Manchester City showed “fight and desire” to overcome a tricky Brighton test at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, according to defender John Stones.
Julian Alvarez gave the hosts an early lead thanks to an assist from Jeremy Doku, before Erling Haaland put Man City two ahead in the 19th minute.
Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati pulled one back in the second half, but they could not find an equaliser before the full-time whistle. Manuel Akanji received a red card for a second bookable offence in injury time, meaning he will miss the derby against Manchester United.
“It was a difficult game and I thought how we played the first half was excellent,” Stones said after the game. “It was a different second half. We had to dig in and show our fighting spirit.
“We had lost three of our previous four games so knew we had to come out fighting. That fight and desire of not losing was massive for us. Everyone played their part.
“How Brighton play – everyone can see how much they dominate with the ball. I felt great, really good. The manager always says give everything and that’s all you can do. I gave everything today.”
Stones also offered his condolences to the family of Sir Bobby Charlton after Man United announced the passing of the World Cup winner earlier on in the day.
“First and foremost, our condolences, our deepest condolences to Sir Bobby’s family, everyone surrounding him, everyone who came into contact with him,” he said. “A legend of the game and he’ll be sadly missed.
“It’s such sad news, we just heard about, so I think on behalf of everyone at City, players, fans, everyone involved, I would like to pass on our deepest condolences.”