Doku created City’s opening goal for Julian Alvarez and was a constant threat on the left as City put the successive defeats they suffered prior to the international break behind them.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 21, 2023
Doku, a £55million summer signing from Rennes, said: “It was very important – not only for the table but also just for us in our heads.
“It was a difficult game but we are a good team, the best team for me and we have to prove it every time, every game we are on the pitch. Here, we did it.”
City looked to be cruising to victory after Alvarez’s seventh goal of the campaign on seven minutes was followed by a clinical strike from Erling Haaland 12 minutes later.
Doku, who gave veteran former City player James Milner a particularly torrid time, twice curled efforts narrowly over as the hosts threatened more.
The Seagulls rallied after the break Ansu Fati gave them hope with a reply 17 minutes from time.
City were then left clinging on after Manuel Akanji was sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time, a dismissal that means he will now miss next weekend’s Manchester derby.
“Some games like this are difficult but we kept on going,” said Doku. “It was 10 against 11 at the end but we showed that we are there mentality, so aggressive.
“We’re happy with the result after some difficult results that we had the past weeks. It was important mentally and I hope we can keep on going like this.”
For Brighton, the result was compounded by the loss of Danny Welbeck and Solly March to injury, the pair joining an already lengthy casualty list that includes Julio Enciso, Jakub Moder, Pervis Estupinan and Tariq Lamptey.
Yet after being outplayed in the first half, the visitors can take confidence from their recovery in the second period.
Goalkeeper Jason Steele said: “It was a game of two halves. In the first half we didn’t play good, nowhere near good enough for our level.
Not our day today but thank you as always for your superb support on the road. 👏 pic.twitter.com/VoqdDGwJWl
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) October 21, 2023
“In the second half I think we showed what we’re about a lot more. We were braver, we pressed better and that was the big difference.
“We had the chances in the second half to definitely get a point and ultimately we didn’t, so we leave disappointed.
“But with the second-half performance, at least we showed ourselves a little bit more.”