Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's
live coverage of the Premier League showdown between Manchester City
and Brighton & Hove Albion
. The reigning English champions will be looking for nothing less than a convincing win at home and Graham Potter's men are likely to be in for a difficult afternoon. Kickoff is just five minutes away, so here's the team news...
MANCHESTER CITY STARTING XI:
Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, De Bruyne, D. Silva; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling
Subs: Angelino, B. Silva, Bravo, Cancelo, Gundogan, Fodan, Fernandinho
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION STARTING XI:
Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn, Bernardo; March, Stephens, Propper, Trossard; Maupay
Subs: Jahanbakhsh, Gross, Connolly, Button, Mooy, Murray, Duffy
KICKOFF: Brighton get the game underway!
GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 1-0 BRIGHTON (KEVIN DE BRUYNE)
GOAL! Manchester City have already opened the scoring! Zinchenko plays Silva in down the left and the Spaniard gets to the byline, evading a challenge on the way, before cutting back for De Bruyne to convert from close-range! That was so easy for City.
What do Brighton do now? Potter's game plan almost certainly involved keeping City out for as long as possible and looking to nick a goal from a set-piece or a counter-attack. Given how simple it was for City to unpick them, the Seagulls will be wary of opening up, but they will have to at some point now that they are behind so early.
City are stroking it around with consummate ease. Mahrez tries to drive into the box but is crowded out, and his teammates simply recycle the ball and start again.
Brighton find themselves presented with the opportunity to foray forward as a one-two releases Trossard on the left. However, his cross is blocked and City eventually get ont he ball and drive out from the back.
Walker protests as Silva is penalised for a foul, but the decision stands and Brighton look to get on the front foot and catch City out, but to no avail.
Laporte shows good strength as he holds off March in the corner before finding his centre-back partner Otamendi. Plenty of players would have looked for the foul there.
SHOT! Aguero takes a shot on from a tight angle on the right side of the box but can only drag it wide of the target. Not an easy position to score from, that.
SAVE! Mahrez beats Bernardo down the right and drifts infield with ease. He gets to a central position on the edge of the box and lets fly, but it's straight down the slot for Ryan and he makes a comfortable save in the end.
The ball comes back into the City half and they appear to slow play down, but within seconds they've broken the Brighton press and switched play from right to left before earning a corner.
SHOT! Bernardo is forced to usher the first corner out of play for a second set-piece, which is drilled low to the edge of the box by Mahrez, but the effort by Zinchenko is blocked away.
CLOSE! De Bruyne wriggles into a little pocket of space just outside the box on the right and fires a low effort across goal that flashes just wide of the upright! He was inches away from grabbing City's second there.
Brighton are getting desperate now, as both Silva and De Bruyne are fouled as they take up dangerous positions. The visitors just can't cope with the pair's movement.
Sterling wins a corner off Montoya down the City left, but it comes to nothing. A second City goal seems inevitable. They're in complete control.
Brighton manage to get out of their half for a brief spell, but they can't do anything with the ball and City eventually reclaim possession.
SHOT! March hits a wild and very ambitious effort from a long way out and it, predictably, ends up way over the bar.
CLOSE! What a miss! Sterling gets to the byline on the left and cuts inside, beating his man. The England winger finds Silva as he arrives in the six-yard box, but the Spaniard somehow diverts his effort wide from close range!
Trossard works a yard of space in the City box with a fine piece of skill and tries to dig out a cross from the left, but he can't find a teammate and City get the ball clear.
Laporte fouls Webster but the goes down injured and is receiving treatment. It looks like there is a yellow card waiting for him once the physios have done their work.
YELLOW CARD! That's a blow for City. What appeared to be an innocuous incident has now seen Laporte stretchered off the field. He still receives his booking on the way out, though.
MANCHESTER CITY SUB: Fernandinho is on for the injured Frenchman and the defensive midfielder will fill in at centre-back. This could be a new role for the Brazilian this season following the departure of former club captain Vincent Kompany and the signing of Rodri.
SHOT! Trossard finds himself in a good position in the box as the ball comes to him, but the forward takes a touch instead of shooting first-time and is swarmed by defenders. He works a yard though, and has a pop at goal anyway, but sees it blocked away.
GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 2-0 BRIGHTON (SERGIO AGUERO)
GOAL! That's a lovely goal from City! Mahrez produces a clever backheel to De Bruyne, who finds Aguero in the box. Mahrez has carried on and made a dummy run, while Aguero, in trademark fashion, shows incredible composure to wait for the defenders to commit themselves before firing in at the near post!
SAVE! Mahrez is really in the mood now. He bamboozles Burn with a few stepovers and fires a right-footed effort at the near post, but Ryan is there to beat it behind for a corner.
SAVE! Excellent stop from Ederson as Bernardo's dinked cross finds its way past Walker to Trossard at the back post. He strikes low across goal first-time, but Ederson is out quickly to deny him!
CHANCE! It should be 3-0! City carve Brighton open again as they win the ball high up the field and Mahrez plays Aguero in on the right. He unselfishly squares back to the Algerian, who is crowded out and runs past him and just behind Sterling as well. He has a chance to get to the loose ball, but bizarrely appeals for a penalty instead and the chance is gone.
A Brighton counter-attack is unsuccessful and City are on the front foot again. Sterling drives to the byline but his low cross is blocked behind well for a corner, which comes to nothing.
HALF TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 2-0 BRIGHTON
The half-time whistle finally goes and Brighton will certainly be relieved. It's a half of football that City have absolutely dominated and they could be even further ahead than they are. De Bruyne scored an early goal from Silva's cutback before Aguero doubled the lead later in the half, but the hosts have had enough chances to be four or five goals up.
Brighton have had no answer to De Bruyne and Silva so far. Both missed good chances but have been irresistible so far and are dominating the game and causing havoc in the final third. Brighton need to compress the space between the lines to try and stifle their influence, but City have other ways of scoring, and Mahrez has looked bright too, offering direct running and trickery in one-on-one situations.
KICKOFF: City get the ball rolling again for the second half!
The second half has continued in the same vein as the first, with City controlling the game and forcing Brighton back as they work the ball around.
SHOT! Trossard has been Brighton's brightest player all day and he very nearly pulls one back for the visitors! He links up well with Maupay as they get into the City box and curls a well-struck shot at goal but it's blocked away! That looked to be heading in.
SHOT! City go up the other end and De Bruyne hits a left-footed effort from outside the box that goes close but is just wide of the right post. The Belgian is so comfortable on his weaker side and it's a weapon that makes him very difficult to deal with.
GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 3-0 BRIGHTON (SERGIO AGUERO)
GOAL! What a goal from Aguero!! He plays a one-two with Zinchenko and gets to the edge of the box before striking a sweet, dipping effort right into the top corner that left Ryan with no chance! A strike of sublime quality from the Argentine.
Propper showed nice skill to get out of a tight corner but was caught by Silva and has stayed down to receive some treatment. It looks like the midfielder should be okay to continue, however.
Brighton were growing back into the game just a fraction, but that goal has knocked the stuffing out of them and has killed any hope they might have had of salvaging something.
The Seagulls haven't given up entirely, though, as they pour forward and Montoya swings a cross in from the right that Bernardo and Maupay do their best to meet, but it's just smuggled away. That attack had City scrambling a bit.
Another City attack results in Walker earning a corner before an Aguero shot deflects inadvertently off Sterling and behind for a goal kick.
CLOSE! De Bruyne attempts a volley from inside the box that goes close, but just clears the bar. He could easily have had a hat-trick today.
BRIGHTON SUBS: Murray replaces Maupay up front and Connolly comes on for Bernardo. Potter will be hpoing the fresh legs can help to stem the tide, but the game is over, in truth.
SHOT! Aguero looks for his hat-trick but fires high and wide from a tight angle. A bit ambitious, that one.
MANCHESTER CITY SUB: Gundogan now replaces De Bruyne in midfield. The Belgian has had a fine game, although he will feel he ought to have scored more.
Concerningly for Brighton, Trossard has gone down and is receiving treatment. It looks like he will be able to carry on, but he is a player Potter may well look to protect by taking him off soon.
SHOT! Gundogan takes a free-kick and has a pop at goal, but it's a poor effort that flies high and wide.
BRIGHTON SUB: Potter makes his final change and it is Trossard who comes off, with Gross replacing him out wide.
MANCHESTER CITY SUB: David Silva goes off to warm applause and is replaced by Bernardo Silva.
GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 4-0 BRIGHTON (BERNARDO SILVA)
GOAL! He's hardly been on the pitch, but Bernardo Silva has grabbed City's fourth goal! Aguero found the substitute in acres on the left and he made no mistake in slotting past Ryan.
Brighton throw men forward in search of a consolation but the attack breaks down in the final third. There's a fair few tired legs out there.
Fernandinho is penalised for handball and concedes a free-kick, but Brighton can't make the most of it. They've not had many set-pieces to work with today.
YELLOW CARD! Dunk becomes the first Brighton player of the day to go into the book, joining City's Laporte.
Brighton's tired legs are starting to show as they are twice caught offside from good positions. They just can't get this consolation goal.
SHOT! Propper now hits a speculative shot from outside the box, but it's comfortably blocked away.
City earn a corner, and that should be that once it's taken.
FULL TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 4-0 BRIGHTON