Tuesday, October 17
 

Live Commentary: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester City

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Manchester City's 2-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion, as the Citizens dug deep to earn the points.

Manchester City earned a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at The Amex thanks to two quick-fire goals in the second half.

The Citizens dominated possession but struggled to break their newly-promoted opponents down for large parts, testing Mathew Ryan on just a couple of occasions before their opener eventually arrived.

Sergio Aguero picked his spot after being played through by David Silva, before Lewis Dunk turned into his own net soon after from a Fernandinho cross.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

4.30pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City at The Amex. After a 34-year absence the Seagulls are back in the top flight of English football, aiming to mark their return to the big time with the biggest of scalps against the pre-season title favourites.
4.32pmAfter his first trophyless campaign in management, Pep Guardiola has responded by spending close to £220m on new recruits, essentially overhauling his full-back department. Opposite number Chris Hughton has also been busy, albeit on a smaller scale, adding to a squad that fairly comfortably won promotion from the Championship last season after Huddersfield Town faded out of the top-two picture.
4.34pmBRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner; Brown, Propper, Stephens, March; Gross; Hemed

SUBS: Maenpaa, Huenemeier, Rosenior, Sidwell, Murphy, Knockaert, Murray

4.36pmHughton has thrown in a few new outfield faces from the off, including Pascal Gross in midfield - a player who boasted more chances created in the Bundesliga last term than any other, albeit with just four assists to his name as Ingolstadt suffered relegation. The 26-year-old will be supplying the ammunition to Tomer Hemed, who has been given the nod to lead the home side's attacking line this evening.
4.38pmThere is a league debutant in goal, too, as Mathew Ryan takes over from Jack Butland following his surprise move to Birmingham City earlier this summer. Brighton built their promotion on more than just a solid defence, but an unrivalled 21 clean sheets certainly helped; vice-captain Lewis Dunk a key part of that success, starting today alongside Shane Duffy in a solid-looking back four.
4.40pmDavy Propper, signed from PSV Eindhoven in a deal that could climb to £10m, is handed a start further forward, as are Markus Suttner and the aforementioned Gross. One player we will not see from the off today, though, is influential wideman Anthony Knockaert, who is only fit enough for a place among the subs after damaging his ankle ligaments in July. A blow for the hosts, but he will likely play a part from the bench.
4.42pmMANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Kompany, Otamendi, Danilo; Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne; Jesus, Aguero

SUBS: Bravo, Bernardo, Sterling, Sane, Mangala, Foden, Toure

4.44pmGuardiola experimented with a three-man defence during pre-season and he has stuck with it, meaning that Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones all start at The Amex. Defensive on the face of it, though that does of course give summer signings Kyle Walker and Danilo - recruited from Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid respectively - plenty of licence to roam forward down the flanks.
4.46pmEderson is the other City debutant, taking over from the at-time hapless Claudio Bravo in goal and surely giving the Citizens a steadier presence between the sticks. Not a great deal is known about the young Brazilian, but he will have to settle instantly if he is to avoid getting a similar reputation to Hart. Bernardo Silva was in line to start but is instead left on the bench, while Benjamin Mendy is absent due to injury.
4.48pmIlkay Gundogan is closing in on a return to full fitness after a frustrating first season at the Etihad stadium, with Fernandinho given the nod to partner David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne in an attack-minded City XI. De Bruyne claimed more assists than any other player in the Premier League last term, which is not all that surprising when you have the extremely talented Gabriel Jesus and proven striker Sergio Aguero to feed.
4.50pmPep Guardiola was constantly probed about his plans to shoehorn both Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero into his starting lineup last season, but he just about succeeded in doing so. The South American forwards link up in attack today, slightly ahead of David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne, meaning that Fernandinho will likely have to work overtime to protect his defence.

4.52pmAll eyes on newly-promoted Brighton in this late kickoff, then, as they begin life back in the big time with the toughest of tests. Hughton has worked wonders on the South Coast to get the Seagulls over the line last time out, 12 months on from falling at the final hurdle. A final-day shootout against Middlesbrough ended in agony and then further pain followed in the playoffs. No such trouble in 2016-17 as they went up automatically.
4.54pmTruth be told, finishing second would have hurt Hughton after leading the way heading into the final straight. Albion picked up just one point from the last night on offer to finish second to Newcastle, though that said such minor details will not be remembered 10 years from now, especially if Brighton can establish themselves in the Premier League. That is the task for Hughton, who does of course have experience at this level.
4.56pmBrighton have prepared for their return to the English top flight by bringing in seven new players, twice breaking their transfer record this week alone - three times in all this summer. Davy Propper and Jose Izquierdo are the headline names, with the former named in the starting lineup this evening. They already have a potential star in Knockaert, who scored 15 and set up a further eight on his way to being crowned as the best player in the Championship.
4.58pmAlbion also boasted the best home record in the Championship last time out which, as shown by Burnley last season, could well be enough to keep them up if they can replicate that success this time around. In Chris Hughton they also have an experienced manager; one who will fancy another crack at the Premier League after being sacked by Norwich City the last time he was at this level with the club two points above the relegation zone.
5.00pmThe Seagulls have a fairly positive start to the season in terms of their fixtures, as they do not face any more of the division's elite sides until taking on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in early October. A chance to get some points on the board, then, with games such as today's seen as bonus fixtures. That said, newly-promoted teams so often step things up in their first home outing so do not be surprised to see Albion produce an almighty shock today.
5.02pmDID YOU KNOW? Brighton & Hove Albion have won their opening league fixture just once in the last five attempts, while Manchester City have won their curtain-raising fixtures in each of their last six. Sergio Aguero has scored a total of five across those matches, and the Argentinian has also now netted against 29 of the 30 Premier League opponents he has faced - Bolton Wanderers being the exception.
5.04pmBrighton will certainly be no pushovers over the next nine months or so, but this is a daunting way to mark their return to the top flight. Manchester City may have finished third last term, while also failing to make too much of an impact in both domestic cups and the Champions League, yet that has sparked Guardiola into action and they now look a real force. Gone are the ageing full-backs; in comes Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy.
5.06pmIn fact, the Citizens have spent more on full-backs during the past couple of months than Brighton spent on building their impressive home ground! Close to £220m was spent by Guardiola in all, with Ederson, Bernardo Silva and Douglas Luiz also being recruited. No real surprise to see the bookies back them as favourites to go all the way and lift the title for a third time, then, but on the flipside that has only increased the pressure on Pep.
5.08pmThe Amex will this evening become the 56th different ground to stage a Premier League fixture, with that figure soon to increase when Huddersfield Town play at home next weekend. Out of the last eight sides to host a debut fixture at their ground, just one has lost, so Brighton & Hove Albion should not be completely written off just yet. Manchester City will need no reminding of their loss to Cardiff City in the Welsh club's home league bow a few years back.

5.10pmCity showed plenty of glimpses of what they are all about last term, particularly in the opening weeks of the season when racking up a perfect 10 from 10 in all competitions. The wheels slowly began to fall off a little, though, and inconsistency cost them as the campaign wore on, eventually finishing third and well adrift of champions Chelsea. A tighter battle can be expected at the top in 2017-18, with six teams - possibly seven - battling it out.
5.12pmAs Guardiola mentioned this week, he needed to overhaul his full-back department as his average squad age was one of the highest on the continent. The Citizens will only bring in a couple of players each summer from now on, the Catalan suggested, so this core should remain intact for a good few years yet. This is out first real sight of them, though it may of course take time for the newbies to click into gear.
5.14pmThe biggest problem Guardiola faces is providing some much-needed balance, with so many attacking names crowbarred into the side. That is the case one again today, as Gabriel Jesus, Aguero, De Bruyne and David Silva all start, while Walker and Danilo will essentially be playing as wingers. It is a tactic that so often provided entertaining games last term, but Guardiola will have to prove that it can work over a 38-game season.
5.16pmIt can be argued that City still rely on Kompany a little too much at the back, too, as so often last term they crumbled at the back when the Belgian was absent. The bad news is that the times he spends on the sidelines now far outweigh the minutes on the pitch, but he is fully fit for the start of the new campaign and should act as the gel to keep that three-man backline together.
5.18pmIt is in goal where City particularly struggled last term, with Bravo conceding 16 times from 24 shots on target at one stage; the nadir coming at Everton when conceding four times. Ederson may also be relatively unknown on these shores, but if he can settle quickly then the Citizens automatically have an extra handful of points on the board. Plenty of ifs and buts, of course, which is always the case ahead of a new season.
5.20pmCity did not always have luck on their side last time out, either, with De Bruyne hitting the frame of the goal nine times alone, but it would be wrong to suggest that they missed out on the title due to that alone. So often they were far too profligate in front of goal, creating chances at will but failing to convert and essentially dropping too many points along the way. A new season is upon us, however, and Guardiola will hope that lessons have been learned.
5.22pmGuardiola's men face Everton and Liverpool in their first two home outings, but away from home they can nicely ease their way back in with trips to Brighton, Bournemouth and Watford before taking on Chelsea at the end of September. Away from home they had plenty of success last term, with their 12 wins a Premier League high for the Citizens. It was at home, often against the lesser lights, that they struggled to pick up maximum points.
5.24pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! Brighton's most recent home game in the top flight came against Man City in May 1983. The last league encounter between the two sides came 28 years ago when Albion triumphed 2-1 at the Goldstone Ground in the old Division Two - both have come a long way since then. More recently, the Seagulls beat today's opponents on penalties in the 2008-09 EFL Cup following a 2-2 draw at the Withdean Stadium; Glenn Murray on target in that one.
5.26pmWith kickoff at The Amex now less than five minutes away, let us turn attention to some pre-match talk from both camps...

Chris Hughton: "[City] have been outstanding in pre-season, and if we're looking at a team gelling and showing the quality that they have, they have definitely shown that already. It's a wonderful game for the club and supporters, as a first game in the Premier League, but we have to make sure it's a good day for the team as well."

Pep Guardiola: "Hopefully next season I will be here. If so, we won't spend like this season, I assure you of that. The club never bought full-backs in seven years. Man City had one of the oldest teams in Europe. The market is what it is."

5.28pmGuardiola was forced to defend his decision to spend big this summer, while Hughton acknowledged the task facing his side not just today but over the next nine months or so. It has already been a weekend of plenty of drama in the Premier League, so let us hope for more goals and talking points in this Saturday evening kickoff on the South Coast! Here come the players...

1 minKICKOFF! Manchester City, sporting their funky claret away strip this evening, gets us under way at The Amex. Walker and Danilo getting right up the pitch from the off, as expected, essentially playing as attacking wingers.
3 minBrighton looking to get forward in these early stages, with a cross from the right being dealt with by the visitors. Nice open feel to the contest from the off, which is a little surprising as many expected Albion to sit back a little.
5 minFirst sight of goal for City, but Aguero failed to turn the ball goalwards under pressure from seven yards out and Gabriel Jesus did little better. A little worrying for the hosts, who were carved open down their left early on.
7 minGood defending from Duffy to prevent Silva from tapping the ball home from close range. Jesus got in behind, again down Brighton's left, but he could not quite pick out his teammate. Hughton will be just a tad worried by these opening seven minutes.
9 minDe Bruyne aims to slip the ball through for Jesus but Duffy is there to clean up. City dominating possession in the opponents' final third, but they have so far been unable to test debutant Mathew Ryan between the sticks.
11 minCity incredibly fluid early on, with Jesus drifting out to the right and sending a cross into the middle where, of all people, Kyle Walker was waiting. Mat Ryan done just about enough to get to the ball first and Brighton can breathe a little easier.
13 minDanilo with a shocker of an attempt, curling the ball a good few yards over the bar. Brighton unable to get any real foothold on the match at the moment, being forced to sit back inside their own half and soak up the pressure.
15 minA breakdown in communication at the back leads to Brighton giving away a needless corner, but it comes to little in the end. Fifteen minutes played now and, while City have dominated almost throughout, they have barely troubled Ryan.
17 minSAVE! A few nervy moments from the hosts but they have managed to keep the scores level with nearly a quarter of the match played. The Citizens still finding their groove, as De Bruyne's 25-yard free kick is down the middle for Ryan to keep out.
19 minA first save of the evening for Ryan, then, with De Bruyne's effort swerving in the air but ending right down the middle where Ryan was well positioned to deal with it. City have seen 77% of the ball in these opening 19 minutes.
21 minBrighton slowly managing to get out of their own final third over the past couple of minutes. It looks like being a tough evening for Hemed as the lone striker, with the Israeli barely having a touch in the first quarter of the game.
23 minA rare chance for City to counter, only for De Bruyne to overhit his attempted through-ball for Jesus. Izzy Brown has picked up an ankle injury, which has left him hobbling around. Physio on and he may well have to make way.
25 minBRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUB! Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown does indeed have to make way as a result of that ankle problem. Jamie Murphy is the man to come on in his place in midfield, rather than Knockaert who is made to watch on.
27 minStephens flicks on a cross, seeing the ball drop a few inches wide of his own goal. Brighton still looking nervy at times but the Citizens are not making the most of it, sending just one attempt on goal so far at The Amex.
29 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Gabriel Jesus bundles the ball past Mat Ryan, but the goal is quickly ruled out for offside. De Bruyne with a fine ball over the top, which bounced off the Brazilian's chest, then his hand, then over the line.
31 minYELLOW CARD! Jesus has actually been cautioned for deliberate handball - incredibly harsh, considering he did not know an awful lot about it. The Brazilian youngster was clattered by Ryan in the process but seems OK to continue.
33 minThe game is becoming very stop-start at the moment, not helped by some niggling fouls. That will suit Brighton just fine, of course, as it is disrupting the Citizens' flow. Silva is fouled 30 yards from goal; De Bruyne finds the wall from the free kick.
35 minSAVE! Best passing move of the game so far, ending with Aguero chipping the ball into the centre for Jesus to head. Not the worst header but it was rather too close to Ryan, who did well to keep it out before Jesus sent his follow-up against the outside of the post.
37 minCity just beginning to turn the screw then, then, with Jesus looking their liveliest player at the moment. Brighton living dangerously, almost exclusively sitting back inside their own final third from the first minute of the game.
39 minGuardiola will be happy enough with things so far, knowing that there is still plenty of time for his side to find a breakthrough. The Citizens have done enough to take the lead, but Ryan has pulled off a couple of decent stops.
41 minWe are now into the final four minutes or so of the first half. Man City have been on top almost throughout, though their attacking players have failed to truly click into gear and have mustered just a couple of attempts on target.
43 minNear enough Brighton's most exciting moment so far, as Stephens played a ball over the top for Murphy to get a toe to. An awkward one for the substitute, and Ederson was there to collect for his first involvement in the match so far.
45 minSAVE! Final couple of minutes of the half have actually been edged by Brighton. A sense that they could be growing in confidence, with a free kick won tight on the right-hand touchline - Gross heads high and Ederson plucks it out of the air under his bar.
45+2 minPoor attempt from a frustrated Jesus as we enter the last of three added-on minutes at the end of this first half. A Danilo cross from the left is then easily handled by Ryan, with Silva and Aguero unable to get their name to it first.
45+4 minHALF TIME: BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0-0 MANCHESTER CITY
6.19pmBrighton & Hove Albion hold out for half time, with the scoreline still goalless. No denying that Manchester City had the better of the rare openings in the opening 45 minutes, but the Seagulls did what was required to keep their opponents out.
6.22pmCity saw nearly 80% of the ball in the opening 45 minutes but struggled to do a lot with it, though they did have plenty of joy down the Brighton left early on. It took until nearly a quarter of the way through for the first attempt of any note to arrive, with Kevin de Bruyne's free kick doing little to trouble debutant Mat Ryan down the middle.
6.25pmBrighton were forced into a change soon after, bring on Jamie Murphy for injured Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown with 25 minutes on the clock, but there was no change in the flow of possession. The Citizens were fluid in attack, particularly when Gabriel Jesus was near the ball, and the Brazilian thought that he had opened the scoring just short of the half-hour mark.
6.28pmReferee Michael Oliver did well to spot that Jesus used his hand to help De Bruyne's pass over the line, however, ruling out the goal and - perhaps harshly considering he knew little about it - booking the young forward in the aftermath. City did manage to up things slightly as the half wore on, seeing Jesus's close-range header from Sergio Aguero's lofted cross kept out by Ryan, before the follow-up attempt clipped the outside of the post.
6.31pmBrighton barely got out of their own half in the first half but they did register one attempt before the interval, as Pascal Gross headed a free kick for Ederson to pluck out of the air from under his crossbar. Plenty for Pep Guardiola to think about at the break - could he be tempted to make a change?

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUBS: Maenpaa, Huenemeier, Rosenior, Sidwell, Knockaert, Murray

MANCHESTER CITY SUBS: Bravo, Bernardo, Sterling, Sane, Mangala, Foden, Toure

46 minRESTART! Brighton & Hove Albion get the game back under way on the South Coast. The sun is still shining on one half of The Amex pitch, with Manchester City aiming to break down their stubborn opponents over these next 45 minutes.
48 minThe half-time stats highlighted that Jesus and Aguero have been unable to link up so far, which Guardiola will no doubt have made clear to his squad. No changes made by the Catalan thus far but expect that to change come the hour mark.
50 minThe ball again crosses the Brighton line after a smart ball over the top allowed Silva to square for Jesus, but the offside flag went up. A tight call, but replays show that the officials got it spot on. Brighton very deep again.
52 minMISS! A shocker from Aguero, who is usually so clinical from these positions - especially on the opening day. Dunk's error allowed the striker to charge though, but he took an age to shoot and eventually missed the target completely.
54 minMuch like in the first half, City on top and creating the odd opening without making the most of them. A decent deep cross at the other end of the field allowed Propper to get his head to the ball, looping it onto the roof of the net via a Danilo deflection.
56 minCLOSE! Newly-promoted Brighton have all of a sudden burst into life at The Amex. Following that Propper header, City failed to deal with the corner kick, culminating in Duffy firing a shot inches wide of the target.
58 minCity fans' worst fears have been recognised - Ederson is Claudio Bravo in disguise. He has not settled at all in this second half, flapping at a cross which allowed Dunk to put his boot through the ball. In fairness to the keeper, he made a good stop with his feet to redeem himself.
60 minBRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUB! With Brighton enjoying their best spell of the match, Hughton makes the game's second alteration - Murray on for Hemed in a like-for-like change. The Israeli did not see much of the ball at all.
62 minJust not quite happening for City at the moment, which makes Guardiola's hesitancy to make a change all the more surprising. The Citizens boss must surely be considering a slight change in formation for the remaining 28 minutes.
64 minThe ball is floated towards the back post, where Aguero was among those waiting to head home, but Propper was back to flick it behind. Brighton had a strong spell but it is City who are now back in control of the contest on the South Coast.
66 minPENALTY APPEAL! City's player want a penalty after De Bruyne's belter hit Dunk on the hand. The ball certainly hit the defender's hand but it was travelling at quite some speed, so the referee probably made the right call there.
68 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB! Guardiola finally makes a change, bringing on Leroy Sane for Danilo and tinkering with his formation slightly. A little over 20 minutes left for City to find a way through on that Brighton goal.
70 minGOAL! BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0-1 MANCHESTER CITY (SERGIO AGUERO)
71 minHe has not had the best of evenings, but Aguero just loves scoring goals and he has another on the opening day. Stephens was caught in possession by De Bruyne and, a couple of touches later, Silva was slotting through Aguero to do the rest.
73 minInteresting to see how these remaining minutes now pan out. City had a little scare earlier in the half but have otherwise been in control - will Guardiola be tempted to make a defensive change and sit back a little? Unlikely!
75 minLittle goalmouth action since Aguero's goal, though little change in the flow of possession as City are still see nearly all of the ball. Hughton is readying Knockaert to come on for the final stages of the match - a real talent.
76 minGOAL! BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0-2 MANCHESTER CITY (LEWIS DUNK, OWN GOAL)
77 minA horror moment for Dunk, as his attempt to glance Fernandinho's cross wide ends with him beating his own keeper. Jesus was desperate to get on the end of the right-sided cross but he was beaten to it by Dunk, who finished expertly!
79 minBRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUB! Knockaert was being readied to come on before the second goal. It has not changed Guardiola's thinking - the Frenchman takes over from Solly March in an attacking change, with 11 minutes left to go.
81 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB! Raheem Sterling, perhaps a little unfortunate not to start today, is on for Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian has put in a good shift and can claim an assist of sorts for that second goal - his positioning panicked Dunk.
83 minKnockaert proving a problem already for the City backline when chasing down a Dunk ball over the top. In the end he went to ground far too easily inside the box when losing possession, killing Brighton's hopes of finding a response.
85 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB! A third and final change made by the Citizens - Aguero being replaced by debutant Bernardo Silva. Prior to that, Sterling picked up a yellow card to join Gabriel Jesus in the referee's book.
87 minAll six changes have been made now, five of which have come in this second half so expect four minutes or so to be added on at the end. City not home and dry just yet, but they are looking very comfortable now thanks to that second goal.
89 minLooks unlikely to be a dream start to life in the Premier League for Brighton, unless they can produce a miracle in the remaining minutes. Credit to City - they continued to plug away and were rewarded with two goals in quick succession.
90+1 minWe are into the first of three added-on minutes. Brighton fans are making plenty of noise in a desperate attempt to encourage their players forward, but they have not offered enough on the pitch this evening to truly merit a goal.
90+3 minFULL TIME: BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0-2 MANCHESTER CITY
7.27pmReferee Michael Oliver blows his whistle for full time, meaning a winning start for Manchester City in the end. The Citizens had to work hard for the three points, having been shut out by their newly-promoted opponents for three-quarters of the game, but in the end a Sergio Aguero strike and Lewis Dunk own goal got them over the line.
7.29pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events at The Amex. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while reaction from all the day's other Premier League games can be found elsewhere on the site. Thanks for joining!

Read Next:
Mendy, Gundogan out for Manchester City
>
You May Like
Recommended Next on SM
Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves1282221111026
2Cardiff CityCardiff127321710724
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd128041610624
4Bristol City125612011921
5Preston North EndPreston12561158721
6Leeds UnitedLeeds126241812620
7Aston Villa125431712519
8Norwich CityNorwich125431214-219
9Fulham124621612418
10Ipswich TownIpswich116052017318
11Middlesbrough124531511417
12Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds124441614216
13Derby CountyDerby114431513216
14Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest125071521-615
15Queens Park RangersQPR123541516-114
16Hull City123452320313
17Millwall123451414013
18Brentford122641415-112
19Barnsley113351517-212
20Reading113351012-212
21Birmingham CityBirmingham12327819-1111
22Burton Albion12246623-1710
23Sunderland121561322-98
24Bolton WanderersBolton12129623-175
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

This site uses cookies for Analytics. Click to accept and dismiss this message.