Brighton 3, Manchester City 2
Brighton beat Manchester City for the first time in the league since 1989 after Joao Cancelo was sent off in the 10th minute.Embed from Getty Images
City became only the third side in Premier League history to score a goal and have a man sent off in the opening ten minutes of a match after Blackburn v Leeds in February 1995 and Norwich City v Portsmouth in January 2005.
And the defeat saw City’s 12 game winning away run in the league crash to an end in a classic game where key decisions went against City as they lost a Premier League game after being 2 goals up for the sixth time – only Tottenham have done so on more occasions.
Joao Cancelo was sent off soon after Ilkay Gundogan had opened the scoring for City, but things looked positive for City when Phil Foden doubled their lead early in the second half with a superb solo goal.
But goal-shy Brighton turned into goal-mouth predators in front of almost 8,000 of their own fans and served up a classic in the second half with their man advantage when Leandro Trossard, Adam Webster, and Dan Burn overhauled City to record a famous victory for the Seagulls.
The costly night was further marred for City when Gundogan limped off during the second half and was later seen with an ice pack on his knee as City were forced to compensate for the missing man by working a lot harder than they intended.
Even VAR went against the visitors as Adam Lallana escaped a penalty shout at the end after Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s earlier foul on Gundogan was judged unworthy of a red card.
After suffering defeat in his 700th game as a manager, Pep Guardiola praised Brighton for their efforts.
“Congratulations to Brighton, they are a top side. Here, eleven against eleven was tough, ten against eleven is more difficult.
Guardiola claimed he had not seen the red card incident or the penalty claim at the end, but was more concerned about the fitness of Ilkay Gundogan ahead of the Champions League final next week.
He said: “It was a kick, he had niggles in his muscles because he couldn’t run properly so we had to change him.”
The end of term feeling for City since they became Premier League Champions is in danger of becoming a form issue for them as their previously secure defence has started to leak goals with a Champions League final on the horizon.
A 4-3 win at St James Park against Newcastle United was followed by the 3-2 defeat at the Amex Stadium at the hands of Brighton.
It was such a pity that Ferran Torres, the best thing about that madcap win at Newcastle, never got a chance to shine in this game after Cancelo was sent off.
There were six changes for City from their 4-3 win over Newcastle United last Friday.
Ederson, Oleksandr Zinchenko, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Phil Foden, and Riyad Mahrez were recalled while Torres notably kept his place in the side ahead of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, and Raheem Sterling who were all nursing injury concerns along with Kyle Walker.
The side appeared to be almost as strong and in-form as Guardiola could muster ahead of the Champions League final in 11 days time with Kevin De Bruyne named on the bench after a recent injury.
And City were ahead after just 108 seconds when Ilkay Gundogan hit his 17th goal of the season after meeting Riyad Mahrez’ cross with a header from 2 yards out with Brighton retreating after overcommitting.
Ex-United striker Danny Welbeck was in good form and tried to chip Ederson from an offside position after six minutes but his effort went wide.
Welbeck was brought down by Cancelo as he tried to get the ball after Cancelo missed it and was immediately shown a red card after 10 minutes for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
VAR was immediately consulted as Cancelo’s red card was upheld and the Portuguese went off protesting his innocence.
Pascal Gross’ resulting free kick was deflected wide for the corner and his cross later went into the side netting as the Seagulls sensed a chance to continue pressing City.
Eric Garcia was brought on for Torres to play at right back as City reshuffled, it was a shame for Torres as the young forward looked to audition for a starting place in the Champions League final.
At least we know that Garcia probably won’t start as the young defender, who appears to be on his way to Barcelona in the summer, was give a torrid time at right back for City.
But more worryingly, Rodri appeared to have reversed back to an earlier error strewn slow version of himself as Brighton bypassed him on their way through to City’s defence.
Mahrez saw a shot deflected wide as City looked to exploit the gaps as Brighton tried to prise the visitors open.
Ben White tackled Foden after it looked like Gundogan had put the England man clean through.
Welbeck went down with a hamstring problem and was withdrawn after 26 minutes with Leandro Trossard sent on to replace him shortly afterwards.
Gundogan was later scythed down by Alireza Jahanbakhsh with a high boot to his knee but while VAR looked at that too it was decided that a booking was sufficient.
Pascal Gross horribly miskicked when in a good shooting position after Jakub Moder had reached the touchline and picked him out while Alexis Mac Allister and Jahanbakhsh saw crosses into the area cleared.
Ruben Dias, as always Citys defensive rock, was also also responsible for clearing the ball from Ben White as he waited for the ball to drop in the City penalty area.
City upped a gear 3 minutes after the restart with Foden’s clinical finish as he notched up 15 for the season after winning the ball in his own half, holding off White as he raced into the Brighton half before slotting past Robert Sanchez at the end of a solo run which had Brighton fans applauding the young player who became the youngest player to score 30 goals for Guardiola before turning 21.
It was especially sweet for Foden who could cup his ears to the parts of the crowd for the first time in a long while who had barracked him in the first half even as some of them acknowledged the goal he had just scored.
The tide turns towards Brighton as errors continue from ten-man City after they take a two goal lead in the second half
That was matched 149 seconds later when Trossard hauled Brighton back into the game with a moment of skill to go past Stones before leaving Dias on his backside and hammering the ball past Ederson from the edge of the six yard box.
Gundogan went down soon after that, after being caught by Adam Lallana and had to go off to get an ice pack on his knee, with Fernandinho replacing him after 55 minutes.
Moder and White’s crosses into the box were blocked by Zinchenko and cleared while Gross had his cross caught by Ederson as City continued to soak up the Brighton attacks.
Andy Zeqiri was brought on by Brighton for Steven Alzate as they went more attacking with 25 minutes to go and Yves Bissouma skied an early ball over the bar with Brighton now dominating the game.
White’s shot was deflected for a corner while Rodri cleared another ball into the box before Adam Webster headed his first ever goal for Brighton at the Amex – and his first goal of the season – past Ederson in the 72nd minute as the pressure finally told.
Mahrez had a free kick saved by Sanchez but Dan Burn quickly put Brighton into the lead at the second time of asking after 76 minutes when he scooped the ball into the empty net after Trossard cut the ball back for the defender to have his first effort saved by Ederson before he put away the rebound.
Gabriel Jesus was brought on for Bernardo Silva but City had to keep defending, with Mac Allister having a shot blocked by Dias.
Adam Lallana slid in to deprive Jesus of a chance on goal with a VAR check for penalty against the ex-Liverpool man again going Brighton’s way.
Sanchez saved from Jesus while Garcia blazed the rebound over the bar as City struggled to get the equaliser in added time.
GOALS – Brighton 3, Manchester City 2
Brighton 0, Man City 1: 2. Ilkay Gundogan’s downward header from 2 yards from Road Mahrez’ cross after 108 seconds put City into the lead as Brighton retreated.
Brighton 0, Man City 2: 48. Phil Foden got the ball in his own half and made a beeline for goal, holding off Ben White, before firing across Sanchez to double City’s lead.
Brighton 1, Man City 2: 50. Leandro Trossard danced past John Stones before leaving Ruben Dias on his backside and hammering the ball past Ederson at the end of a breathtaking run across City’s box.
Brighton 2, Man City 2: 72. Adam Webster rose up to meet a cross from the right and headed Pascal Gross’ cross past Ederson.
Brighton 3, Man City 2: 76. Dan Burn found himself with the ball in the City area after some tired defending, his first shot was blocked but he made no mistake with his second chance off the rebound.
MATCH STATS – Brighton 3, Manchester City 2
Brighton: Sanchez, White, Webster, Burn, Gross, Alzate (Zeqiri 65), Bissouma, Moder, Jahanbaksh (Lallana 49), Mac Allister, Welbeck (Trossard 29)
Brighton subs not used: Steele, Karbownik, Connolly, Tau, Caicedo, Walton
Bookings: Jahanbaksh 27 (foul on Ilkay Gundogan); Webster 90+3 (foul on Ruben Dias); Sanchez 90+5 (time wasting)
Goals: Trossard 50; Webster 72; Burn 76
Man City: Ederson, Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva (Jesus 77), Rodri, Gundogan (Fernandinho 56), Mahrez, Foden, Torres (Garcia 15)
Man City subs not used: Steffen, Ake, Laporte, De Bruyne, Mendy, Palmer
Bookings: Bernardo Silva 73; Rodri 79 (foul on Andy Zeqiri); Fernandinho 82 (foul on Yves Bissouma)
Red Card: Cancelo 10
Goals: Gundogan 2; Foden 48
Referee: Stuart Attwell