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AMEX Stadium, 17:30 KO, Saturday 23rd October 2021

Welcome to this live coverage of the Premier League as Brighton take on the champions Manchester City on the South coast. Brighton currently sit in fourth, in the Champions League place’s, just one spot behind their all-conquering visitors.

Here are the lineup’s for this Saturday evening game:

Sanchez, Cucurella, Dunk, Maupay, Trossard, Gross, Lallana, Moder, March, Burn, Veltman

SUBS Steele, Lamptey, Webster, Connolly, Bissouma, MacAllister, Mwepu, Duffy, Richards

Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, Jesus, Foden, Grealish

SUBS Steffen, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Edozie, Palmer

Brighton will look to continue their incredible start to the season as the now full-bearded Graham Potter continues to impress at the helm of the Seagulls. A win today will see them leapfrog today’s opposition into 3rd place in England’s top league.

While the home side will know they face a tough test they can take confidence from their fine form and the fact they won this fixture, 3-2, at the end of the 2020/21 season, albeit against ten men for over 80 minutes.

Summer signing Marc Cucurella shone in a man of the match performance in the dismal 0-0 with Arsenal in the last game at the AMEX. The wing-back’s up-and-down energy and composure in the final third are what convinced Brighton to spend £15.4million on the Spaniard.

The return to the bench of centre back Adam Webster and flying fullback Tariq Lamptey are big boosts to Potter. Lamptey, in particular, was a key part of the side prior to an injury that ruled him out for the season and returned to the team earlier this week, and will continue getting building up minutes as he rebuilds his match fitness over the coming weeks.

The graphic above suggests Brighton are lining up in a 4-4-2 formation but many are expecting more of a 3-5-2, with March and Cucurella in the wing back positions.

Midfielder Adam Lallana speaks ahead of the game:

Man City travel to the South coast in confident mood. Four points from three consecutive away days against some of the best sides in Europe, followed by a home win against Burnley and a demolition of Club Brugge on Tuesday re-emphasised their title, and Champions League, credentials. They have won 14 out of 17 Premier League away games.

Phil Foden has starred for club and country recently, having missed the start of the season through injury, and will hope to do so again alongside the 100 million pound man Jack Grealish and a sea of other talents at Pep Guardiola’s disposal.

The standout team news for the champions is the return of Ilkay Gundogan from injury and the resting of Kevin De Bruyne who only makes the bench. Interestingly, Raheem Sterling doen’t make the matchday squad… we await news on his exclusion and will update you as the news comes through.

Update: Sterling misses today’s game having picked up a back injury this week.

😂 City boss chats to a Brighton steward pre-game 😂

Potter is hoping to continue with their positive approach that has led them to their best ever start to a top-flight season.

“Playing against the best is what you want to do, and we’ve got the points to show we can have a go.”

Speaking to Sky Sports

Man City training in ‘WE’RE WITH YOU GUIDO’ shirts, as a message to a City fan who was hurt in Belgium earlier in the week.

UNDER 15 MINUTES UNTIL KICK OFF AT THE AMEX:

Is this Manchester team on track for the best defensive season in Premier League history?

In 8 games they’ve kept 6 clean sheets and only conceded 3 goals.

Ederson has only had to make 8 saves. Yes, you read that right. Ederson is only having to make one save per game on average this season.

Brighton, therefore, face a tough challenge to find the net today, let alone win, and will probably need the help of Frenchman Neal Maupay, who has scored 50% of Brighton’s league goals this season (4 out of 8).

WE ARE OFF AT THE AMEX!

1′ Manchester City kick off with Foden, in that alternating front three alongside Grealish and Gabriel Jesus.

2′ A clear rhythm already in place, Man City with a lot of the early ball and it is a clear 3-5-2 setup for the Seagulls, with Lallana and Gross will try to get forward to support Trossard and Maupay, whilst Moder is just sitting in front of the back three.

4′ Seagulls skipper Dunk fouls Foden giving Man City a chance to deliver a set piece from the foot of young Englishman. The towering Brighton back three deal with it this time comfortably.

6′ Veltman’s inclusion in the back three in place of Duffy already clear, more mobility needed to try and deal with the 100 million pound man Grealish.

7′ First shot on goal as Joao Cancelio strikes from the edge of the box. Sanchez down to his left sharply to tip it round the post for a corner which leads to nothing.

9′ Brighton with a more positive spell, seeing more of the ball and a few opportunities to try and get Cucurella in down the left-hand side but not able to quite find the attacking fullback.

11′ UNBELIEVABLE GOAL LINE CLEARANCE FROM THE SEAGULLS SKIPPER!!!

11′ Gundogan finds Jesus down the right wing with a good through ball, the Brazilian strikes across goal and Sanchez can only partially stop the shot. The ball deflected off the keeper’s foot but stayed on target only for Dunk to astonishingly hook the ball off the line with his left boot.

12′ GOAL MANCHESTER CITY!!! 0-1 GUNDOGAN

12′ The champions couldn’t be stopped for long! A mistake from Sanchez moments after Dunk’s clearance, Sanchez climbs to claim a looping ball and fumbles it after a challenge from Jesus. Bernardo Silva hooks the ball back towards goal where the returning Gundogan just walks it home.

13′ A small VAR review as Sanchez continues to complain but it was soft from him, the City players around him made no real challenge – decision is upheld and the away side lead.

13′ Sanchez will feel hard done by but keepers are often afforded a lot of protection by referees in those situations and this time the correct decision was made, no foul by Jesus.

16′ Brighton’s first chance, Trossard turns in the box and scuffs his shot high and wide after good play by Gross down the right.

18′ Both teams struggling to really get going and still feeling the game out following that bizarre opener.

18′ Sanchez redeems himself!!! The Spanish stopper rushes out to challenge Foden in a 1-on-1 and then again from Jesus.

20′ The away side really building into this game now, one off the line, the goal, and now a flurry of half chances and good play in the final third. Foden and Grealish in particular linking up well.

The opening goal! 👇

21′ YELLOW CARD KYLE WALKER

21′ The pacey right back stands on Cucurella’s foot after a challenge and receives the game’s first booking.

23′ Man City’s momentum has been quelled slightly by the home side. Trossard momentarily thought he was in behind the defence before the flag was raised.

25′ Brighton captain Dunk has seen the majority of the ball for the team in blue and white. This comes as no surprise with him sitting top of the team’s passes completed stat before kick off.

26′ Man City currently leading then in the top four battle, a fortuitous goal but probably a deserved goal for the champions that see’s them into second above rivals Liverpool for the being.

28′ GOAL MANCHESTER CITY!!! 0-2 PHIL FODEN

28′ Potentially an own goal by Dan Burn. A flowing counter attack by Man City with Silva releasing Grealish who rolls it across for Foden to tap in, Dan Burn made a challenge and the ball looped into the empty net.

29′ Man City at their flowing best today and you wouldn’t say their were out of first gear yet. No KDB, no Sterling and yet they lead away at the team currently 4th in the table and look very comfortable.

31′ GOAL MANCHESTER CITY!!! 0-3 GABRIEL JESUS

31′ Grealish should score himself, receiving the ball from the goalscorer on the left side of the box, a tame effort saved by Sanchez rebounds to Jesus who fires the ball in at the front post. Brighton aren’t really sure what has hit them.

32′ Man City’s fluid front three without a traditional no.9 is working to perfection. Phil Foden in the false nine position has just ghosted around in front of the centre halves of Brighton who simply don’t know how to deal with him.

35′ Brighton’s best moment, Trossard drives them forward and releases Cucurella whose cross is blocked behind for a corner. City threaten to counter from the set piece but dealt with this time by the seasiders.

Surely Chelsea’s 7 against Norwich earlier today won’t be outdone? Will it?

37′ Game has calmed down slightly from the frenetic opening half an hour, with Man City still in total control.

GOAL CORRECTION: City’s third has been credited to Foden instead of Jesus as the ball deflected off the Englishman on the way in.

39′ Brighton came into this game as one of the best defensive teams in the league so far this season but the slight tweak from Potter to their backline, so far, has not gone to plan. That said, they aren’t the first team this season – and won’t be the last – to concede a lot of goals to this remarkable City side.

City’s third, which is now credited to Foden instead of Jesus 👇

42′ Solly March with Brighton’s best moment, a right footed strike from the edge of the box stings Ederson’s gloves, and nearly drops in but the Brazlian scampers back to collect the ball safely.

44′ Some heated tackles going in between Burn and Silva but the referee keeps his card in his pocket…

45′ Foden, now on a hattrick, curls one from the edge of the D but Sanchez claims it comfortably. Two minutes of added time signalled by the 4th official.

45+1′ Silva at his brilliant best dribbles through the midfield with ease before finding Grealish, who tries to curl one across goal too, but once again Sanchez up to the test.

HALF TIME: Magnificent football from Man City who lead 3-0 on the South coast, they have been simply incredible, va va voom football!

Foden starring with an albeit lucky brace, but everyone in the City side playing well and Gundogan scoring and captaining the team on his return.

Brighton will be disappointed, Sanchez’s mistake for the first goal gave City a leg up and from there they were never going to let Brighton back into the game. Damage control you would think for Brighton in the second half.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUNDUP

Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports, “I’m actually pleased to that not given as a foul, for too long goalkeepers have been given too much protection.”

Man City’s attacking play will rightfully make the headlines but the defence, once again, has been strong. They remain on track for a clean sheet and has extended their current run too 11 games in a row where they haven’t conceded in the first half.

Brighton have it all to do in the second half but will probably focus on keeping the scoreline down, their start to the season remains strong but if they do get hit for a cricket score it would be a big hit to their current confidence.

Here come the teams for the second half, Man City players look in great spirits, especially Grealish and Foden.

Foden, then, comes into this half on a hattrick without fully realising he had scored a single goal in that opening half!

AND WE’RE UNDERWAY FOR THE SECOND HALF!

45′ Looks like a change in formation for the hosts, moving to a back four with March moving into a more traditional midfield.

46′ No change though in the flow of the game, Cancelo immediately getting a shot away that deflects off of Dunk for a corner. Nothing comes of it.

47′ Veltman joins Bernardo Silva and Dan Burn on the lucky to avoid a booking list due to the new let it flow protocol from the referees this season.

49′ Foden now well aware he’s on a hattrick is pushing for that elusive third goal, hooking a right footed shot harmlessly wide.

STAT: Foden is now the top scorer for Man City since last season with 20 goals, at the age of only 21. Starboy.

52′ Half chances for both teams with Jesus asking for a penalty that fell on deaf ears and Cucurella with positive play for Brighton. Still 3-0.

54′ Chance for Brighton! Consistent pressure from the home side with possession high up the pitch. Patient play led to a shot that once again stung Ederson’s gloves but the Brazilian gobbled up the loose ball quickly after. Better from Brighton.

56′ Positive again from Brighton but the final pass can’t quite find it’s man. Veltman then fouls Grealish much to his frustration.

56′ SUBSTITUTION BRIGHTON: Tariq Lamptey ON Dan Burn OFF

56′ SUBSTITUTION BRIGHTON: Enock Mwepu ON Neal Maupay OFF

59′ A big reaction for the return of Lamptey who moves to right back straight away.

60′ YELLOW CARD JOAO CANCELO

60′ Joao Cancelo with a very heavy challenge on Lamptey, the crowd ask for a red particularly given Cancelo was sent off here in May, the referee sticks with yellow. Lamptey already seeing a lot of the ball.

61′ Brighton pressure increasing and increasing. Trossard low driven shot deflects off Ederson and over. Much better second half so far and a string of corners to keep the pressure going before a poor offside called against Pascal Gross.

62′ That save was arguably Ederson’s first really meaningful contribution.

63′ YELLOW CARD JAKUB MODER

63′ Brighton’s first booking just over the hour mark.

64′ Moder drives into the box and wins a corner off of Dias. Momentum all with the home side. All their play going through Lamptey on the right and Cucurella down the left, will really trouble teams this season with these two fit.

65′ Lamptey and Cucurella on schedule both have positives drives with the ball but, again, the final ball cannot find a blue and white shirt.

A lot of love for Lamptey in the ground and on social media. A future star for the Seagulls?

68′ Brighton’s momentum turning more towards frustration now. A lot of booing and argument with every decision from the referee and now Kyle Walker just taking his time to get back up from a challenge to wind the clock down.

69′ YELLOW CARD ADAM LALLANA

69′ More frustration for the home side and this time Lallana receives a yellow for his complaints after a foul was called when he appeared to win the ball from Gundogan.

70′ Manchester City yet to make a substitution here and they just cannot get the ball to stick, but will still feel an element of control in the game, trying to see out their 3 goal advantage.

72′ Solly March battles hard to win a corner from Laporte.

72′ SUBSTITUTION: Alexis MacAllister ON Pascal Gross OFF

73′ The substitute takes the corner with his first touch but it leads to nothing.

74′ SUBSTITUTION: Fernandinho ON Ilkay Gundogan OFF

75′ The captain and goalscorer goes off, having found the net just like he did a few years ago when he netted a free kick as City won the title at the AMEX. A great return for him that will please Pep and the City fans.

76′ Strong tackle in his own box by Veltman on Grealish as City mount their first real attack of the second half.

76′ SUBSTITUTION: Kevin De Bruyne ON Jack Grealish OFF

76′ No goal for Grealish but a good performance linking beautifully with that front three in the first half. £100million leaving the pitch so good news for Brighton. Not sure who the fella coming on is, Kevin something…

79′ Time running out now for Brighton.

80′ PENALTY BRIGHTON

81′ A VAR review decides to give the penalty despite a potential offside.

81′ GOAL BRIGHTON!!! ALEXIS MACALLISTER (P)

81′ The substitute scores with normal taker Gross off the pitch. Mwepu won the penalty having been swiped out by Ederson. There looked to be an offside in the buildup but VAR upheld the decision and the substitutes penalty was rifled into the top right corner, despite a touch by the Brazilian stopper who concedes for only the 4th time this season.

83′ Brighton continue to chase another goal, a set piece is crossed frustratingly out of play. A brilliant second half far though from the hosts who are winning it 1-0.

83′ YELLOW CARD EDERSON

83′ City stopper is booked for time wasting on a goal kick. City just hanging on a little bit here.

85′ Brighton playing really well with MacAllister, Lamptey and Mwepu, the three substitutes having a real impact.

86′ Lamptey looking like Mo Salah!!! An incredible run much like the Egyptians against City and Watford but the full back’s shot is fluffed wide. Brilliant cameo from then young Englishman who gives Southgate yet another top class option at the right back spot.

87′ SUBSTITUTION: Riyad Mahrez ON Gabriel Jesus OFF

87′ Jesus unfortunately to lose out on a goal with the Foden deflection, but much like Grealish, was heavily influential in City’s incredible first half flurry.

88′ Man City successfully slowing the game down now, taking the sting out of it with every pass.

88′ A good opportunity for City with a 4v4 counter but the Brighton defenders smother KDB’s attempted cross not once but twice.

89′ Foden misses the chance to grab that hattrick, a beautiful ball from De Bruyne unlocks the Brighton defence but Foden can only fire straight at Sanchez, who’ll be much happier with performance as the game has gone on.

90′ Five minutes added by the ref. Man City have regained control and are starting to move forward more frequently, in the words of Alan Smith, “this is textbook for how to see a game out.”

90+3′ Foden desperate for the hattrick, having already received Sky’s man of the match award, multiple efforts at goal now from him in these final exchanges but none really threatening.

90+4 GOAL MANCHESTER CITY!!! RIYAD MAHREZ

90+4 City kill the game. Moments after Foden was almost gifted his hattrick through a sloppy back pass, he settles for an assist setting up Riyad Mahrez who cleverly pulls his shot into the front post having teased a finish across goal.

90+5 FULL TIME Brighton and Hove Albion 1-4 Manchester City

The same result then for Man City that they got when they won the league here a few years ago. Gundogan also scoring again like he did then. A dominant performance, and first half from them, as Foden got a fortuitous brace but toyed with the Brighton defence throughout, deservedly MOTM.

Brighton remain in fourth and continue to have an incredible season and can take a lot of heart from a much improved second half. The three substitutes had an impact with MacAllister scoring, Mwepu winning the penalty and Lamptey showing why he is so highly rated by the fans of this club. If Brighton can keep their key players fit there is nothing to stop them securing a top half finish… and who knows, they could even be thinking about Europe!

But it’s business as usual for Manchester City who continue their title charge and send a strong message to the rest of the league, all the while being without an out and out number nine. Do you think Guardiola and his immense squad can go all the way again? Can they finally crack the Champions League? And where do you see Brighton finishing this season?

Get involved in the comments and let us know what YOU think!

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