Wednesday 18th July, 2018
12 ℃ | 23 ℃Manchester

Manchester City, the Premier League's most consistently high finishers over the last seven seasons, began at Brighton looking like a side intent on finishing right at the top of the pile this time out. A patient, professional display of passing and possession saw off a lively but horribly blunt Brighton side, celebrating their return to top flight action after 34 years away.

Manchester City

MF David Silva, 8 -- Delivered a typical Silva game, prompting and prodding away in front of a wall of blue and white striped shirts. Epitomised City's patience in face of bewildering defensive numbers. Brilliant assist for the opening goal.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 7 -- Craftsman in the little spaces. Often marauding through the centre, he failed from the dead ball and fluffed his early passes, but was instrumental in making the breakthrough when he nicked possession to feed Silva for the first goal.

FW, Gabriel Jesus, 7 -- Easing himself back into things, he had the most City chances (4) and "scored" twice only to have them ruled out each time. Some lovely touches and increased work rate bode well for the season.

FW Sergio Aguero, 8 -- Chased and harried and never gave up the fight. Having missed a one-on-one with Maty Ryan, he kept at it and, when put through by Silva's ball, finished coolly into the corner. Could be league top scorer with this kind of service behind him.


MF Leroy Sane, 6 -- Arrived as replacement for the tiring Danilo and managed a number of acrobatic failures as he tried to get into the game.

MF Raheem Sterling, NR -- Replaced Gabriel Jesus on 78 minutes. Booked for blocking a Brighton break-out through the middle late on.

MF Bernardo Silva, NR -- Replaced Sergio Aguero on 83 minutes and was lively in his attempts to connect with his namesake David, but without great success.

Simon is one of ESPN FC's Manchester City bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @bifana_bifana.

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