Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Pep Guardiola’s Man City got their Premier League season off to the perfect start with a 2-0 away win over Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
Chris Hughton’s side held their much-vaunted opponents scoreless until half-time, before a Sergio Aguero strike broke the deadlock and a Lewis Dunk own goal put the result beyond doubt.
Overall, it was a performance that was composed and complete from City, with 77% possession and 14 shots on goal, and a defensive display that was far more more solid than much of last season, giving plenty of hope to the City faithful for the season ahead.
It was all City in the early exchanges in the tie as first Kyle Walker teed up Aguero in the box, with the Argentine miscuing his effort on goal, and then Shane Duffy clearing a cross into the box from Jesus.
The pressure continued with Kevin de Bruyne lofting a free-kick at goal from just outside the area, with keeper Matthew Ryan watching it all the way and getting fully behind the effort as he collected it in his arms.
City have the ball in the net after 27 minutes when Jesus got on the end of a through ball from De Bruyne and the Brazilian finished home; however, the goal was to be ruled out as Jesus directed the ball to the net via his chest and then his hand.
The one-way traffic continued as Aguero chipped a cross into the box from the right, where Jesus planted a downward header goal, where keeper Ryan did superbly to palm away from goal, before Jesus clipped the outside of the post with the rebound.
Brighton had their first real threat of goal as half-time approached, with Jamie Murphy escaping Walker down the left as he tried to get on the end of a cross into the box, only for Ederson to come off his line to collect the cross and snufff out the danger, as the sides went to the break without a goal.
City had the ball in the net for a second time six minutes after the break when Fernanindho played a ball over the top for Silva to collect before teeing up Jesus to finish from close range, only for the flag to go up late for offside.
Aguero was next to threaten as he ran onto a poor backpass from Duffy, and with only keeper Ryan to beat, skewed his effort right and wide of goal.
Duffy went from almost gifting City a goal to almost grabbing one at the other end. From a Brighton corner it fell to the Ireland international in the box, where he turned and hit it first time, with the effort whistling just the wrong side of the left post courtesy of the slighest of deflections.
From that next corner Brighton had three chances as bedlam broke lose in the City defence, with Davy Propper eventually firing wide for the home side.
City had a penalty shout with just over 20 minutes left on the clock as Dr Bruyne cut inside and smashed a shot at goal, which was blocked away with the hand of Lewis Dunk, with referee Michael Oliver just giving a corner as the defender’s arms were down by his side when contact was made.
But the breakthrough came shortly afterwards. Dale Stephens was caught in possession just inside his own half by De Bruyne, who pulled the ball back inside for Silva, who in turn found Aguero in the box with a through ball, which the Argentine smashed home past Ryan.
Five minute later it was 2-0. Aguero terrorised the Brighton defence as he skipped past five tacklers befor spreading the ball down the right flank to Fernanindho to cross into the danger area towards Jesus, where the ball met Dunk, who in attempting to clear the cross, ended up powering the header into the back of his own net, to give City a two-goal cushion they would maintain to the close.
eir Sport channels are available across the eir Vision, Sky and Vodafone TV platforms as well as on the eir Sport app. All 7 channels in the eir Sport pack are available for free if you are a residential eir broadband customer