Brighton 0-2 Manchester City: opening day success on the South Coast

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Manchester City players celebrate after Lewis Dunk's own goal doubled their lead.

Brighton and Hove Albion hosted Manchester City at the Amex Stadium for what was to be the Seagulls first ever Premier League game.

City’s opening day looked like it would be a frustrating one before Sergio Aguero notched home and a Lewis Dunk own goal helped City secure three points on the South Coast.

Brighton held out for 70 minutes but ultimately failed in their search for an opening day draw as they conceded two second half goals, one more unfortunate than the other.

The early pressure was piled on by City who were able to weave their way in behind Brighton’s back line more than once, but the home side held firm and managed to clear any sight of danger before it amounted to more.

City trialled Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero up front at the end of last season and began the same way this campaign. The former looked to have opened to scoring after Kevin de Bruyne’s perfectly weighted pass found Jesus’ chest and then his hand, which he was judged to have used intentionally to help the ball into the net. Michael Oliver unfairly showed a yellow card to the Brazilian as he lay on the floor receiving medical treatment after the incident.

 

The 20-year-old had a fantastic chance to score five minutes later but Brighton keeper Matthew Ryan parried away his close range header which should have been converted. The Blues simply weren’t clinical enough in the first half.

Just five minutes into the second half, Jesus was yet again denied celebration after he tapped home a David Silva pass but the flag had been raised after the Spaniard roamed offside.

Aguero was handed a one-on-one when Dunk misplaced a pass to his keeper, but the chance was squandered after Shane Duffy put the 29-year-old under sufficient pressure to do so.

Brighton then had their own bright spell in the game, they used the channels to launch balls into the box which neither Ederson or the defensive trio knew whether to get, thankfully they amounted to nothing. This was shortly followed up by a scramble in the 18-yard-box when a miscued shot found its way to Duffy whose effort fell just short of the post.

City fans’ growing nerves were calmed as after Silva played a through ball to Aguero, who calmly finished past Ryan for his first goal of the season. Any supporters still feeling anxious could finally relax after Jesus pressured Dunk into heading the ball into his own net doubling City’s lead.

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The full-time whistle blew a quarter of an hour later, not without allowing Bernardo Silva to play his first ten minutes of Premier League football, completing a quartet of new signings to make their competitive debuts for City.

Pep Guardiola will have been happy with the Blues’ performance after their constant pressure eventually broke through Brighton’s resilient defence and took all three points on the South Coast.

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