Brighton 1, Manchester City 1
Julio Enciso cancelled out Phil Foden’s goal as Brighton gave Champions Manchester City a stern test at the Amex Stadium.Embed from Getty Images
City dropped points away in the Premier League for the first time since February 18 to a Brighton side who have now had the best season in their history in qualifying for the Europa League – ending their 12 games winning streak in the competition which won them the title this term.
Pep Guardiola’s team were looking stronger than the second string side they named at home against Chelsea on Sunday but they could not reach their recent heights as they tried to find some form after their weekend title lifting celebrations with Phil Foden staking his claim for a place in the FA Cup final against Manchester United in June.
Danny Welbeck and Erling Haaland both had potential winning goals ruled out as both sides settled for the point.
Guardiola rested Manuel Akanji, Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Gomez, Kalvin Phillips, Cole Palmer, and Julian Alvarez and named John Stones, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and Erling Haaland in the starting lineup.
Phil Foden’s 25th minute goal put the Blues ahead after a Haaland set him up during a dominant first quarter but not long afterwards the Seagulls were level thanks to a spectacular 25 yard strike by Julio Enciso who curled his rising shot just inside the top right corner after running onto a Levi Colwill through ball after 38 minutes.
Facundo Buonanotte had a shot deflected away by Rico Lewis before he forced Stefan Ortega to make a save.
Danny Welbeck had earlier hit the crossbar with a free kick but he thought he had scored a goal late in the first half before it was ruled out for a clear offside.
Foden headed just wide of the back post as City tried to retake the lead just before the break but came off soon after the restart in the 51st minute having picked up a knock – he was replaced by Palmer.
Palmer’s fierce low shot from outside the box brought a save out of Jason Steele in the Brighton goal.
Ortega had to save a shot from an acute angle by Brighton striker Evan Ferguson.
Alvarez replaced De Bruyne as City gambled and went for a winner after 57 minutes.
Kaoru Mitoma had a shot charged down by Ortega while Haaland still could not get a shot on target after Riyad Mahrez picked him out and Pervis Estupinan sent a rising shot wide of the near post as the game entered the final quarter hour.
Inevitably, the Norwegian struck with 11 minutes to go after Palmer created a bit of space in the box and lifted the ball up to the striker who appeared to blatantly pull Colwill’s shirt to get the space to head home – VAR spotted this and recommended an on-field review which ended with the goal being chalked off.
With 7 minutes to go City boss Pep Guardiola was booked for protesting against the decision and soon after brought on Gomez and Phillips for Stones and Bernardo Silva – a clear sign he wanted to rest players for the game ahead.