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City ease past Brighton

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Manchester City players celebrate their victory. Twitter/ManCity

City ease past Brighton

Tom Smith by Tom Smith @besoccer_com - 0 5,009

Manchester City beat Brighton 2-0 to get off to a winning start in the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

City begin the season as favourites for the title but they came up against a stern Brighton side at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It did not take long for Pep Guardiola’s side to kick into gear as they had the majority of the chances in the opening ten minutes. Summer signing Kyle Walker looked bright down the right flank for City and created the first opportunity of the game. He clipped a ball back from the byline towards Sergio Aguero but the Argentinian uncharacteristically scuffed his shot from eight yards out.

Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, who was making his Premier League debut, was called into action when Kevin De Bruyne stepped up to take a long-range free kick. The Belgian unleashed a strike with a fair amount of dip, but it was straight at Ryan and he saved comfortably.

The first major action of the half came when De Bruyne curled a ball over the Brighton defence for Gabriel Jesus to rush onto. The Brazilian managed to chest past the onrushing Ryan, but referee Michael Oliver spotted that he also used his hand to bundle the ball into the net and correctly ruled out the goal.

On 34 minutes the Seagulls goalkeeper was called into action again. Aguero found a way the Brighton byline and pulled the ball back to find Jesus. He powered his header towards goal but Ryan produced a superb save with his outstretched hand to parry the ball away from goal. Jesus then hit the outside of the post with the follow-up and another City chance went begging.

The Seagulls had their first opportunity of the game when Jamie Murphy managed to get free of Walker and was released on goal. New goalkeeper Ederson, however, was on hand to sweep up for City in what was his only action of the half.

City maintained their high intensity after the break and after 52 minutes, had another disallowed goal. Fernandinho lifted a ball over the Brighton defence to David Silva, who was just offside, before he squared for Jesus to slot home.

Brighton’s chance to go ahead came when the ball broke to Shane Duffy in the Manchester City box. The 25-year-old fired a shot at goal but it flew agonisingly wide and went out for a corner. Ederson then made a mess of the following delivery, allowing the ball to pinball around in the box. Brighton had three strikes at goal, the first two blocked by City defenders, before the last was sent wide by Davy Propper.

Aguero finally broke the deadlock with twenty minutes to play. De Bruyne charged forward and fizzed a pass into the feet of David Silva, who then played a first time through ball for Aguero and the Argentinian placed his strike in the far corner of Ryan's net.

Five minutes later City doubled their lead with a bizarre own goal from Lewis Dunk. Fernandinho clipped a ball back from the right byline towards Jesus and Dunk challenged him, but somehow powered a header into his own net.

The final 10 minutes were comfortable for City and they closed out the game with relative ease. They make a winning start to their campaign despite an impressive performance from Premier League new boys Brighton.

 

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

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