Albion put in a gutsy performance which deserved a point against Manchester City, but ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat.

Phil Foden scored the only goal of the game just before half time.

The Seagulls had defended superbly and Robert Sanchez made five key saves to keep the score down but it was not enough to stop them suffering a loss.

Head coach Graham Potter made seven changes from the team which beat Newport 4-3 on penalties in the FA Cup on Sunday, which included a Premier League debut for Percy Tau, who led the line.

The South African international made his first start for the Seagulls after coming off the bench in the win over Newport.

He played 68 minutes before being replaced by the Seagulls’ top goalscorer Neal Maupay.

The other six changes saw Robert Sanchez, Joel Veltman, Dan Burn, Bernardo, Davy Propper and Leandro Trossard came into the starting 11, with skipper Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Ben White the only survivors from the FA Cup game.

As expected City dominated possession in the earlier exchanges, but Albion had some defending to do early on.

Bernardo tried to nick the ball off Riyad Mahrez and he spun the Brazilian defender before finding Joao Cancelo.

He clipped a cross into the back post to find Foden who laid the ball off to skipper Oleksandr Zinchenko, whose effort was blocked by a wall of yellow shirts.

Albion had their first foray into the final third after Ben White found Leandro Trossard down the left.

He clipped a cross into the box which fell to Joel Veltman at the back post, who went for goal from a tight angle, when he might have been better to send the ball across goal.

Sanchez was called into action in the 14th minute after Ilkay Gundogan opened up the Albion defence with his pass to skipper Kevin De Bruyne, who was pulling the strings.

He then took a touch, before his effort was well saved by Sanchez, who stood nice and tall.

Leandro Trossard had a great chance for the Seagulls after Alexis Mac Allister picked him out on the left flank.

The Belgian forward then cut inside before flashing his effort wide.

Albion then had Veltman to thank for some last-ditch defending.

Mahrez’s cross was picked up by Gundogan at the far post, who knocked the ball into the six-yard box but the Dutch international was there to clear the ball.

Adam Webster and Sanchez then handed City a dangerous free-kick after the defender’s pass was picked up by the Seagulls keeper and Darren England pointed for an indirect free-kick inside the box.

From the free-kick Bernardo Silva laid the ball off to De Bruyne, whose effort was well blocked by Mac Allister.

The Albion defence was then called into action again after De Bruyne tried to pick out Mahrez with his cross but Bernardo did well to hook the ball behind for a corner.

Sanchez was again on hand to keep the score level when City broke from an Albion corner. Ederson came out to claim Leandro Trossard’s in-swinging delivery. He then threw the ball to Foden, who broke with pace and his offload was blocked into the path of De Bruyne and his effort was well saved by Sanchez.

City took an inevitable lead a minute before the break as De Bruyne found Foden on the left.

He turned from two Albion defenders and then picked out the bottom left corner.

The Seagulls began the second half well, but had to survive a VAR call after Foden went down in the box when Veltman put his arm on him.

England saw nothing wrong with the challenge.

Mike Dean, who was in the VAR hotseat at Stockley Park, took a quick look at it and agreed with the on-field decision of no penalty.

It was Albion who then had their first shot on target after Davy Propper’s cross was put behind by Cancelo.

From the resulting corner, Percy Tau’s delivery was cleared to Propper whose volley was straight at Ederson.

Mahrez should have then put City further ahead after he got in behind and Cancelo picked him out.

City were then denied by a combination of Sanchez and the frame of his goal.

Gundogan weaved his way into the box and then curled an effort which Sanchez saved.

Silva pounced on the loose ball and then his effort rattled off the bar, before Gundogan curled his effort past Sanchez and just wide of the post.

Sanchez was again needed to make two saves in the space of a minute, first from Cancelo and then from De Bruyne.

City were handed a penalty in stoppage time after De Bruyne was brought down by Sanchez.

Substitute Raheem Sterling stepped up but blazed his effort over the bar much to the relief of the Albion keeper.

Albion- Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk (C), Webster, Burn, Bernardo, Propper, (March,68), White, Mac Allister, Tau (Maupay,68), Trossard (Trossard,85) Subs not used- Walton, Gross, Zeqiri, Sanders, Jenks, Weir.

Manchester City- Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Mahrez (Jesus,66), Foden (Sterling,81), Silva. Subs not used- Steffan, Walker, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Harwood-Bellis, Mbete.