SERGIO AGUERO spared Man City’s blushes with his goal 20 minutes from time in a hard-fought win at newly-promoted Brighton.
Pep Guardiola’s men struggled to find a breakthrough at the Amex before Aguero popped up and a Lewis Dunk own-goal sealed the win.
Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus thought he had given Guardiola’s side the lead in the 27th minute after latching on to the end of Kevin De Bryune’s pass but referee Michael Oliver disallowed it for handball and booked the striker instead.
Jesus was in the thick of it again moments later when he was denied by Brighton goalkeeper Matthew Ryan who produced a fingertip save from the 20-year-old’s glancing header.
Brighton were dealt an early injury blow when new signing Izzy Brown limped off injured midway through the first half after colliding with City’s Agüero as the Argentian bombed forward.
The visitors went close again through De Bryune who beat the wall with his swerving free kick but failed to beat an inspired Ryan in the Seagulls’ goal.
Guardiola’s side started the second half where they left off and continued to probe the Brighton defence.
Jesus had the ball in the back of the net again just minutes after the restart when City picked their opposition apart but he was ruled offside by the linesman.
Agüero then squandered another chance when the Brighton defence made a rare mistake allowing the Argentinian in on goal but he fired his effort high and wide.
Shane Duffy was inches away from putting Chris Hughton’s side in front when he controlled Dunk’s header in the box before firing it just wide.
However, Agüero showed the new kids on the block how it’s done as he raced on to David Silva’s pass before lifting it over a helpless Ryan.
Brighton’s chances of a comeback were then killed off by their defender Dunk when he nodded the ball past his own goalkeeper just minutes later.
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
WHAT THEY SAID
Man City captain Vincent Kompany: “We had to patient the first half, they were defending well and they had a clear game plan, but we have quality in the team.
“The season is going to be long, but today was an improvement on what we did last season. We got the goal because we were patient.”
Man City defender Kyle Walker: “We needed the win and it was good to get off to a good start, so we are happy.
“I am enjoying working with the club, the lads have been so welcoming and I am enjoying my football. It is better to play with a smile on your face.”
Brighton boss Chris Hughton: “For 70 minutes I thought we were good, there’s only one way we can play against a team like City.
“We need more offensive opportunities. In this division you need to score goals. We need to bring in as much quality as we can.
“There were a lot of positives from the game and the support was outstanding.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Brighton: Ryan 6, Bruno 6, Duffy 5, Dunk 6, Suttner 6, March 6 (Knockaert 6), Stephens 6, Propper 6, Brown 6 (Murphy 5), Gross 6, Hemed 6 (Murray 5)
Subs not used: Hunemeier, Maenpaa, Sidwell, Rosenior
Man City: Ederson 6, Kompany 7, Stones 6, Otamendi 7, Fernandinho 7, Walker 6, De Bruyne 7, Silva 8, Danilo 6 (Sane 6), Aguero 7 (Silva 6), Jesus 6 (Sterling 6)
Subs not used: Bravo, Mangala, Toure, Foden
Goals: Aguero 70’, Dunk OG 75’