Table of Contents
A first time for everything
Brighton and Hove Albion ended their Premier League campaign at home on a high note, coming from behind to beat Manchester City 3-2.
The Seagulls stormed back to erase a 2-0 deficit with three goals in the second half.
It’s first time Brighton have defeated City in a Premier League fixture.
Prior to today, they had lost their previous seven encounters against them by an aggregate score of 21-2.
From the opening whistle, this match had action, goals, and a whole lot of drama.
City quieted the Seagulls fans after just two minutes.
Riyad Mahrez had far too much space down the right flank.
The Algerian had lots of time to place his cross into the path of Ilkay Gundogan.
The German placed a perfect header across goal and beyond goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to give the Citizens the lead.
Eight minutes later and Graham Potter’s side got the break they needed to climb back into the game.
There was a big brawl just outside the box involving City’s Joao Cancelo and Brighton striker Danny Welbeck.
The Portuguese international dragged Welbeck down.
After a VAR review, referee Stuart Atwell gave Cancelo a red card, and the Sky Blues were down to 10 men.
Brighton failed to use the man advantage to their benefit right away, as it took them just over a half-hour to create a scoring opportunity.
Jakub Moder surged down the left flank before cutting a ball back towards Pascal Gross into space.
Unfortunately, Gross mishit his ball towards a wide-open Alexis Mac Allister allowing Ruben Dias to get across to make the block.
Pep Guardiola’s side was able to hang onto their advantage into the half-time break despite being a man down.
Early in the second half, City doubled their advantage after a brilliant solo effort from Phil Foden.
He made a brilliant darting run down the left.
With time and space he picked out the bottom-right corner with a sublime strike to pad City’s lead.
Brighton were able to answer back quickly to the delight of those in attendance.
Rodri mishit his pass straight at substitute Leandro Trossard.
The Belgian cut his pass across the box, and Ruben Dias, who stepped in to try and block it, saw the ball travel past him and beyond Ederson as Brighton cut the deficit in half.
Dias was critical in the 71st minute with Brighton were growing in confidence and pushing for the equaliser.
Ben White pounced on the failed clearance from Oleksandr Zinchenko.
He lined up a low drive towards the goal that Dias got in the way of and deflected it wide.
A minute later, the Seagulls drew level.
Brighton recovered possession after the clearance from Rodri, with Gross collecting the ball on the right flank.
A lovely cross into the box was met perfectly by Adam Webster.
His precise header was too powerful for Ederson as it found the bottom-right corner.
Sanchez kept the match level a few minutes later as City pressed for the go-ahead goal.
A decisive shot from Riyad Mahrez was headed towards the goal before Sanchez got down to make the save and cover the rebound.
It was a vital save as Brighton took the lead a minute later.
Trossard sent in a nice through ball towards Dan Burn, who fired a right-footed drive that Ederson parried.
Burn was quick to follow up, somehow sweeping his shot into the corner as he was falling.
Pep Guardiola’s side pushed hard for an equaliser and had an excellent opportunity in the 91st minute.
Gabriel Jesus picked up a failed clearance from Sanchez and fired a shot on goal.
Sanchez recovered, though, to make the save, and Eric Garcia pounced on the loose ball but fired the rebound over the bar.
Brighton were able to hang on and pick up a historic victory.
Man of the Match
Yves Bissouma played a terrific game for the Seagulls in midfield against a side that thrives in that department.
The Malian international was a driving force for his team in midfield and neutralised several potential City counters with his vital defensive work.
He led all players today in tackles (5) and also won the ball back for his side eight times.
He was instrumental in the match throughout the 90 minutes to help his side extend their unbeaten run at home to five games.
City had only 37% possession thanks in large part to the work of Bissouma.
That’s the lowest amount of possession any side managed by Pep Guardiola has ever recorded.
Squandering the advantage
It was a nothing game for both sides, but Pep Guardiola can’t be happy with his side’s inability to close out this match.
For the second time in Premier League history, a side starting the day at the top of the table had a two-goal advantage but still lost.
The last time that happened, it was Man City again who gave up a two-goal lead in the Manchester derby.
Manchester United got a pair of goals from Paul Pogba and the winner from Chris Smalling in a 3-2 victory at the Etihad in 2018.
Despite the defeat, Pep Guardiola will be pleased with what he saw from Phil Foden.
The speedy winger now has 15 goals in all competitions for the Citizens this season.
Only Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland with 39, has scored more goals among players under the age of 21 in the big five European leagues.
Despite the defeat, manager Pep Guardiola says he is confident in his team heading into the Champions League final.
“I saw incredible things today in the pitch with 11 against 10 for 80 minutes in the Premier League. We are fortunate to lift the (Premier League) trophy, and we did it ourselves. Nobody gave us absolutely anything; nothing.
“That’s why I am so proud of the team; it means how difficult is the Premier League again, and now we’re going to prepare as best as possible for the final of the Champions League.”
City will get to lift the Premier League trophy on Sunday when they wrap up the domestic campaign at home to Everton in front of their home fans.
The kickoff from the Etihad is at 4 pm. (JSL).