If anyone doubted Graham Potter’s commitment to transforming Brighton into an attacking, forward-thinking team, then this should settle any debate.
Granted, Albion were walloped 4-0 and at times Manchester City tore into them with dizzying combinations, but Potter’s men did fight a good fight.
City pressed and squeezed Albion back, often into their own penalty area and still Brighton remained calm in possession and tried to build their attacks from the back.
It’s high-risk at times, especially against an efficient unit such as City, but it’s Potter’s style and against Europe’s finest, he did not hesitate for a second to implement his plan.
“Few teams come here to play with this courage,” said Pep Guardiola. “Managers like Graham are good for football – really good.”
Now, it’s easy to be nice to a fellow manager when you’ve blitzed them 4-0 but Guardiola respected Potter’s style.
It’s also the reason the club appointed Potter to replace the more rigid football they witnessed under Chris Hughton, in the later stages of his tenure.
Brighton lost 2-0 and 4-1 in the Premier League against City last season, so on the face of it, little has changed but then everything has changed, too. There is no nice way to lose 4-0 but if there was, then Saturday was close as you could get.
Not many teams enjoy possession at the Etihad but Brighton had an impressive 46 per cent and completed more than 500 passes. If Leandro Troassard had converted either of his two presentable opportunities, it could have been a different story.
“We have to be ourselves,” said Potter. “How we want to develop our game.
“We saw it as an opportunity to test ourselves against the very, very best. No matter what style or how you want to play, it’s very difficult to get something here.
“So we saw it as an opportunity to try to be ourselves, learn, develop. It’s our fourth game together. We need to try to move forward with this.”
Potter’s early work in the Premier League has been encouraging. Playing from the back, quick to pass and press forward, Brighton are good to watch again. But there is also a flip side.
The opening day win at Watford has made way for a home draw against West Ham and a home loss to Southampton, before the City defeat.
Potter’s Brighton want to be enterprising but equally they don’t want to be the most entertaining out of the teams contesting a relegation battle.