Saturday June 15, 2024

Brighton end City’s winning run to secure top-six finish

May 26, 2023

BRIGHTON: Brighton ended Manchester City´s 12-game winning run in the Premier League as a 1-1 draw on Wednesday secured the Seagulls a place in next season´s Europa League.

Phil Foden fired the English champions in front, but Brighton were well worthy of the point given to them by Julio Enciso´s stunning long-range strike. Brighton, who had already secured European football next season for the first time in the club´s history, are now certain to finish sixth.

City did at least stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to 25 games as Pep Guardiola´s men opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the table with one game remaining. Guardiola heaped praise on Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi pre-match, hailing the Italian as one of the most influential managers of the last 20 years.

The City coach showed his respect by restoring a number of star names to his side that missed Sunday´s 1-0 win over Chelsea to toast a fourth league title in five years. Erling Haaland returned among six changes and could have had a seventh hat-trick of the season inside half an hour.

The towering Norwegian headed over Foden´s inviting cross on five minutes. Haaland then had a poor touch to blame for not beating Jason Steele when clean through on goal. At the third time of asking he took no chances as Haaland unselfishly squared with just Steele to beat for Foden to convert his 15th goal of the season. But after a slow start, Brighton soon began to live up to Guardiola´s billing as the champions were rocked back on their heels. Danny Welbeck´s free-kick came crashing off the bar and Facundo Buonanotte should have done better with his finish after sauntering through the City defence.