- Manchester City held nearly 80% possession
- Sergio Aguero scored his 5th goal of the season
- Man City earned its third clean sheet in a row
Manchester City had little trouble moving to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday, brushing Brighton & Hove Albion aside for a 2-0 win. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero put the finishing touches on the pair of goals and City was never truly put to the test at the back.
The match started quite open, as both teams earned corners in the opening two minutes. Aguero tried an audacious overhead kick in traffic but it was weak and blocked. Anthony Knockaert earned himself an early caution with a late, studs-up tackle on Oleksandr Zinchenko, catching the Ukranian square in the shin. Knockaert may consider himself lucky to remain on the pitch with just a yellow card shown.
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Brighton hardly had a touch of the ball as Manchester City had 70% possession through the opening 20 minutes. The hosts pummeled the Brighton box with 12 crosses over that span, but failed to produce a shot on target. Finally, they opened up the Seagulls right on the half-hour mark and it came on the counter. Leroy Sane forced the turnover, and he made a run which Aguero found, with the German crossing across the face of goal to Raheem Sterling for the sliding finish.
City continued to push forward, and Sane pulled back for Zinchenko on 37 minutes, but his stinging shot was blocked. Sterling put on a show weaving through the box past defenders, but his effort towards the near post was just tipped over by Matthew Ryan.
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Following the halftime break, City remained the more dangerous team by a clear margin. Near the half-hour mark, a second was nearly produced as Sane rifled a cross into the box, but the Brighton defenders threw their bodies around to block three separate efforts on net.
That second would come shortly after on 65 minutes, and it was spectacular. Sergio Aguero ran straight down the middle on the ball past no fewer than five Brighton defenders before feeding Sterling on the left. The England international didn’t stay on the ball long, returning it to Aguero at close range, and he finished easily.
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City’s second would wrap things up, as Pep Guardiola withdrew Sane and and Aguero with 20 minutes to go. Brighton threatened little all match, with just 21% possession and one lone shot on target. The three points at the Etihad push Manchester City up to the top of the Premier League table at the moment, with Liverpool still to play. Brighton sits in 14th, stuck in the crowded bottom half of the table with five points.