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records in win over Brighton
Yaya Touré’s 316th game and final home outing for Manchester City ended with Pep Guardiola’s side setting records of 97 points, 105
and 31 wins – all of them regarding the Premier League era.
After the game the Ivorian’s brother Kolo, a former City player himself, presented Yaya with a lifetime season ticket for City, a framed shirt embossed with “316”, and a copy of the mosaic of his image unveiled at City’s training facility on Tuesday. Touré said: “It was nice to bring a smile to the fans – they have been very helpful, so me and my family want to thank them.”
Guardiola made eight changes
from the 0-0 draw here against
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Huddersfield on Sunday, retaining only Leroy Sané, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus. Touré was one of those brought in and was captain for the night, lining up as the holding player in the manager’s familiar 4‑1‑4-1 formation.
Chris Hughton made one change to the Brighton XI who beat Manchester United on Friday, with Leonardo Ulloa replacing Glenn Murray.
Guardiola had been far from content with the display and the result on Sunday. What he wanted was a quicker, slicker City. So when Aymeric Laporte swept a diagonal out to Bernardo Silva along the right and the ball went into the box instantly, the manager would have been pleased.
They went even closer when Fernandinho roved forward, moved in behind opposition and found Ilkay Gündoğan, with Shane Duffy required to make a sliding block.
With the crowd cheering Touré’s every touch he delighted with a quick shuffle that took the ball out of his feet and passed in an instant. Later, when he outmuscled Ulloa, there were groans as the referee adjudged an infringement and Guardiola looked equally unimpressed with the official.
Moments later emotions reversed due to an opener straight from the manager’s playbook. Sané hit high gear, burned through the centre circle, and rolled a pass inside the defence to Danilo. The right-back
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took this on and finished impressively to Mathew Ryan’s right.
City’s No 1 for the night was Claudio Bravo and he experienced ill fortune. When Davy Pröpper sprinted down the right the Chilean goalkeeper initially smothered the ball only to see it
pop back to the Dutchman. Pröpper swivelled and crossed over the flailing Bravo, Ulloa headed the ball home and in doing so provided a vivid illustration of why Ederson became City’s first-choice this term.
Touré offered a flash of his best when buccaneering down the right and finding Jesus, though he found side-netting only.
Sané, though, was about to create a fine goal for Silva but beforehand, his dribbling wizardry had the ball seemingly glued to first left boot then right before he shot
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at Ryan. Moments later his cross found Silva and he smashed the ball in for the lead and for goal number 104, the record.
City’s second-half task was to
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take the contest away from the visitors. Fernandinho showed how when taking a Laporte pass first time near the penalty spot, reversing, and blazing at Ryan, who did well to repel it.
Bravo, though, endured more blushes when he spilled a shot and was lucky to see Anthony Knockaert’s follow up sail over.
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