Brighton player ratings vs Manchester City: 5 for 'terrorised' veteran, 9 for 'classy' defender, 8 for Barcelona talent
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Goals from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland gave City a 2-0 lead at half-time and it was the least they deserved after a dominant performance.
However, De Zerbi’s side didn’t give up and pulled a goal back through Ansu Fati. They just fell short of an equaliser. as the hosts got back to winning ways after consecutive Premier League defeats against Wolves and Arsenal.
The result moves Pep Guardiola’s team back to the top of the Premier League, whilst Albion stay in seventh.
Here’s how Brighton’s players rated in defeat.
Jason Steele - 7: Solid. Not much he could do for either goal. Pinpoint distribution. Made some big saves in key moments to keep Albion in the game, most notably stopping Haaland from inside the box and then flying out of his box brilliantly to intercept a ball into the marauding Doku.
James Milner - 5: Absolutely terrorised by the electric pace of the 21 year old Jeremy Doku. The former City man clattered into Doku early on to let him know he was there but the onslaught kept coming. Subbed off for Joel Veltman at half-time. De Zerbi will probably admit it was an error to put a rusty 37 year old Milner up against the 21 year old Doku.
Lewis Dunk - 9: Albion's man of the match. Intercepted cross after cross from Doku in the first half to keep Brighton in the game. Not much he could have done for either of the goals. Kept Haaland quiet. Made a vital interception on the line to stop Alvarez. And provided some classy distribution which led to some big chances for Albion.
Igor Julio - 7: Solid alongside Dunk. Made an important clearance to deny City an open goal opportunity. Good distribution into the forwards' feet. Booked for a late tackle on Rodri in the first half. Looks like a good buy.
Solly March - 6: Played at left back while Pervis Estupnan is still out injured - not his most favoured position. Was turned quite a few times by a silky Phil Foden. Offered a bit more going forward in the second half. Booked for bringing down Foden, who was away on the counter. Suffered a horrible looking injury and had to be carried off on a stretcher. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looked as he’s such a important player.
Joao Pedro - 6: Tough afternoon up top. The Brazilian was chasing shadows a lot of the time as City's defenders knocked it around at the back. Was always going to be a tough afternoon but he didn't give up. Subbed off for Fati (65').
Pascal Gross – 6: Mixed afternoon for Der Kaiser. Was at fault for City's first goal after being beat by an electric turn of pace from Doku on the wing. To be fair, I don't think anyone was stopping Doku today, though. Missed a glorious opportunity early in the second half but fluffed his lines.
Danny Welbeck - N/A: Subbed off early on with an injury. The former Manchester United man looked frustrated as he watched on from the sidelines
Carlos Baleba - 6: Strong and direct, evidenced after he shrugged off a challenge from Haaland early on. At fault for City's second goal, giving away possession which Haaland pounced on and smashed home. Looks good but inexperienced. Went into his shell after the mistake. Subbed off for Gilmour (65')
Kaoru Mitoma - 7: Tough afternoon up against the blistering pace of Kyle Walker, with the City man winning the majority of the duels. However Mitoma did have his moments. He missed a glorious chance early on in the second half one on one with a helpless Ortega in the City net. He made up for it by playing a vital role in Fati's goal to put the pressure on City in the final 15 minutes.
Simon Adingra - 7: Not as influential as he was against Liverpool a couple of weeks ago. He could have potentially got back to put pressure on Alvarez for the first City goal. Should have had an assist to his name after pouncing on a poor Ortega clearance and sliding in a wonderful ball to Gross, who messed up the finish. Looks like another good buy who will grow game by game.
Evan Ferguson - 6: Brought on in the 15th minute for an injured Welbeck. Struggled to get into the game. Little service and crowded out by the City defence.
Billy Gilmour - 7: Came on and made a subtle but real difference. Helped to get Brighton on the ascendancy with his clever turns and flicks around the corner.
Ansu Fati - 8: Instant impact. Came on and brought energy and skill. Goalscorer. Was in the right place at the right time to sweep the ball past Ortega from seven yards out. Should have had an assist to his name by Mitoma couldn't finish his one on one. The Spaniard's brilliant run in behind was picked out by Dunk, Fati then dinked a lovely weighted pass into Mitoma who couldn't finish.
Joel Veltman - 6: Brought on to deal with the threat of Doku, which Milner struggled to do. Clattered into Doku straight away to let him know he was there. Was relatively successful in keeping Doku quiet.