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Premier League Round 1. Brighton & Hove Albion v. Manchester City

Background. I want to try and comment and review every game. Game 1, I’m writing up. Other games I might do live commentary or do a video. I’m trying new things. Want to stretch myself and see what I can do in covering football. Want to learn new skills while doing something I love; football. Best way to learn something is in the context of something you love.

20 minutes in impressions. City playing too slow. Ball not pinging around. There seems to be some disjointed play between the front two: Jesus and Aguero and the attacking midfielders: David Silva and DeBruyne.
Defense has been fine. Brighton not holding on the ball. Seem the moment is too big. City need to settle, play faster and get things moving. One thing… not having Yaya in, Fernandinho is more functional as the 8 in front of the back three (Kompany, Stones, Otamendi) Fernandinho doesn’t have the range of pass or the quickness of play. Fullbacks not doing much. Walker has been a passenger so far. No tactical tricks yet.

26 minutes: Handball goal called. Clear handball. Jesus made a good run. Jesus clattered. Looks like he got it in the next. Gets a yellow for a deliberate handball. Bit harsh. Jesus is ok. Coming back on. Team still playing too slow. Pep is concerned. I’m fucking concerned!

33… Another shot on target. Aguero to Jesus…. good work there. City will score… but I’d prefer that City were playing sharper… feels like previous season issues still there… low energy… lack of urgency. BATTER THEM!

36… Brighton? They are poor. Nothing going there. Chris Hughton is a classic English manager. Nothing going forward. All two blocks of four. No ideas. Barely able to keep the ball. Going to be tough for City to break down. They are working on it… been tough.

43… Still playing poorly. Too slow. Not much going on. Calling out for Yaya or Raheem. No need for 3 at the back. Brighton offering nothing. Why do City need 3 central defenders? Doesn’t make sense?

45…. Where the hell is Aguero? No much going on. So far he and Jesus not clicking. 3 minutes added for Jesus injury.

Half time. Poor from City. Just the new “Typical City” Too languid. Too slow. No urgency. No cutting edge. Something needs to change. I think Stones comes out Yaya in or Sane at wingback for Walker? Just need more attacking options. Not much going on. Feels like previous City performances. Not creating enough chances…. Hoping Guardiola will give them a lashing.

Note: Aveline just got up. Not sure how many updates will come….

Second half kickoff…. no changes. No changes… We’ll keep things updated.

50… a little better… putting on the screws. Spent lots of time in the final 3rd. Ended move with a Fernandinho shot. Better. The goal is coming… but still lacking sharpness.

52… Another offside goal… looked good. Fernandinho over the top to Silva…

53… AGUERO WIDE! Mistake by Brighton, Aguero needs to be clinical… same as last season. Need to FINISH!

55… Brighton with a chance and corner… scary… lots of second balls… City lucky. Another corner….And another nervy moment. Better team would have scored. City on the back foot. Scary. Crowd into it.

59… Good sustained pressure from City after the nervy moments from Brighton. Glenn Murray comes on for Brighton. Murray, classic crap Championship striker… Walker has been poor by the way… looks lost.

63… More sustained pressure but no end product. Half hour to go… getting nervous. 0-0 would suck.

65… Looks like Sane is coming on… Corner… DeBruyne good work. Wasted. Another corner….Wasted again. City missing cutting edge.

67… Hard shot by Debruyne… Shouts for handball…. corner to city and wasted.

68… Sane finally on for Danilo. I would have taken off Walker, but thats just me… Hopefully, something will change.

69… GOAL!!! AGUERO!…. Steal by DeBruyne. Into Silva…. great pass on to Aguero. Good Finish! What a relief! Now, need to get another. Kill these games off!

73…. Good moments from Sane pressing… Foul on the edge of the box…. free kick… and another corner… well worked. DeBruyne to Silva…

75… AND ANOTHER GOAL! Too much pressure. Fernandinho with the cross after Aguero kept it alive. Cross right to Jesus. Might have been an own goal…. but City crushing now. They turned it up a bit at the half. This game is over.

77… Raheem coming on for Gabriel Jesus. Jesus gave a lot. Put his body on the line. Looks like he might have a knock. We have so many options…. loving it. Mood elevated after the goals… Now the narrative will change to City having been patient and composed verses wasteful and passive. Goals change games… two goals change narratives.

80… Brighton a free kick and a corner in City’s box. Handled. Love it.

82…. Little fight in the middle of park…. Raheem picks up a yellow for a foul. Bernardo Silva on for Aguero. We’ll control the game. See it out. Looking forward to this ending, would love another goal.

86…. City are seeing this game out. Lots of good passing… Triangle forming… gone back to 4 at the back? Or maybe just lots of interchange of positions. David Silva in deep next to Fernandinho…. Interesting. I like Silva deep.

90…. 3 minutes added on…. sting out the game. Brighton are done.

Full time. Good day at the office in the end. It took a while and it felt like we were off the boil in the first half. Second half better… Got the goals and broke Brighton’s spirit. Still felt like City need to be better. Brighton had moments that if they had more skill they may have scored some goals. Especially in the 55th minute. Lots of scary second balls. They got the job done…

My feelings. Game didn’t feel great. Didn’t look good. Didn’t feel good. I wasn’t fired up about game. Very few breathless moments. Was clinical in the end. These are good games, good that we won, good that we got a clean sheet but this is not the game that they will point to and say this is our best. City won this game without getting out of second gear. Looking forward to better performances with more energy.

By Laurent Courtines

I'm here and I am ready to go. Been doing my homework and I have things to say.

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