Manchester City secured all 3 points with 3 goals in their home game as Brighton travelled to the Etihad. A game that ended 3-1 with an unusual 1st gear performance from the blues.
Credit to Brighton; they set up well, were disciplined, pressed well and kept their shape. Brighton are known to play nice football, though lack the clinical cutting edge up top which has kept them from reaching their potential in recent seasons.
Brighton made it difficult for City tactically, who didn’t ever have that much space or time on the ball, which led to sloppy possession from a team typically so dominant.
In fact, statistically, Brighton were the more dominant force in possession out on the pitch today with 52%.
Nevertheless, Manchester City didn’t make it easy for themselves; at times they were sloppy, and the right flank was all off with no balance. Having Mahrez support Akanji, who is not a natural right back, didn’t work.
City are used to being pressed to some extent, until the opposition are left exposed as the blues easily resist the press. However, today saw a new approach, going long, which led to a few stray balls from Ederson, which is unlike him. Though his stunning pass to Haaland broke the deadlock.
The blues will need to step it up if they are to get a result from Dortmund away midweek, which won’t be an easy task.
There were some fantastic landmarks for Manchester City and more records broken. 600 goals reached under Pep Guardiola after Haaland bagged another brace, scoring 17 goals in just 11 games.
Grealish has made his 50th appearance for the blues and sealed it with a win, maintaining his unbeaten record with Manchester City – cool stat!
Manchester City have also become the first team in Premier League history to win 10 home games by 3 goals or more, scoring 43 and conceding 9, IN-CRED-I-BLE!
Brighton managed to start strongly, and the blues had to fight their way into the game. It wasn’t long until Ederson switched up the play with a long ball to Haaland who took the ball into his path, flattened the Brighton defence – only Sanchez knows what he was doing – and the Norwegian slotted it home to give City the lead on 22 minutes.
City put their feet on the accelerator and saw multiple shots blocked and some brilliant chances created. A beautifully worked team chance that Mahrez just couldn’t quite finish off after his shot was saved by Sanchez.
Haaland could have been killed when the Brighton keeper slid in as our number 9 had the ball at his near post, studs up. There was a VAR check which did not see a clear and obvious error to rectify Pawson’s MASSIVE mistake.
However, as half-time approached, Bernardo had made a cute little run into the box and was brought down by 2 Brighton defenders, and VAR ruled that Dunk had given the foul and Lee Mason advised Pawson to check the VAR monitor – penalty awarded.
The Citizens waited in anticipation as Haaland stepped up to the spot and waited there for a good 3 minutes whilst Dunk argued with the ref about the penalty decision.
BANG! A brilliant penalty kick by the Nordic Meat Shield – we’re still rolling with that label, right? Manchester City go into the break 2-0 up.
The second half came, and Brighton were a different beast. The blues seemed to take their foot off the gas and Brighton took advantage. It wasn’t long until the Seagulls pulled one back through Trossard.
Pep hooked Mahrez around the hour mark and Foden entered, and Manchester City seemed to find their spark again. Foden had an instant impact and created a couple of half-chances.
Laporte, who had a fantastic game and one of the more impressive players of the day, certainly in the backline, came close after fizzing a header just outside the post from a corner.
75 minutes in when Brighton threatened an equaliser, the best Premier League midfielder of all time, scored an absolute worldie after Bernardo went on his run towards the Brighton box, whipped the ball to De Bruyne who smashed it right footed from outside the box – nothing Sanchez could do to stop that rocket.
On the 77th and 80th minutes, Pep made more changes to see the game out. Bringing off Grealish for Palmer, and Haaland for Alvarez. A messy end, though the blues finished the game 3-1.
Manchester City will travel to Germany to face Dortmund midweek for the Champions League, having secured a place in the knock-out stages, they are now looking to finish top of the group, needing only a point to do so.
Keep your eyes peeled for our Champions League predicted line-up.