Well, that was much tougher than it needed to be. Brighton are admittedly a better side than their position suggests and they gave a good account of themselves at the Etihad Stadium.
However, we expected more before the match. We were a bit lethargic compared to recent performances and should have had the game secured rather than imploring the final whistle to come as the game neared its end. Thankfully, Phil Foden’s well-taken goal just before the first-half finished proved enough to earn the victory.
And, ultimately, that’s all that matters. Another clean sheet. Three more points. Third in the table – pending Tottenham’s game v Fulham – and four points off top spot with a game in hand. If we keep on like this, I’m confident we’ll come out on top come the end of the season.
With that in mind, here’s how I rated the players…
Ederson – 6.5
Not called into action much but he offered the usual composure in possession and dealt well with crosses into the box.
Joao Cancelo – 7
The Portuguese defender continues to impress and he really deserved an assist today but Mahrez spurned a one v one. Also unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself.
Ruben Dias – 7
Dominant in defence and also showed a willingness to push forward on the ball tonight. He’s looking more at home in the City team with every game.
John Stones – 7.5
Solid throughout and made a vital tackle late on to deny Neal Maupay a glorious chance that could have deprived City of the three points. What a player he has been this season.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7
Aside from one dodgy pass to Ederson, the young Ukrainian put in a commendable display at left-back. Defended well and was tidy on the ball.
Rodri – 6
After been rested against Birmingham, Rodri looked full of energy. Seemed to get forward more than usual but he made one sloppy pass late on which he always seems to have in him at least once a game. Maybe it’s harsh but I find him a frustrating player at times.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6
He’s been in exhilarating form but the former Borussia Dortmund star was quiet today. A pretty average performance with not much good or bad to comment upon.
Bernardo Silva – 8
I think Bernardo was quietly fantastic today. Building on his two-goal salvo at the weekend, his dribbling was back to its 2018/19 peak against Brighton. Deserved a goal after a clever nutmeg but could only rattle the woodwork.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8.5
Ran the show for City and was the best player on the pitch. Some incredible dribbling on display alongside the typically fantastic passing. Set up Foden’s goal and earned a penalty late on.
Riyad Mahrez – 6
Mahrez had some bright moments, especially in the first half, but he was guilty of missing a glorious chance to give City a two-goal lead after Cancelo set the Algerian up.
Phil Foden – 8
His form begs the question why has Pep only just started playing him regularly in the league? Our top scorer in spite of that, a beautiful strike on his weaker foot capped off a display that constantly troubled Brighton’s defence.
Gabriel Jesus – 5
Didn’t offer anything and lost the ball the few times he saw it.
Raheem Sterling – 1
Horrendous penalty. Nothing more to say.
Pep Guardiola – Fraud
Benched Sterling after I brought him into my FPL team and captained him. Unforgivable.
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