Manchester City kicked off their new season with a solid 2-0 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion at The Amex Stadium. Sergio Agüero got things started in the 70th minute, with an own goal from Lewis Dunk five minutes later giving the Blues a crucial away win at a tough ground.
Here’s a few takeaways from what transpired on Saturday:
1 - Kyle Walker is a fantastic signing
There are always some doubts when a player joins a new club, especially for a big price, but Kyle Walker seems to be the perfect player, at the perfect place and at the perfect time for City. Pep Guardiola needed a really dangerous right-back who had the pace and strength to attack and defend in such an intense league like the Premier League. Walker was awesome against Brighton, doing everything expected of him. His preseason form continued in the season opener, and hopefully he can get even better with time.
But the £50 million City paid for Walker could be a bargain if the early signings are anything to go by. Kyle is an amazing full-back. It’s that simple.
2 - The new formation needs more time and more work
Pep’s 3-5-2 worked wonders in preseason, but that was preseason. When the real competition came, City had a few problems with the system. Having three center-backs meant one less attacking body on the pitch, and against a Brighton side playing with at least nine men behind the ball at all times, having a back three didn’t really seem necessary. Pep stuck with it for the whole game, though, and the team eventually found the goals.
Danilo as a left wing-back seems like a smart choice against offensive wide players from bigger teams, but the Brazilian is a little too defensive to face a side like Brighton that will basically park the bus for 90 minutes. City improved offensively once Leroy Sané took Danilo’s place on the left side, and the attack should improve even more once Benjamin Mendy is ready to play. Because Brighton occupied the middle of the pitch, City needed to provide threat on the wide areas, and only Kyle Walker was able to hurt the Seagulls.
Guardiola himself said in the post-match press conference there’s more work to be done with the attack in this formation, and we should see improvements in the next few games. Pep will definitely work on the 3-5-2 during the mini-camp in Spain this week, and the team will probably look better against Everton.
3 - David Silva is still a magician even without hair
The new look is absolutely terrible, but turns out David’s hair was not the source of his magical powers. Silva was sensational in midfield as always, and the Spaniard was crucial in the opening goal of the game.
Check out Silva’s stats against Brighton:
David Silva's passing stats vs. Brighton:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 12, 2017
5 chances created
Magic stuff. pic.twitter.com/ukEEivY7Ob
We love you, David. With or without hair.