Erling Haaland’s 16th and 17th goal of this Premier League season, as well as a scorching Kevin De Bruyne strike, earned a welcome three points for City as we bounced back from defeat away at Liverpool.
Our summer signing showed his pace and power for his first, on 22 minutes, as he ran on to Ederson’s fine through ball before holding off defender Adam Webster, rounding keeper Robert Sánchez and sliding home.
Then, on 43 minutes, he blasted home a spot-kick, earned by Bernardo Silva after the Portuguese was brought down in the box by Lewis Dunk.
That second goal meant that Guardiola had overseen 600 goals for City in the Premier League since arriving at the start of the 2016-17 campaign, with De Bruyne ensuring 601.
Haaland became the first City man to score in seven consecutive home games since Sergio Aguero in the 2017-18 campaign.
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Haaland is, also remarkably, now only six goals behind the 23 total that earned the Premier League Golden Boot in 2021-22 for Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min.
Leandro Trossard pulled one back on 53 minutes with an impressive right-foot drive from just outside the box as the visitors came roaring back.
But we weren’t to be denied and it was skipper De Bruyne who ensured the victory with a rocket shot which blasted home on 75 minutes.
In the early stages, it resembled a chess match rather than a football game as the teams felt each other out.
In what was a slow burn opening, the men in sky blue looked to find an opening against the Seagulls, who were donning a bright luminous strip on what was a gloomy afternoon at the Etihad Stadium.
The first point of note saw concern for striker Danny Welbeck who was down with a face injury but he was soon up – and enjoyed the opening chance of the game.
Ederson miscued a pass on 12 minutes that was picked up by the former Man Utd and Arsenal forward but his attempted chip flew over from more than 30 yards.
Haaland thought he’d earned a penalty on 19 minutes as he got to the end of a De Bruyne cross before Sánchez and ended up on the floor. After loud appeals for a penalty, VAR decided to confirm referee Craig Pawson’s decision to say no to the spot-kick.
But he didn’t have to wait long to score his 16th Premier League goal of the campaign.
Ederson fired a ball forward that Haaland raced on to, holding off defender Webster and rounding Sánchez before nudging into the empty net. There was another VAR check on the opening goal but there was no cancelling it out.
VAR was back in action on 30 minutes as Jack Grealish this time went down in the box under pressure from Joël Veltman but it was turned down.
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De Bruyne forced a fine block from Dunk on 32 minutes following a one-two with Grealish as City turned up the heat.
There was a third penalty appeal on 40 minutes as Bernardo went beyond Dunk before being clipped.
After a lengthy wait where play continued, the referee was sent to the monitor before pointing to the spot.
Haaland made absolutely no mistake from 12 yards as he blasted low past Sánchez.
The second half began in quiet fashion with City comfortable in possession without creating any clear-cut openings.
The game sparked back into life on 53 minutes as De Bruyne set up Rihad Mahrez for a close-range shot which was well saved by Sánchez.
Brighton then went straight up the other end and pulled one back with an impressive right-foot shot by Trossard, which flew in from just outside the box.
What followed was a lively spell of pressure by Roberto De Zerbi’s men as the visitors looked for an equaliser.
Phil Foden was introduced just past the hour mark in place of Mahrez as the boss looked to build some fresh momentum.
Alexis Mac Allister teed up half-time sub Tariq Lamptey on 71 minutes but his header was comfortably collected by Ederson.
Moments later, Aymeric Laporte was so close to adding to our advantage as he attacked the corner but sent the bullet header narrowly wide.
With the game now in the balance, it was skipper De Bruyne who calmed any nerves with a superb strike which left Sánchez with no chance.
CITY XI: Ederson, Akanji, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne ©, Bernardo, Mahrez (Foden 61), Grealish (Palmer 77), Haaland (Alvarez 80).
Unused subs: Ortega Moreno, Stones, Ake, Gundogan, Gomez, Lewis.
BRIGHTON XI: Sánchez, Webster, Dunk, March, Mac Allister (Gilmour 87), Trossard, Gross (Sarmiento 87), Lallana (Lamptey 45), Welbeck (Undav 78), Caicedo, Veltman (Estupinan 66).
Unused subs: Steele, Colwill, Enciso, Van Hecke.
600 UP FOR PEP
When Erling Haaland blasted home his second against Brighton, it marked an impressive statistic for Pep Guardiola.
It was the 600th Premier League goal scored by the men in sky blue during the manager’s spell in charge of City.
With De Bruyne bagging Guardiola’s 601st, remarkably, that means it’s 36 goals so far this season in the top-flight and 27 goals at home.
SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR HAALAND
Erling Haaland was in Seventh Heaven following the 3-1 win over Brighton.
Having failed to score in his first appearance for Man City at the Etihad Stadium, Haaland has now scored in each of his last seven home games in all competitions, courtesy of his latest efforts against the Seagulls.
The last player to score in seven consecutive home games for us was Sergio Aguero, between December and February in the 2017-18 campaign.
Haaland has found the net in successive matches against Brighton, Southampton, FC Copenhagen, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Erling Haaland bagged a brace to put us in control in the first half against Brighton.
But it was skipper Kevin De Bruyne who ensured the three points.
He scored a scorching goal that made it 3-1 after Leandro Trossard had pulled one back for the visitors.
His captain’s performance earned him the Man of the Match award.
DE BRUYNE REACTION
"I got the ball from Bernardo, looked through the options, I was in space there, shot and it went in perfectly.
"The first half we had fully under control, we didn't let them play. We should've scored to make it 3-0 and they scored for 2-1.
"It was a bit tight in the game but obviously scoring the third finished the game."
"Today, the game was one of the toughest ones we can face.
"They propose the type of game we are not used to. Few teams are used to.
"We did not have men free. They played man to man so we had to play more direct balls.
"In general, I am so satisfied with the points because it was a tricky game.
"Compliments to my players because I know how difficult it was."
"It wasn't an easy game. But the most important thing was we got the three points.
"We saw the videos, we know how Brighton play and they're not scared of the big teams.
"In the end it was a brilliant goal by Kevin to seal the win and I'm really happy for that.
"We knew we had to show a reaction after that game last week here at home in front of our fans, that's brilliant."
WHAT IT MEANS
City moved to within one point of leaders Arsenal in the Premier League.
We are on 26 points from 11 games while Mikel Arteta’s men are on 27 points from 10 matches.
The game in hand for the Gunners comes on Sunday as they travel to Southampton for a 14:00 (UK time) kick off.
Attention now turns to the Champions League.
We face Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park – lovingly referred to by fans as Westfalenstadion – on Tuesday 25 October, kick-off 20:00 (UK time).
City are already through to the last 16 of the competition but will be eager to finish top of Group G, with Dortmund our nearest rivals, three points and one place below.
In the Premier League, we travel to Leicester City on Saturday 29 October, kick-off 12.30 (UK time).
We will have our usual comprehensive coverage across the official Man City app and website.
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