Six things we learned from Brighton v Manchester City

Bruno leaves the pitch for the last time. Picture by Getty Images
Bruno leaves the pitch for the last time. Picture by Getty Images

Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions after winning 4-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday. Here's six things we learned from the game.

Champions crowned

Vincent Kompany leads the celebrations. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Vincent Kompany leads the celebrations. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Manchester City lifted the Premier League title at the Amex after one of the best ever title races.

It was nip and tuck all season between Liverpool and City to be crowned champions and the Reds appeared in the boxseat at the turn of the year when they were seven points clear at the top.

However their only defeat of the season was away to Manchester City in early January and that has proved significant, with City ending up winning the title by just one point and Liverpool finishing runners-up with 97 points.

City went into the game at the Amex needing three points to lift the title and got them with goals from Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan.

Brief hope for Liverpool

Glenn Murray's 27th-minute header briefly raised hope there could be a shock on the cards at the Amex.

City had dominated possession in the opening exchanges without really creating a clear opening and they fell behind in a Premier League for the first time since December 8 when Murray nodded home Pascal Gross' corner from a couple of yards out.

Just as news was filtering through to the Liverpool fans inside Anfield, City were drawing level.

here was just 83 seconds between the goals as Sergio Aguero made it 1-1 with a clinical finish past Mathew Ryan.

Aymeric Laporte headed City ahead just ten minutes later and from that moment on, you always felt Pep Guardiola's side were going to be lifting the title later in the afternoon.

A class act departs

From an Albion perspective, the day was all about club captain Bruno playing the final game of an illustrious career.

The Spaniard has been a firm fans' favourite since joining from Valencia seven seasons ago and recieved a huge ovation before, during and after the game.

When he was subbed six minutes from time, the whole of the Amex got to their feet and he was clapped from the pitch by both sets of fans, players and management teams.

The 38-year-old was a consistent and classy performer under Gus Poyet, Oscar Garcia, Sami Hyypia and Chris Hughton, who made him club captain.

It was in that role Bruno led Albion up into the Premier League when he captained the Seagulls to promotion in 2016/17.

He has already said he will continue to live in Brighton and will soon hold talks with the club about another role now his playing career has come to an end.

Job done but improvement needed for next season

Brighton achieved their objective of staying in the Premier League but the Seagulls will need to improve for next season.

It will be a third successive season in the top flight for Albion, who appeared to be comfortably heading for survival at the halfway stage of the season.

Brighton were 12 points clear of the bottom three after beating Crystal Palace in early December. Just two league wins in 2019 saw them drop down the table, before a late rally and crucial draws with Wolves and Newcastle saw Albion over the line.

A run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup drew excitement for fans and many supporters would have taken survival and a long cup run at the beginning of the season.

No doubt, Albion will already be looking at players to bring in and strengthen the squad for next season, while they also have to ensure the key players remain so they can aim to push up the table.

Murray enjoys best-ever Premier League season

One record that may have gone unnoticed during the game was Glenn Murray scoring his 13th Premier League goal of the season to beat his previous best tally of 12 from last year.

It was the striker's first goal at the Amex since netting in the 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace in early December.

The 35-year-old has again been a key figure for the Seagulls and a 15-goal return in all competitions is a hugely respectable total. Only nine players scored more than him in the Premier League.

Without his goals Albion would have been in all sorts of trouble and even if a striker or two arrives in the summer, Murray will still have a big part to play next season.

The world's eyes on the Amex

The Amex was packed to the rafters as Manchester City went into the game needing to win to lift the Premier League title.

A crowd of 30,662 watched the game and there was not a spare seat in sight with 150 of the world's media were also in attendance - in the West Lower and West Upper tiers.

Millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the title finale and Seagulls chief executive Paul Barber said in his programme notes: "Unsurprisingly, the eyes of the football world will be on today's game, and with tickets in both home and away areas sold out many weeks ago, we can expect the highest ever live global TV audience for a match involving our club."


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