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Brighton 1-4 Manchester City: Champions retain Premier League title on final day

Manchester City came from behind to retain the Premier League title in style with a 4-1 victory at Brighton on the final day of the season.

City looked on course for a nerve-jangling final outing at the Amex Stadium when Sadio Mane's opener for Liverpool against Wolves - which temporarily moved the Reds top of the table - was compounded by Glenn Murray heading Brighton into the lead on 27 minutes

But City produced the response of champions. Sergio Aguero struck just 83 seconds after Murray's opener, before Aymeric Laporte's header secured a half-time lead.

Riyad Mahrez rifled City's third into the top corner on 63 minutes before an exquisite Ilkay Gundogan free-kick sparked wild scenes of celebrations among Pep Guardiola's players and staff.

Ilkay Gundogan celebrates his goal
 
Ilkay Gundogan celebrates his goal

City's 14th consecutive league victory sees them end one of the most remarkable Premier League title races on top of the pile with 98 points, and sees them become the first side since 2009 to retain the title.

 

Substitutes
27DavidButton
9JürgenLocadia
10FlorinAndone
22MartínMontoya
49JaysonMolumby
3GaëtanBong
33Dan Burn
17KevinDe Bruyne
30NicolásOtamendi
49ArijanetMuric
5JohnStones
19LeroySané
33GabrielJesus
3Danilo

Player ratings

Brighton: Ryan (6), Bruno (6), Duffy (6), Dunk (7), Bernardo (6), Knockaert (6), Kayal (6), Bissouma (7), Jahanbakhsh (6), Gross (6), Murray (7).

Subs: Locadia (5), Andone (5), Montoya (n/a)

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Kompany (7), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (7), Gundogan (7), David Silva (7), Bernardo Silva (7), Mahrez (7), Aguero (7), Sterling (7).

Subs: De Bruyne (5), Danilo (n/a), Otamendi (n/a)

Man of the Match: Riyad Mahrez.

Brighton relished the prospect of going against the script to potentially crash City's coronation. Alireza Jahanbakhsh flashed a fierce drive inches wide of goal on nine minutes, an effort which forced Guardiola to squat in his technical area as the pressure mounted.

Glenn Murray celebrates his opener vs Manchester City
Glenn Murray celebrates his opener vs Manchester City

News of Mane's opener on 17 minutes at Anfield trickled through, and the plot thickened 10 minutes later as Murray beat Ederson at the near post to head Brighton in front with his 14th goal of the season.

Team news

  • Brighton: Anthony Knockaert and Beram Kayal returned as Solly March and Dale Stephens dropped out. Bruno captained the Seagulls for the final time ahead of his retirement.
  •  
  • Man City: Riyad Mahrez replaced Phil Foden in Manchester City’s only change from Monday’s win over Leicester.

But the lead was short-lived. David Silva's neat flick was brought under control by Aguero, and he immediately eased the champions' nerves with a clinical finish past Mat Ryan.

Sergio Aguero equalises against Brighton
Sergio Aguero equalises against Brighton

The Brighton goalkeeper prevented Bernardo Silva from heading a now-rampant City into the lead on the half-hour mark, but he was helpless seven minutes before the interval as Laporte was given the freedom of the penalty area and completed the turnaround with a header from Mahrez's corner.

Aymeric Laporte celebrates after putting Manchester City 2-1 up
Aymeric Laporte celebrates after putting Manchester City 2-1 up

City laid siege to the Brighton goal early in the second half and got the two-goal cushion they desired as Mahrez shifted the ball away from Lewis Dunk and fired through the despairing dive of Ryan.

And City's celebrations were put into motion on 72 minutes when Gundogan left Ryan with no chance as he curled a sumptuous 25-yard free-kick over the Brighton wall and into the top corner.

Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's third goal
Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's third goal

Opta stats

  • Manchester City have won their fourth Premier League title - only Manchester United (13) and Chelsea (5) have ever won more in the competition.
  • Overall, Manchester City have won their sixth English top-flight title. They're the first side to retain the title since Manchester United in 2008-09.
  • This was the eighth time the Premier League title has been decided on the final day of the season, with Manchester City winning it on three of those occasions (2011-12, 2013-14 and 2018-19).
  • Manchester City's haul of 98 points is the joint-second highest for any team in English top-flight history (converting to three points for a win) - only the Citizens themselves have ever earned more (100 in 2017-18).
  • Manchester City have won their last 14 Premier League games - only the Citizens themselves (18 in December 2017) have had a longer winning run in the competition.
  • Manchester City have won 32 Premier League games this season - equalling their own record in the competition from last season for most wins in a single campaign in the competition.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 32 goals in all competitions for Man City this season - only in 2016-17 (33) has he scored more in a single campaign for the Citizens.
  • Glenn Murray has scored 36% of Brighton's overall Premier League goals (25/69), the highest proportion of any team's goals in the competition's history.
Brighton and Hove Albion 1 - 4 Manchester City

  • Possession
    23.8%
    23.8%76.2%
    76.2%
    Duels success rate
    46.7%
    46.7%53.3%
    53.3%
    Aerial duels won
    56.5%
    56.5%43.5%
    43.5%
    Interceptions
    6
    611
    11
    Offsides
    1
    11
    1
    Corners
    3
    36
    6

The managers

4:06
 
 
Pep hails incredible season
Pep Guardiola says the reality of retaining the Premier League title is incredible and praised his side for an amazing season.
 
 
Pep Guardiola says the reality of retaining the Premier League title is incredible and praised his side for an amazing season.

Pep Guardiola: "I have to say congratulations to Liverpool of course. Thank you so much. They helped to push us and to increase our standards from last season. To compete against this team pushed us to do what we have done. It's incredible, 198 points in two seasons to go back-to-back. We made the standard higher last season and Liverpool helped us - to win this title we had to win 14 in a row. We couldn't lose one point. It's the toughest title we have won in all my career, by far."

1:52
 
 
Hughton: I couldn't have asked for more
Brighton manager Chris Hughton says he couldn't have asked for more effort from his side as they fell to a 4-1 defeat against Manchester City.
 
 
Brighton manager Chris Hughton says he couldn't have asked for more effort from his side as they fell to a 4-1 defeat against Manchester City.

Chris Hughton: "For a good period of the game, we were able to give them a good game and that's what I wanted, but the fact their equaliser was so quick after our goal, that really hurt us."