported since I was a kid is a dream come true. More importantly, we got the win."



"Brighton have been together a long time, they know what they have to do. They are really well organised. It will be a really tough game, but we know that and we will try to do a good game.

"I know what they have done against Manchester United and at Anfield (against Liverpool). They played so good in the second half there."


Big game

Hugely important game today, both in terms of Premier League points and setting ourselves up for the Hoffenheim and Liverpool matches. A good result and performance would be ideal. 

Other games that day

  • Chelsea1
  • West Ham United3
    Manchester United1
  • Arsenal2
  • Huddersfield Town0
    Tottenham Hotspur2
  • Newcastle United0
    Leicester City2
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers2
  • Everton3