Brighton & Hove Albion will compete in the Europa League the next season after a thrilling draw against the defending champions Manchester City.
The highlight of the game was Julio Enciso’s amazing attempt to equalize the score for Albion, which was played with no pressure on either team.
The Paraguayan’s thunderbolt against Chelsea was arguably the greatest goal of the season, but he outdid himself here with a right-footed rocket from 30 yards into the top corner, which came after Phil Foden had given City the lead with his fourth goal of the season.
Erling Haaland, Kaoru Mitoma, and Danny Welbeck each had goals disallowed. Albion enters Villa Park having already clinched sixth place and looking forward to an autumn European tour.
Roberto De Zerbi made four changes to the lineup from the squad that overcame Southampton on Sunday. Lewis Dunk, Alexis Mac Allister, Evan Ferguson, and Joel Veltman were benched in favor of Jan Paul van Hecke, Danny Welbeck, Billy Gilmour, and Facundo Buonanotte.
Pascal Gross, the team’s right-back captain in Dunk’s absence, had Albion going well before City should have scored on their first decent opportunity. Haaland was hiding at the far post as Foden burst into the box, but the Norwegian moved quickly over.
The handbrake was removed from the beginning of play by both teams. Welbeck’s run was well-seen by Buonanotte, but Foden retreated to stop his attempt.
Gilmour then missed a shot from just within the box after winning the ball back and passing to Welbeck, but Stefan Ortega made the save. Gross attempted to test Ortega from 25 yards out thanks to a free kick for a foul on the vivacious Gilmour, but the goalkeeper easily made the save.
Haaland thought he had given City the lead when he headed Cole Palmer’s cross into the net, but referee Simon Hooper disallowed the goal for tugging Colwill’s jersey after being alerted by the VAR.
Moments later, Mitoma powerfully headed Gross’s teaser cross-over from a superb position, and in the dying moments, both teams were content with what they had.
A season to remember for both teams, the Albion players took part in another unforgettable lap of honour at the end of the game after the two coaches had shared a heartfelt hug on the sidelines.