Manchester City’s unbeaten run continued as they played out a fascinating draw at the Amex Stadium. Phil Foden opened the scoring for City, but his 25th-minute strike was cancelled out in superb style by Julio Enciso 13 minutes later.
It was City’s first game since lifting the Premier League title following their victory over Chelsea at the weekend, and manager Pep Guardiola made several changes to the side, leaving out some key names as he prepares for the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
Guardiola stated that some players were ‘unfit’ to feature in Brighton, however, his post-match conference revealed his team had been partying and had ‘drunk all the alcohol in Manchester!’
Brighton had already qualified for a place in Europe for the first time, but a point would guarantee them a spot in next season’s Europa League ahead of Aston Villa. The match was billed as an entertaining battle between two attack-minded teams and those assumptions weren’t wrong as both teams allowed free-flowing football on a warm evening on the south coast.
Both teams had chances to score before Foden’s opener, with Erling Haaland guilty of missing two opportunities that he would generally put away. A header at the far post when completely unmarked soared over the bar, while home keeper Jason Steele saved from the Norwegian with his feet.
Danny Welbeck crashed a free-kick against the bar before Haaland broke the offside trap to set up the opener. Released by Riyad Mahrez, Haaland charged forward with only the keeper to beat, and attempted to go around Steel, who was well out of his goal. Foden offered an alternative supply route and, fed by Haaland the Stockport blue took a touch and squeezed his shot between two Brighton defenders.
The Seagulls thought they’d levelled six minutes later when Kaoru Mitoma bundled the ball home, however, VAR determined he’d used him arm to knock the ball over the line. But the home side weren’t to be denied, and Enciso hit a magical strike to bring parity to the scoreline.
From 30 yards out, the 19-year-old fired into the top corner, leaving Ortega with little chance to save. It was a strike that was also appreciated by the City fans behind the goal, who applauded the youngster’s effort, such was the power and accuracy of the goal.
1-1 was a fair reflection on both teams at half-time and the two continued where they left off in the second half. Welbeck had a goal disallowed for offside, while Haaland’s shirt pull on the defender, moments before heading home Cole Palmer’s cross, was penalised by VAR.
In the end, a draw was a good outcome for City. Had the blues not secured the title at weekend, the match could have been a match that decided the destination of the Premier League title, so the blues will be happy to come away with a point.
Final Score: Brighton 1-1 Manchester City