Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 Manchester City: 5 Talking points as ten-men Champions shocked by Seagulls | Premier League 2020-21

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - Premier League
Rupam Nag

Brighton and Hove Albion mounted a memorable comeback from two goals down as they slew champions Manchester City to a 3-2 loss at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday evening. It was only the second away defeat for the Citizens all season, and credit must be given to Graham Potter's men for staging a fight to remember in front of their fans.

Manchester City took a very early lead courtesy of an Ilkay Gundogan header and it felt like another routine win was on the cards for Pep Guardiola and co.

But soon after, Joao Cancelo was given the marching orders as he fouled Danny Welbeck with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Brighton dominated the game thereafter but lacked any serious goal threat. They were completely rejuvenated in the second half, though. Despite going further down to a Phil Foden strike, the Seagulls did not give up and found the back of the net thrice thereafter to seal three massive points.

#5 Leandro Trossard caps a special week with a special goal

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - Premier League

Belgian forward Leandro Trossard would have been delighted to have made Roberto Martinez's Belgium squad for the upcoming Euros this summer. It is quite an achievement to make the cut, given Belgium's array of talent in midfield and forward spots, which includes the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.

However, if there were any doubters of the 26-year-old, they've surely been silenced since, courtesy of an extremely well-taken goal against the league's miserliest defense.

Trossard's goal was the turning point of the match as it revived the spirit of the Brighton team after going 0-2 down. He showed great composure to stick with the ball despite attempts from John Stones and Ruben Dias to keep him at bay, and he was also able to find a smashing finish to beat Ederson at his near post.

#4 Brighton's towering defenders too hot for City to handle

Burn scored the winner for the Seagulls
Burn scored the winner for the Seagulls

A common problem for Manchester City, despite their great success this season, has been their inability to deal with the presence of tall players in their penalty box. For all the talent the City squad possesses, they don't have a plethora of tall players among their ranks, which has often hurt them in the past.

Adam Webster and Dan Burn, who boast an average height of a whopping 6'5", won most of their aerial duels on both ends of the pitch. Unsurprisingly, the pair also found themselves on the scoresheet as they ventured forward in attack to capitalize on their numerical advantage.

Provided the Citizens were a man down and were forced to play Eric Garcia out of position, their inability to deal with players blessed with great height is a cause for serious concern nonetheless.

Also Read: Twitter reacts as Manchester United drop points in 1-1 draw with Fulham

#3 The importance of fans highlighted once again in miraculous upset

There is every possibility that Manchester City, even with ten men, go about their business and grab all three points against significantly weaker opposition. After all, they were up by two goals at a time. It could've been a straightforward collection of three points, especially considering the form Ruben Dias and John Stones have been in all season. However, it wasn't to be.

Brighton & Hove Albion's supporters made a big difference
Brighton & Hove Albion's supporters made a big difference

While credit must be given to the Brighton and Hove Albion players and coaches, it is tough to picture them mounting this impressive comeback in the absence of their fans. Almost 8000 fans made their way to the Amex Stadium to cheer for their beloved club, and their voices didn't tremble even when their team was faced with severe adversity.

They pushed their club through the full ninety minutes with constant chanting and applauding, and its positive effect on the players was visible. They were willing to run that extra yard and go into a tackle with more boisterousness thanks to their loyal supporters. It is a reminder to football fans around the globe of what a massive role they play in their team's success.

#2 Are City's defensive woes returning?

Brighton gave City a lot of problems at the back
Brighton gave City a lot of problems at the back

Manchester City - who still have the best defensive record in the league - have now conceded six goals in their last two games. Three in each of those fixtures. To put things into perspective, they conceded their previous six in a run of seven games, despite going through one of their relatively poorer defensive spells of the season. So the question must be asked - is this shaky defense here to stay?

With only one more game left before the all-important Champions League final against Chelsea, Guardiola doesn't have much time to sort things out. The truth is that in the past two games, City have either played many of their reserve defensive players, or have been forced to play with a numerical disadvantage.

That being said, a more pessimistic point of view suggests that City might be losing their elite defensive mentality at the worst possible time. One can only speculate.

#1 How good can Brighton get with a goal-poaching striker?

Welbeck limped off against Manchester City again
Welbeck limped off against Manchester City again

Brighton and Hove Albion have played some liquid football this season. Their defensive record is also the best among all other clubs in the lower half of the table. Why hasn't their quality at both ends of the pitch resulted in points?

If statistics are to be believed, Brighton have played well enough to warrant themselves a comfortable top-half finish instead of a relegation battle. Their expected goals tally is extremely impressive, but their actual goal tally is a far cry from that number.

The lack of a lethal goalscorer has hurt them dearly for a long time now. They had seemed to have found a reliable striker in Danny Welbeck, but the Englishman continues to struggle with injuries every now and then. If the board can pull-off a big move to bring in a reputed goalscorer this summer, Graham Potter could very well lead his team to their best season in a long, long time.

Also Read: Chelsea announce winner of Men’s Player of the Year award

Edited by Prem Deshpande


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