The Spaniard has reshaped the Sky Blues dramatically since taking over and waxed lyrical about his midfield options
PEP GUARDIOLA gushed over the quality of his Manchester City side.
But the truth is that his star-studded line-up toiled to victory against a team put together on a shoestring in comparison to the Spaniard’s embarrassment of riches.
After spending around £218million on his squad — more than it cost Brighton for their first team and to build an entire STADIUM — City should have swept the Premier League new-boys aside easily.
That it took until the dying stages and TWO Brighton blunders for City to get over the line should be a minor cause for concern for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.
Not that it stopped Guardiola waxing lyrical as he said: “If you want to play in a certain way, the way I like, with players on the ball then you need talent.
“Our midfield positions are ‘pwhoar!’ Really good.
“We have Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan is coming back, with Kevin De Bruyne, with David Silva, with Raheem Sterling, who can play in that position.
“All of them are going to play. Last season I rotated the team a lot and I will do that again.
“After that it depends on them and if they accept my decision or not.
“If they don’t accept it, it will be their problem not mine.
“They all have such a lot of quality. I like players when they have the ball, they don’t lose the ball. I love that.
“To attack ten guys in the box you need players who move well in little space.
“To do that you need certain type of players; dynamic, in the middle they move, they read the situation in smaller spaces.
“There’s not a lot of space but you have to find it.”
Guardiola should know better than to get too carried away by a winning start after City opened up last season with ten straight victories before falling away and finishing 15 points behind champions Chelsea.
He will also know his team need to be more ruthless in front of goal after Sergio Aguero spared their blushes with a second-half strike before Brighton’s Lewis Dunk nodded it into his own net moments later.
For all City’s dominance in possession, they were wasteful in attack.
Both Gabriel Jesus and Aguero fluffed their lines on more than one occasion.
Brighton, making their Premier League bow and roared on by their biggest-ever crowd at the Amex, struggled to make any impact going forward after being bullied for large parts of the game.
But better-equipped sides could easily have punished big-spending City for lacking a clinical edge in front of goal.
Despite this wastefulness, City skipper Vincent Kompany said: “This team still needs to win something.
“But my feeling is that we have a lot more tools we can use.
“It was difficult for us to play in a back three back in the day just because of the personnel we had.
“Here it is just as easy for us to switch from a back three to a back four and so on.
“That is the strength of the team the fact that we just can adapt to so many ways.
“It’s more a case for us to practice it a lot and get used to it and I think we have done tremendous so far.”