Premier League
Man CityManchester City2BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion0

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

By Chris BevanBBC Sport
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

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

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).


Man City

Formation 4-3-3

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


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


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 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


  • 2Bruno
  • 14Balogun
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 17Murray
  • 19Izquierdo
  • 27Button
  • 30Bernardo
Lee Mason

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamBrighton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

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

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Foul by Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  6. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Martín Montoya.

  7. Post update

    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.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Phil Foden replaces David Silva.

  9. Booking

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

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by Martín Montoya (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Fernandinho.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Substitution

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

  18. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  19. Substitution

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

  20. Post update

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


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