Premier League
Man City2Brighton0

Manchester City 2-0 Brighton: City beat visitors to go top of table

Raheem Sterling scores
Raheem Sterling slid home to open the scoring with his fourth league goal in six appearances this season

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero sent Manchester City top of the Premier League with victory over Brighton.

City had to wait until nearest rivals Liverpool had drawn with third-placed Chelsea in Saturday's late game to discover whether their stay at the summit would be a brief one, but Pep Guardiola's side ended the day top on goal difference.

The outcome of this match was never in doubt once Sterling broke the deadlock after 29 minutes, sliding home Leroy Sane's cross after a swift counter-attack opened up the Seagulls defence for the first time.

The defending champions continued to dominate and Aguero made sure of the points on 65 minutes, firing home from a Sterling pass to finish a move he started.

City had 28 attempts at goal, while the visitors had just four.

And while Seagulls keeper Mat Ryan was kept busy throughout, the only action Ederson saw in the City goal was to comfortably collect an early looping header by Shane Duffy.

City maintain impressive home form

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Man City 2-0 Brighton: Guardiola thrilled with 'outstanding' Man City

This was exactly the kind of emphatic win Guardiola will have wanted before his side attempt to get their Champions League campaign back on track against Hoffenheim this week.

City, surprisingly beaten at home by French side Lyon in their last home game, never looked like suffering a similar upset against the Seagulls.

Their Premier League record at the Etihad since the start of last season includes 20 wins from 23 games, and this was among the most convincing.

True, it took them time to find a way to break down a well-drilled Brighton side, but they had so much of the ball they always appeared in control.

City enjoyed 80% of possession and played 851 passes, compared to 210 by a Brighton side who sat deep and offered next to no threat on the counter-attack.

Brighton wait for an away win continues

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The second goal killed it - Hughton

Brighton, who have not won on the road in the top flight since November 2017, are getting used to returning to the south coast empty-handed.

This was their 17th successive away league game without a win, and the 12th in that period in which they have failed to score.

There were few moments in this game when they looked like improving that record, and not many statistics offer them any encouragement to take away from Etihad Stadium.

The Seagulls had a late penalty appeal turned down when the ball appeared to hit Fernandinho's arm in the box, but otherwise their attacking threat amounted to three corners and six touches inside the City area. At the other end, the home side managed 61.

Chris Hughton's side as good as matched City in terms of work-rate, collectively covering only 1km less, but that was the only area on the pitch where there was not a noticeable gulf.

Their only positives came at the back - through the organisation of their defence and also a collection of fine saves by Ryan that helped keep the scoreline respectable.

Man of the match - Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Sergio Aguero scores Man City's second goal
The Argentina international has seven goals to his name this season, and this strike was one to savour. Aguero collected the ball 40 yards from goal before charging at the Brighton defence, feeding Sterling and then running on to his return pass and finding the bottom corner of the net.

'We are so fast on the counter-attack' - what they said

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, asked to describe his side's performance: "Outstanding. Our positional game was fantastic and we didn't concede much in shots, and we did it so good.

"Brighton defended so well and I give a lot of credit to the way we attacked today. We are so fast on the counter-attack and it was quite similar last season."

Brighton manager Chris Hughton: "The second goal was frustrating. They counter-attack very fast and very well. It's a typical Manchester City goal - at 1-0 we were always in the game but the second goal killed us.

"You don't want to get beaten but it's how you get beaten and these are the type of places where you can get beaten big. We had a goalkeeper who had to make big saves and defenders who had to block shots, so we did well to survive here.

On his side's penalty appeal after the ball appeared to hit Fernandinho's arm: "We had a penalty given against us last game [against Tottenham] for a Glenn Murray handball. I had no problems with that, but here you need as many decisions going for you and I saw the ball hit his hand on the video replay so it's a definite penalty. That could've changed our fortunes."

Aguero's hot streak at the Etihad - the stats

  • Aguero has scored 15 goals in his past 11 Premier League appearances at the Etihad.
  • Sterling has been involved in 35 Premier League goals since the start of last season (22 goals, 13 assists), a figure bettered only by Mohamed Salah (46) and Harry Kane (38).
  • Sane has assisted more Premier League goals since the start of last season than any other player (17).
  • City have won their opening four home Premier League games of a season for the fourth time (also 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2013-14), going on to win the division on the past two occasions they achieved this feat.
  • Brighton have lost all eight of their away Premier League matches against 'big six' opposition.
  • Since winning back-to-back Premier League away games against West Ham and Swansea last November, Brighton have collected just five points from the 17 that have followed (P17 W0 D5 L12).

What next? City go to Germany

City travel to Germany to play Hoffenheim on Tuesday (17:55 BST), then go to Anfield to face Liverpool in their next Premier League game on Sunday, 7 October (16:30 BST).

Brighton are at home to West Ham on Friday (20:00 BST).

Line-ups

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 30Otamendi
  • 14Laporte
  • 35Zinchenko
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forFodenat 88'minutes
  • 7Sterling
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 66'minutes
  • 19SanéSubstituted forMahrezat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Danilo
  • 4Kompany
  • 5Stones
  • 26Mahrez
  • 33Gabriel Jesus
  • 47Foden
  • 49Muric

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 22MontoyaBooked at 87mins
  • 4DuffyBooked at 42mins
  • 5Dunk
  • 3Bong
  • 24Pröpper
  • 11KnockaertBooked at 9minsSubstituted forJahanbakhshat 78'minutes
  • 7Kayal
  • 8Bissouma
  • 20MarchSubstituted forIzquierdoat 83'minutes
  • 9LocadiaSubstituted forMurrayat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Bruno
  • 14Balogun
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 17Murray
  • 19Izquierdo
  • 27Button
  • 30Bernardo
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
54,152

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home80%
Away20%
Shots
Home28
Away4
Shots on Target
Home8
Away1
Corners
Home10
Away3
Fouls
Home4
Away10

Live Text

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

Full Time

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

Attempt missed. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Martín Montoya.

Attempt missed. Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Bernardo Silva with a cross following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Phil Foden replaces David Silva.

Booking

Martín Montoya (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Martín Montoya (Brighton and Hove Albion).

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

Foul by Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Fernandinho.

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. José Izquierdo replaces Solly March.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Alireza Jahanbakhsh replaces Anthony Knockaert.

Delay in match Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) because of an injury.

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

Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion).

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

Foul by Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Glenn Murray replaces Jürgen Locadia.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Leroy Sané.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Gabriel Jesus replaces Sergio Agüero.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Beram Kayal tries a through ball, but Jürgen Locadia is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kyle Walker.

Attempt saved. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Silva.

Attempt missed. Leroy Sané (Manchester City) header from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Attempt saved. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernandinho.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

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

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City76102131819
2Liverpool76101531219
3Chelsea75201551017
4Tottenham7502147715
5Arsenal7502149515
6Watford7412118313
7Leicester74031310312
8Wolves733186212
9Bournemouth63121011-110
10Man Utd73131012-210
11Everton7232111109
12Crystal Palace621346-27
13West Ham7214812-47
14Brighton7124813-55
15Southampton7124611-55
16Fulham7124816-85
17Burnley6114710-34
18Newcastle7025410-62
19Cardiff6024314-112
20Huddersfield7025316-132
View full Premier League table

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