Premier League
Brighton0Man City2

Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester City

Aguero
Sergio Aguero has now scored against 30 of his 31 Premier League opponents

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was relieved to see his side overcome promoted Brighton after their Premier League rivals slipped up earlier in the day.

Title favourites City had to wait to break down the Seagulls before two late goals gave them victory on the south coast.

But they never looked in serious danger of suffering an opening weekend upset in the manner of Chelsea, who lost at home to Burnley, or Liverpool, who were held by Watford.

"The first game is always complicated, in my experience, even with Barcelona - especially against a promoted side when they have the passion and are under no pressure at all," said the former Barca and Bayern Munich boss.

"We saw what happened to Liverpool and Chelsea and we spoke about it. It was unexpected but this is the Premier League - I learned this last season.

"Here every game is a battle, but we controlled the game and it was always in our hands."

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 later to make sure of the points for Guardiola's new-look side.

Brighton, who had 22% 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.

But that was the only time City's defence was under pressure and the day 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

Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker joined Manchester City from Tottenham in a £45m deal, plus add-ons

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.

Cautious Brighton unable to shine

A rousing atmosphere greeted the Brighton players at a packed stadium but Chris Hughton's side, which included five new signings, had little opportunity to show what they could do.

It was just their discipline and work-rate on show for the first hour or so, when they often had 10 men behind the ball.

Up front, Tomer Hemed and Pascal Gross had a thankless task of chasing and harrying, without a sight of goal.

That second-half spell, when City wobbled but held out under pressure, brought an amazing response from the home fans and perhaps demonstrated what might have been possible had Brighton showed more ambition on their big day against a side playing a new system.

Chris Hughton's cautious approach came within 20 minutes of earning a point against a team with much greater talent and resources but could not quite get the job done - in the end, it was City who did that.

"For 70 minutes we played the game we had to play when you are up against the quality they have got," said Hughton.

"City have got designs on winning the Champions League - our target is to make sure we are in this division next season.

"For 70 minutes, we kept them to minimal good chances but probably the first moment we allowed ourselves to get really stretched as a team, they capitalised."

Man of the match - Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Sergio Aguero
Manchester City's striker fluffed his lines badly with the score at 0-0, shanking a shot wide after Duffy's under-hit back-pass played him in, but he made no mistake with his next clear sight of goal to break the deadlock. Aguero, who scored 33 times last season in what was a difficult campaign for him, is off the mark quickly.

The stats you need to know

  • Manchester City have won each of their last seven opening day contests in the Premier League, the best current run in the competition.
  • Brighton have won just one of their last six opening league fixtures (D1 L4).
  • Sergio Aguero has hit six goals in his seven opening day Premier League games.
  • Lewis Dunk is the seventh player to score an own-goal on his Premier League debut.
  • Since his Premier League debut in August 2010, David Silva has provided 65 assists in the competition, 14 more than any other player (Wayne Rooney is next on 51).
  • Brighton & Hove Albion have scored just one goal in total in their last four league games.
  • Goalkeeper Mat Ryan attempted more passes than any outfield Brighton player in this match (27).
  • Manchester City have failed to find the net in just one of their last 12 Premier League games, netting 29 in total in that run.

'We were stable but must improve' - what the managers said

Media playback is not supported on this device

Guardiola satisfied with win over Brighton

Man City boss Pep Guardiola: "We had chances in the first minutes. We have controlled the counter-attacks and we didn't concede one chance. We are going to improve the way we attack.

"I was very happy with the new players. I want to say thank you to the club. We have huge players with lots of talent. Big congratulations to all the people in Manchester City - we are a strong club.

"I want to continue with what we did in the last three games of pre-season. We were stable but we have to try to improve. The most important thing was to win the first game."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Plenty of positives from Brighton defeat - Hughton

Brighton manager Chris Hughton: "It is disappointing but that is the quality Manchester City have got and we know that.

"We can take a lot of positives from the game. When you are playing Champions League-quality teams, you know that they can hurt you. It was always going to be difficult for us to score.

"We have to make sure that come the end of the window, we have a squad that can do well enough in this division. We have to win the games that we can do.

"The fans have been absolutely brilliant in my time here and I think they are realistic. They will certainly be behind us. It is a wonderful place to be and a wonderful place to play."

What next?

Brighton are away at Leicester next Saturday (15:00 BST) then go to Watford the following weekend. Their next home league game is not until 9 September, when West Brom are the visitors.

City's first home game of the new season is against Everton on Monday 21 August (20:00) before they return to the south coast to play Bournemouth the following weekend.

Line-ups

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 2Bruno
  • 22Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 29Suttner
  • 20MarchSubstituted forKnockaertat 75'minutes
  • 6Stephens
  • 24Pröpper
  • 37BrownSubstituted forMurphyat 24'minutes
  • 13Groß
  • 10HemedSubstituted forMurrayat 60'minutes

Substitutes

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

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 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 with a through ball.

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

Follow Match of the Day on Instagram for the best photos from the world of football.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Huddersfield11003033
2Man City11002023
3Arsenal11004313
4Burnley11003213
5Everton11001013
6West Brom11001013
7Liverpool10103301
8Watford10103301
9Southampton10100001
10Swansea10100001
11Man Utd00000000
12Newcastle00000000
13Tottenham00000000
14West Ham00000000
15Leicester100134-10
16Chelsea100123-10
17Bournemouth100101-10
18Stoke100101-10
19Brighton100102-20
20Crystal Palace100103-30
View full Premier League table

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you: