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Oleksandr Zinchenko was Guardiola’s star man vs Brighton

Manchester City picked up an important three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday evening.

Phil Foden’s first-half goal proved enough to beat the Seagulls, whilst Raheem Sterling blazed a late penalty over the bar for the hosts.

Whilst the 20-year-old Englishman will earn a lot of the plaudits after his goal an impressive performance, it was perhaps the display of Oleksandr Zinchenko which will have delighted Pep Guardiola the most, as it was only the Ukrainian’s third appearance on the season in the top-flight.

As per SofaScore, the 23-year-old earned a solid 7.3 rating for his display. Foden and Kevin De Bruyne, by comparison, earned 7.8 and 7.9 ratings for their performances.

The left-back was perhaps City’s most involved player during the game, as he had 121 touches of the ball and completed 97/104 of his passes, which was easily the most of any Citizens player and more than double the amount of passes played by De Bruyne, who you would normally expect to be Guardiola’s chief creator.

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When City were on the back foot at times on Wednesday evening, Zinchenko was also impressive from a defensive point of view.

He won five out of eight of his duels against the Brighton players, which is a solid return when you consider the physical threat that the Seagulls pose in the air, but the left-back more than held his own.

He impressively won three tackles and made five interceptions, which is far better than the numbers he posted in the Premier League last season, when he averaged 1.6 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game, emphasising just how impressive he was against Graham Potter’s side.

The Brighton left wing-back, Bernardo, in comparison, would complete just 17 passes of the ball and made just two interceptions during the game earning a much less impressive 6.6 rating for his performance.

Joel Veltman, who was playing at right wing-back for Brighton, was unable to cross the ball once during the 90 minutes, which again highlights that the Ukrainian international was well on top on Wednesday evening as he was one of the main reasons why the Seagulls couldn’t string together many attacks down their right-hand side.

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Although Phil Foden will perhaps steal the limelight after his match-winning performance, we have perhaps come to expect that level of display from the City academy graduate recently given how well he’s played as of late.

For Zinchenko, after his lack of appearances this season, it was a surprise to see him stand out so much, given how much better he performed compared to some of his previous displays during the last campaign, and this game came on the back of him hardly getting a look in during the current campaign.

And, in other news… Guardiola must swoop for “unbelievable” £90m-rated beast; he can break Aguero’s Man City record

Article title: Oleksandr Zinchenko was Guardiola’s star man vs Brighton

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