Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised Brighton & Hove Albion for their battling display against his side on Saturday, and feels they will frustrate many teams this season.
Guardiola commented on Albion’s defensive strength and how his team had to be patient to break down the stubborn Seagulls backline.
He said, “It’s not easy as a newly-promoted team to arrive and settle quickly, and I think it must be different than the Championship.
“I know the manager is top [quality] and I think they have the quality: strong central defenders, Knockaert is coming back, they are so well organised. To attack them is not easy. But there are many teams in the Premier League like this, it’ll be tough for everybody.
“To attack 10 players you need players who move well in the little spaces. I said last year we attack in the small places and defend in the big places. To do that, you need a certain quality of player: quick, dynamic and read the situation in small spaces. But you have to find it.”
The City boss admitted the sense of relief that came with Sergio Aguero’s opener and how important it was to dampen the partisan atmosphere inside the Amex.
“We started the game well, but we became slower. We didn’t attack in the proper way, but that is normal in this early part of the season. But the second half was much, much better. We were quicker and we attacked better inside and outside.
“Before the Sergio goal, we had chances in the first half and the second half. In these kinds of games when the team defends deeply with 10 players, it’s hard to break them down.
“To score the first goal was so important, after the first one it was a little bit easier. But the first game is always complicated; we saw this weekend what can happen with newly-promoted teams, when you have the passion from the fans and no pressure at all; it’s always difficult.”