Man City’s Winning Run is Ended by Brighton to Ensure a Top-six Finish

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The English champions took the lead through Phil Foden’s goal, but Julio Enciso’s incredible long-range goal earned Brighton the point.

Pep Guardiola commended his Manchester City players for overcoming their hangovers following their 1-1 draw against Brighton on Wednesday to extend their undefeated streak to 25 games and win the Premier League title.

A point was also sufficient for the Seagulls to ensure that they will place sixth in the table and qualify for the Europa League the following year.

The English champions took the lead through Phil Foden’s goal, but Julio Enciso’s incredible long-range goal earned Brighton the point.

“Only 48 hours before they drank all the alcohol in Manchester,” said Guardiola. “Today they showed why they are the champions.

“We were humble and run a lot. That is why we are the champions for many years, these players showed something special.”

Before the game, Guardiola praised Brighton’s manager Roberto De Zerbi, praising the Italian as one of the 20 most influential managers in history.

In order to celebrate winning a fourth league championship in five years, the City coach brought back some prominent players who missed Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea as a sign of respect.

Erling Haaland made a comeback amid the six substitutions and had a chance to score his eighth hat-trick of the year in the next 30 minutes.

On the fifth minute, the tall Norwegian headed over Foden’s inviting cross.

Haaland then failed to beat Jason Steele despite being clean through on goal due to a weak touch.

On his third attempt, he took no chances as Haaland squared selflessly with just Steele to beat, allowing Foden to score his 15th goal of the year.

However, Brighton soon began to live up to Guardiola’s expectations after a sluggish start, sending the champions reeling.

“In every situation, even when the situation was difficult, we didn’t lose our style,” said De Zerbi.

Facundo Buonanotte should have done better with his finish after sauntering through the City defense after Danny Welbeck’s free-kick crashed off the bar.

An equalizer by Kaoru Mitoma was also overturned due to handball.

When Enciso finally equalized, though, there was no stopping him. After receiving a feed from Levi Colwill, the Paraguayan sent a shot into the top corner for his first Amex goal.

Moments later, Brighton put the ball in the back of the net for the third time in the opening 45 minutes, but Welbeck’s assist from Mitoma was called back for offside.

Despite the fast-paced game, there was less goalmouth activity in the second quarter.

When Haaland headed in Cole Palmer’s cross 15 minutes from time, he thought he had finally scored his 53rd goal of the year.

However, a VAR investigation uncovered that City’s mercurial number nine had grabbed Colwill’s shirt to make room for a free header.

Following that choice, there was a brief outburst of temper on the sidelines, and the referee sent Guardiola a yellow card.

As Phil Foden, John Stones, and Bernardo Silva were substituted in the second half, there were also some minor injury concerns for City ahead of the FA Cup and Champions League finals later this month.

“We have to be careful for the players to arrive to the finals as best as possible,” added Guardiola.

But it was all smiles at the end as Guardiola and De Zerbi shared a warm embrace of mutual admiration after the full-time whistle.

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