Manchester City will be aiming to reclaim the Premier League top spot as they take on Brighton and Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium tonight.
The Blues are currently two points behind Liverpool after the Merseysiders swept aside Manchester United last night, but will leapfrog them if they win their game in hand this evening.
Ederson would be expected to return to the City lineup after Steffen deputized for him at Wembley, while Ruben Dias could make his first start after his injury. Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, and Riyad Mahrez were all rested on Saturday and so could return. Kevin De Bruyne could also be available, while Kyle Walker will miss out.
Graham Potter’s men have had a solid season, and recent victories at Arsenal and Tottenham at the weekend show. how dangerous they can be on their day.
Follow below for pre-match build-up, live match updates and post-match reaction from the Etihad Stadium.
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76 MIN – MAN CITY 2-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Substitution for City
John Stones OFF, Aleks Zinchenko ON.
Barring an unlikely salvage mission this will be a HUGE result for City.
72 MIN – MAN CITY 2-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Offside against Foden
City are running riot out there and that man Foden is right at the center of it. However, on this occasion, Foden drifts offside and Brighton are dealt a repossession. Graham Potter makes another change.
Moises Caicedo OFF, Jeremy Sarmiento ON.
68 MIN – MAN CITY 2-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Foden goes close for City
Now that really would have been game over.
City are starting to turn the screw and you wouldn’t bet against them from adding to their lead. Patience was the order of the day. They took that on board and have delivered upon the restart.
65 MIN – MAN CITY 2-0 BRIGHTONKEY EVENT
GOAL MAN CITY (2-0)
Phil Foden makes it 2-0 from 25 yards with help from a deflection.
Will that be game, set and match for City?
It’s a 12th goal of the season in all competitions for the England starlet as he set his sights from distance. No doubt Robert Sanchez was wrong-footed by his strike, but Foden deserves that element of fortune and so do City.
63 MIN – MAN CITY 1-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Change in formation for Brighton
Another puzzle for City to solve as Brighton rework their system.
It looks to be a 4-4-2 with Solly March going across to the other side.
59 MIN – MAN CITY 1-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Corner and substitution for Brighton
Tariq Lamptey OFF, Adam Webster ON.
In comes the corner and Welbeck tamely heads towards target and City clear their lines.
Stones takes aim at the other end as City go after a second one…
57 MIN – MAN CITY 1-0 BRIGHTONJoe Bray
Sound of relief at the Etihad Stadium
That’s the sound of relief around the Etihad Stadium as City finally takes the lead. City have been knocking on the door but that was the first real time they’ve opened up the Brighton defence. There’s a much better mood around the ground now.
53 MIN – MAN CITY 1-0 BRIGHTONKEY EVENT
GOAL MAN CITY (1-0)
Riyad Mahrez has scored the opener – what a moment for the champions.
It may have been Mahrez who slotted that one home, with an element of fortune, but City have Kevin de Bruyne to thank in reality as he drove his team 50 yards up the pitch before Mahrez got the final touch in the Brighton penalty area.
Another twist in this most enthralling title race.
52 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Corner(s) to City
It was conceded out on the right-hand side by Lamptey.
Up come Stones, Dias and Laporte…
Cancelo takes aim and his strike is deflcted wide for another corner.
50 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
How the action has unfolded
A few action snaps from the ongoing Premier League game;
47 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONJoe Bray
How the changes have impacted things
Nathan Ake didn’t look comfortable towards the end of the first half and went off pointing at his ankle and grimacing to the City coaches. Ruben Dias is on, with John Stones moving to right-back and Joao Cancelo on the left. Stones and Cancelo all had good first 45 minutes, so they’ll hope to carry that on in new roles.
Jesus, Sterling and Grealish are all out to warm-up at the start of the second half.
45 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
City forced into making Ake change
We are back underway at the Etihad Stadium.
One change for City…
Nathan Ake OFF, Ruben Dias ON.
H/T – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Brighton have nothing to lose – Given
A few half-time quotes from Shay Given in the studio;
Brighton have nothing to lose and they’ve been nice and compact, everyone behind the ball. There’s some tension in the final third for Man City, they’re rushing too much, especially with the final pass. It’s not the usual City we’re used to seeing.
H/T – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Other scores across the Premier League
How it stood at H/T in the 7.45pm games;
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal
Everton 0-1 Leicester City
Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace
H/T – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONKEY EVENT
H/T player ratings for City
Current scores on the doors for City tonight;
Ederson- Easy half for him 6
Cancelo- Not his usual influence 6
Stones- Continue to be City’s best 8
The door – Dealing with isolated threats 7
Ake- Lost in opposition half 6
Rodri- Solid but no inspiration 6
Gundogan- Not like him to snatch at luck 6
De Bruyne- Went close, but still half-baked 7
Mahrez- Blew a golden opportunity 5
Bernardo- Devilish work-rate, deserves better 7
Foden- Needs more of the ball 7
H/T – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
What will Guardiola do at H/T?
So there goes the half-time whistle and City are called in for a break.
You sense this could be a big 15 miutes for Pep Guardiola to get his message across.
They have been the better team and have gone close on two occasions.
Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne took aim for City in the opening 45 minutes.
40 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONKEY EVENT
City attempt and Gundogan is blocked
Gundogan strikes one after ANOTHER mistake from Brighton.
Meanwhile, looks as though Zinchenko is warming up.
Ake seems to be limping and City might be forced into making an early change.
39 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Foden into the false nine position
Some tactical observations from our man Joe Bray in the press box;
Phil Foden is the latest player to have a go into the false nine position as City wait patiently for their opening. You can see why Brighton have picked up good wins at Tottenham and Arsenal in their last two games though – they’re compact, got a good structure and have a plan on the break. It’s just not fallen for them yet.
37 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Into the final stages of the first half
A decent spell of possession from City (naturally) – yet there has been no breakthough.
Elsewhere the goals are flying in… Pep Guardiola and his City team would take one here!
32 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONKEY EVENT
KDB strike as close as City have come
More than a quarter of the game gone and Kevin De Bruyne’s shot that whistled narrowly past the post is the only real chance the Blues have created, unless you count the fact that they pressured Robert Sanchez into giving Riyad Mahrez a golden opportunity.
Plenty of surging forward from City, but too much breaking down around the box.
29 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
City attempt from De Bruyne
Another attack for City and that man KDB strikes one wide.
Promising signs after the Belgian combined neatly with Foden.
27 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Gundogan to the rescue before City attack
Gundogan clears a dangerous Brighton attack and City breakaway.
They take too many passes, though, and the opportunity is passed up.
25 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONStuart Brennan
Not this time for the reliable Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez had looked a little off the pace even before that chance. His decision-making sloppy and his passing not right. If City could choose one player to receive a gift like that from Robert Sanchez, it would be the Algerian international, whose touch is usually so assured. Not this time.
18 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONKEY EVENT
Chance for City!
Some recovery from Caicedo to bail Sanchez out there!
A loose kick from the Brighton goalkeeper almost gave City the start they wanted – but it wasn’t quite meant to be as his teammate galloped back to avert the danger. Elsewhere, the maurading Cancelo is forcing March into central areas and that might be one avenue for success.
17 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONJoe Bray
City picking up their distribution
City’s passing has picked up in the last few minutes as Brighton press higher up, but there has been no way through the back five just yet. Ilkay Gundogan has put a couple of misplaced passes, but apart from that it’s a case of keeping passing the ball and waiting for a breakthrough…
15 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
A test of patience for City?
A few early thoughts from Stuart Brennan reporting tonight;
Not the barnstorming start City might have wanted to get them back on track – after Liverpool moved top last night. Brighton are working hard to close them down and this might take a bit of patience – and the old City trick of wearing out the opposition.
It’s still 0-0 here with 15 minutes on the clock.
13 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Mahrez drags another effort wide
City are starting to put a little bit of pressure on – without really testing Sanchez.
Bernardo and Foden combine as Mahrez clips one across goal and the danger ends.
10 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONJoe Bray
Still goalless after 10 minutes
A bright enough start from City and almost a goal as the ball dropped kindly from a corner for Riyad Mahrez. The stadium urged him to shoot. He did, but it spun away from goal and Brighton are dealt a retake. It’s all City so far.
7 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
The story so far at the Etihad
Gundogan drives up the left-hand side, but that comes to nothing.
It looks as though Brighton have shaped-up with a three-man defence.
Of course, Gundogan is wearing the City armband tonight.
4 MIN – MAN CITY 0-0 BRIGHTONLiam Wood
Corner to City and Mahrez attempt
A solid enough start from the champions as Welbeck gives away a corner.
In from De Bruyne and Mahrez swipes across the ball. His attempt goes wide.