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£50 million man Kyle Walker impresses in debut, City see off Brighton

From ESPN - August 12, 2017

Manchester City, the Premier League's most consistently high finishers over the last seven seasons, began at Brighton looking like a side intent on finishing right at the top of the pile this time out. A patient, professional display of passing and possession saw off a lively but horribly blunt Brighton side, celebrating their return to top flight action after 34 years away.

Positives

The signs for the season are clear for all to see. Significant renewal is in the air, talented players fill every position and it is difficult to see any weak links in the side. The new system at the back worked without upset, with Kyle Walker and Danilo playing so far up, both were the most advanced players on a number of occasions.

Negatives

Total control of an away game at a Premier League debutante on the opening day of the season. Apart from five brief minutes between the 50thand 55thminutes, when Brighton attempted to ruffle City's feathers, there was nothing doing for the home side. Judgement on the capability of City's back three to withstand proper pressure will have to wait until the Everton match. Whether the profligate finishing will also be a feature will soon become apparent too.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Pep Guardiola chose to field a side so stacked towards scoring goals that the home side spent 85 minutes of their debut desperately trying to find a way out of their own half, as City's patient passing game opened them up to danger time and time again. Bringing on Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva as subs suggested the manager was not satisfied with a two-goal win.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)

GK Ederson Moraes, 6 --Might as well have been on the Copacabana for this one. First kick out was misplaced and one punch did not connect, but his first clean catch did not come until the 75thminute, so underworked was he.

DF Vincent Kompany, 7 --Quiet marshalling role for the captain on the right of the back three. One excellent flying interception proved his hamstrings are ready to be tested.

DF Nicolas Otamendi, 7 --Quiet afternoon, tracking the occasional and erratic forays of the Brighton attackers. Often found in midfield alongside the dawdling Fernandinho.

DF John Stones, 7 --Strolling, confident performance, although a little too casual on one occasion when giving the ball away centrally.

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