Home Sports English Premier League Brighton 3 – 2 Manchester City

Brighton 3 – 2 Manchester City


Brighton delighted their returning fans by coming back from two goals down to beat 10-man Manchester City at a raucous Amex Stadium.

New champions City silenced the 7,495 home fans in attendance through Ilkay Gundogan’s second-minute opener, but were a man down after nine minutes, when Joao Cancelo was adjudged to have brought down Danny Welbeck, who was goal side of the defender.

Phil Foden’s superb solo effort put City 2-0 up – but Leandro Trossard gave Brighton hope with a cool close-range finish, and the home side then put intense pressure on the champions’ goal.

Adam Webster levelled, rising highest in the box to head home Pascal Gross’s delivery and set up a dramatic conclusion, roared on by the crowd.

With 14 minutes left, Dan Burn sent them in raptures with the Brighton winner, following up his own blocked shot to steer the rebound into the corner of the net.

There was still time for a nervy VAR check for a possible penalty following Adam Lallana’s tackle on Gabriel Jesus in the box but the video official agreed the on-field call not to award it.

Brighton are already safe from the drop, but have now moved to 41 points and up to 15th in the Premier League table. They also have a first win over City since April 1989.

City remain on 83 points after this defeat – but of greater concern to them, with the final of the Champions League to play on 29 May, was the sight of Gundogan limping off in the second half with what appeared to be a knee injury.

The game was the perfect way for Albion to sign off their home season, with a performance somewhat aided by having a man advantage for 81 minutes but also entirely in keeping with the positive ethos of manager Graham Potter.

After Foden had added to Gundogan’s opener early in the second half, it looked as though Brighton were heading for a frustrating defeat characterised by missed opportunities.

Danny Welbeck had chipped a shot over Ederson side and wide before Pascal Gross fluffed a close-range shot following a pull-back.

But their response to Foden’s goal was timely and crucial, with Trossard finally finding the patience, skill and efficiency to evade a series of challenges in the box and fire in.

The crowd lifted, it provided a surge of belief through the home players, which they rode to victory. In a period of sustained pressure, the excellent Ben White saw two long-range efforts blocked.

They were not to be denied, as Webster struck with his header before Burn hammered home at the second attempt, choosing the best possible moment to score his first goal for the club.

The cheer at full-time was more representative of a full house than just under 7,500 – and spoke of a unified approval of a job well done and a joy at what live football can provide.

Having wrapped up their seventh English top-flight title and third under Pep Guardiola, City’s focus is now principally on their first Champions League final against Chelsea on 29 May.

City have conceded six goals in two games, but it would too simplistic to suggest that Pep Guardiola’s team have taken their eye off domestic matters.

This game had one major extenuating circumstance in Cancelo’s dismissal, leaving his team-mates to soldier on without him for most of the game, at the end of a demanding season against a side buoyed by home support for the first time in five months.

They almost pulled it off too and possibly would have done had they held on for a bit longer before conceding Brighton’s first. However, once the tide turned, it proved too much.

Special mention must be made of Foden’s goal – a powerful, driving run followed by a superb finish into the far corner, which served only to underline once more how big a player he could be for England this summer.

The loss ends City’s record-breaking runs of 12 successive away league victories and a 23-match unbeaten run away from home in all competitions.

They will now have the chance to play in front of home fans themselves when Everton visit Etihad Stadium on Sunday and then all attention switches to the Porto’s Estadio do Dragao and the chance for European glory.


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