Man City 4-0 Brighton: Sergio Aguero scores twice as champions cruise to win over Seagulls
Report and highlights as Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva goals complete rout
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 31/08/19 7:14pm
Manchester City returned to the Premier League summit after Sergio Aguero scored twice in a clinical 4-0 win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.
Kevin De Bruyne gave the hosts the lead after just 68 seconds as he met David Silva's cross to convert from close range.
Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Zinchenko (7), Laporte (6), Otamendi (7), Rodri (7), David Silva (8), De Bruyne (8), Mahrez (7), Sterling (6), Aguero (9).
Subs: Gundogan (6), Bernardo Silva (7), Fernandinho (7).
Brighton: Ryan (6), Montoya (5), Bernardo (6), Burn (6), Dunk (6), Webster (6), Propper (7), March (6), Stephens (6), Trossard (6), Maupay (6).
Subs: Gross (6), Murray (6), Connolly (6).
Man of the match: Sergio Aguero.
Substitute Bernardo Silva added a fourth just 17 seconds after coming on (79) as Aguero turned provider.
The only low point for Pep Guardiola was an injury to Aymeric Laporte after the defender was carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury following a heavy challenge on Adam Webster in the first half.
How City found their clinical touch
City mustered 30 shots in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham in their last home game, but they were ruthless on Saturday.
Brighton manager Graham Potter had told his team to play with freedom and to relish the challenge of facing the Premier League champions, but they were picked off inside the first two minutes.
Guardiola rotated his side once more as Gundogan and Bernardo Silva dropped to the bench, allowing Mahrez and Rodri to return to the side while Otamendi replaced the injured Stones.
Webster made his first start for Brighton as Duffy dropped to the substitutes' bench while Bernardo came in for the suspended Andone.
Silva was found down the left by Oleksandr Zinchenko, and his cut-back was struck past Mat Ryan by De Bruyne for his first goal of the campaign.
Silva had a fine chance to double City's lead when he was set up by Raheem Sterling just five yards out after half an hour, but the Spaniard somehow sliced his shot wide.
Brighton recovered from the early setback, enjoying 48 per cent possession in the first half, but just before the interval Riyad Mahrez combined with De Bruyne and the Belgian teed up Aguero for a clinical finish at Ryan's near post.
December 1982 was the last time Brighton picked up as much as a point away to City, and hopes of an unlikely repeat were put to bed when Leandro Trossard wasted a fine chance to halve the deficit as his shot was blocked by Fernandinho - and four minutes later, Aguero added his sixth goal of the season.
Zinchenko was once more involved as he played the ball inside to David Silva, and after the Spaniard helped the ball onto Aguero, the striker cut inside Lewis Dunk and found Ryan's top left corner.
With the three points assured, City eased through the final half an hour, with Guardiola introducing Bernardo Silva with 12 minutes remaining. The Portuguese announced himself in style as he took advantage of a poor pass from Martin Montoya to fire home City's fourth.
What the managers said
Pep Guardiola: "We started well and scored in the first action but we must give a lot of credit to the Brighton team. They played incredibly well and had chances, but we were more clinical than we were in the Tottenham game.
"We created more chances that day but didn't score as many. We were more calm than usual today and they defended aggressively with five men, so we had a few problems with our transitions.
"Today, the difference was the quality of the Manchester City players. Today was a big proof of the quality that makes a difference. Kevin [De Bruyne] is a player who always gives you a vision that other players can't see. He scored and his actions were very good."
Graham Potter: "The scoreline is not one we like but in terms of the players' effort and courage, it was a top performance. It doesn't help when you go down a goal early.
"A top team can punish you but I thought the players were fantastic. I have a huge respect for them in terms of trying to do what we asked of them in a difficult place.
"I can't think of too many chances they had in the first half, but I thought our personality on the pitch was amazing and I'm just very proud of the players."
Man of the match: Sergio Aguero
With Gabriel Jesus sidelined with a hamstring injury, it was important for Aguero to showcase his worth as City's first-choice centre forward, but he invariably does against Brighton.
When he added his second - his fifth in four games against the Seagulls - it meant the Argentine had scored with each of his last seven shots on target in the Premier League.
It was a sign of just how clinical he has been so far this term, and although the match ball eluded him, he provided the assist for Bernardo Silva, capping another outstanding individual display.
'Laporte will be a major miss'
Sky Sports' Charlie Nicholas: "After the early goal, Brighton actually played pretty well. They opened up City one or few times and Trossard is a pretty impressive player. He had one or two opportunities today before he went off injured.
"This was not a five-star performance from City, and 4-0 is a bit flattering for me. The bad news for City is Laporte, who twisted his knee.
"It does look like it might be a couple of weeks before he's back. He's by far their best centre-back and for sure he will be a major miss."
- Manchester City have won 17 of their last 18 Premier League games (W17 D1 L0) since losing 2-1 to Newcastle United in January.
- Brighton remain winless in every away league match they've played against Man City, drawing two and losing eight of 10 trips there.
- Since his Premier League debut in August 2010, Man City's David Silva has assisted 87 Premier League goals - 27 more than any other player.
- Man City's Kevin De Bruyne has been involved in nine goals in his last seven Premier League starts (2 goals, 7 assists).
Manchester City travel to face Norwich City at Carrow Road on September 14, live on Sky Sports Premier League (kick-off: 5.30pm). Brighton host Burnley at the Amex Stadium on the same day (kick-off: 3pm).