Manchester City 3-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Haaland double gets champions back on track
An Erling Haaland brace and a brilliant effort from Kevin De Bruyne helped Manchester City bounce back from last week's loss to Liverpool.FotMob - 7 months ago
Erling Haaland got back on the goal trail as his first-half double helped Manchester City to a 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Norwegian was kept quiet as City fell to their first defeat of the Premier League season at Liverpool last Sunday, but he bounced back in convincing fashion by putting the Seagulls to the sword.
Haaland was the beneficiary of an Ederson assist when he tapped into an empty net for his first, then rifled home a penalty to double up shortly before half-time.
Leandro Trossard dragged Brighton back into contention after the break, but Pep Guardiola's champions weathered the storm before Kevin De Bruyne made the points safe with a trademark long-range strike.
City toiled as Brighton kept things tight in the opening 20 minutes, but the hosts benefitted from a more direct approach when Haaland latched onto Ederson's lofted ball before shrugging off Aaron Webster to score the opener.
Lewis Dunk denied De Bruyne with a last-ditch block following a give-and-go with Jack Grealish 10 minutes later, but the Brighton defender was at fault when Haaland extended City's lead.
After a lengthy VAR review ruled Dunk had tripped Bernardo Silva in a crowded penalty area, Haaland blasted the spot-kick into the bottom-right corner, giving Robert Sanchez no chance.
However, Brighton needed just eight minutes to half the arrears after the break, as Trossard cut inside from the left before beating Ederson at his near post from 18 yards out, Solly March with the assist.
Trossard then forced Ederson into a reflex save as Brighton continued to push, but their efforts were undone when De Bruyne picked out the top-left corner with 15 minutes remaining, having been teed up by Silva.
What does it mean? Champions bounce back from Anfield disappointment
City's 1-0 loss at Anfield last time out left them four points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal, making an improved display necessary when Brighton travelled to the Etihad.
The champions' response could have been more emphatic, but they recovered following a spell of Brighton pressure after the break to record their 10th win in 11 Premier League meetings with the Seagulls.
The result also means Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi has become the first Premier League coach to fail to win any of his first five Premier League games (D2 L3) at the helm since Scott Parker did so with Fulham in 2019.
Haaland makes himself at home
Onlookers are running out of words to describe the spectacular goalscoring abilities of Haaland, and the striker has wasted little time in becoming accustomed to his new surroundings in Manchester.
Having failed to score in his first home appearance for City, Haaland has struck in each of his last seven home matches in all competitions, hitting the net 15 times in total.
The last City player to record such a lengthy goalscoring run at the Etihad was Sergio Aguero, who hit the net in seven successive home games between December 2017 and February 2018.
Guardiola joins exclusive club
Haaland's second goal in Saturday's win was City's 600th in the Premier League under Guardiola's management.
City are just the third club to reach that tally under a single manager in the competition, following in the footsteps of Alex Ferguson's Manchester United and Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.
Key Opta facts
- Manchester City have won 10 consecutive Premier League games at the Etihad, including all six this season. This is the fifth time they have won each of their first six home matches of a Premier League campaign (also 2007-08, 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2018-19).
- Brighton remain winless away to City in all 13 league visits in their history (D2 L11), losing their last nine in succession.
- Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 153 Premier League goals for Manchester City (59 goals, 94 assists), moving level with David Silva's tally for the club (60 goals, 93 assists) and behind only Sergio Aguero (231 – 184 goals, 47 assists).
- Brighton's Leandro Trossard has scored five goals in six Premier League away games this season – as many as he managed in 16 such outings last term.
Haaland will return to his former club when City go to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Brighton face old boss Graham Potter when they host Chelsea in the Premier League next Saturday.