Goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero sent Manchester City top of the Premier League with victory over Brighton.
Their stay at the summit may be a brief one – with nearest rivals Liverpool playing third-placed Chelsea in Saturday’s late game – but the outcome of this match was rarely in doubt.
Sterling broke the deadlock after 29 minutes, sliding home Leroy Sane’s cross after a swift counter-attack opened up the Seagulls defence for the first time.
City continued to dominate and Aguero made sure of the points on 65 minutes, firing home from a Sterling pass to finish a move he started.
Pep Guardiola’s side had 28 attempts at goal, while the visitors had just four.
And while Seagulls keeper Mat Ryan was kept busy throughout, the only action Ederson saw in the City goal was to comfortably collect an early looping header by Shane Duffy.
City maintain impressive home form
This was exactly the kind of emphatic win Guardiola will have wanted before his side attempt to get their Champions League campaign back on track against Hoffenheim this week.
City, surprisingly beaten at home by French side Lyon in their last home game, never looked like suffering a similar upset against the Seagulls.
Their Premier League record at the Etihad since the start of last season includes 20 wins from 23 games, and this was among the most convincing.
True, it took them time to find a way to break down a well-drilled Brighton side, but they had so much of the ball they always appeared in control.
City enjoyed 80% of possession and played 851 passes, compared to 210 by a Brighton side who sat deep and offered next to no threat on the counter-attack.
Brighton wait for an away win continues
Brighton, who have not won on the road in the top flight since November 2017, are getting used to returning to the south coast empty-handed.
This was their 17th successive away league game without a win, and the 12th in that period in which they have failed to score.
There were few moments in this game when they looked like improving that record, and not many statistics offer them any encouragement to take away from Etihad Stadium.
They as good as matched City in terms of work-rate, collectively covering only 1km less, but that was the only area on the pitch where there was not a noticeable gulf.
Their only positives came at the back – through the organisation of their defence and also a collection of fine saves by Ryan that helped keep the scoreline respectable.
Man of the match – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
The Argentina international has seven goals to his name this season, and this strike was one to savour. Aguero collected the ball 40 yards from goal before charging at the Brighton defence, feeding Sterling and then running on to his return pass and finding the bottom corner of the net.
What next? City go to Germany
Manchester City travel to Germany to play Hoffenheim on Tuesday (17:55 BST), then go to Anfield to face Liverpool in their next Premier League game on Sunday, 7 October (16:30 BST).
Brighton are at home to West Ham on Friday (20:00 BST).