Brighton’s Julio Enciso struck an incredible equalizer as the Seagulls drew entertainingly with reigning champion Manchester City to secure their place in the Europa League.
Goalkeeper Jason Steele was left helpless by Erling Haaland’s assist, allowing Phil Foden to slip the ball past Brighton defender Jan Paul van Hecke on the goalline and give Treble-chasing City the lead.
Enciso, a 19-year-old Brighton player, equalized rightfully with a magnificent 25-yard shot that arrowed into the top corner.
As Brighton held on for a draw that ended City’s 12-game winning streak in the Premier League, Haaland’s goal was disallowed in the 79th minute for a pull on his defender.
For Brighton, the fought-for point guarantees a top-six finish and a spot in the Europa League group stage for the following campaign.
Fantastic Brighton earns sixth.
Brighton earned their point rightfully, and on another day, they might have handed City its first loss since February 5.
In the 19th minute, Danny Welbeck hit the crossbar directly from a free-kick, while Kaoru Mitoma headed in a corner after 31 minutes, but his goal was correctly disallowed because the ball struck his arm.
The leveller from Enciso was excellent. The Paraguayan midfielder scored his fourth goal since joining the Sussex club in January after taking advantage of City’s defenders backing off and placing the ball neatly into the top-right corner.
On the verge of halftime, Welbeck’s goal was disallowed for offside as the hosts kept up their pressure.
Following the restart, City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega did well to deny Mitoma and Evan Ferguson, while Pervis Estupinan narrowly missed the target with a long range shot.
The Citizens have faced the most shots in the league so far this year (20 from Brighton).
On Sunday, Roberto de Zerbi’s team will play their final game against Aston Villa with confidence knowing they have already secured the highest-ever top-flight finish for the organization.
Haaland’s denial as the winning run is halted
Even though City may already have the championship under their belts and have their sights set on the FA Cup and Champions League finals, their lineup against Brighton was full of attacking talent and experience.
Haaland had the opportunity to score first but his close-range header from a cross from Foden went over the crossbar.
Ilkay Gundogan narrowly missed with a chance from a close situation in the second half before Haaland had his 37th Premier League goal disallowed for a shirt pull.
The Norwegian was found to have fouled Levi Colwill when Cole Palmer crossed the ball after referee Simon Hooper consulted the VAR monitor.
On Sunday, City will play Brentford away from home to close the season, and if they win, it would be a Premier League season with at least 90 points for a record-breaking fourth time.
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