'Brighton outclassed by champions Manchester City'

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Albion fell to their first defeat in four games at The Ethiad, in a game that had 'end of season' written all over it.

10th May 2018

Goodbye Yaya!

This was to be Yaya Toure’s last game for Manchester City, and the whole evening was focused on the Ivorian.

The City team sheet didn’t include his name but simply 'Legend' in tribute to the man who has been with them for eight seasons.

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With City assured of the title, and Albion safe from relegation, the game felt like something of a testimonial for Toure, who was made skipper for the night.

Everything City did went through him, and at times it felt like the Sky Blues were trying to engineer one last home goal for their departing great.

That goal never came, however, and he left the field to a standing ovation, before a post-game presentation that included the surprise appearance of his brother Kolo.

City in second gear

Even with a number of his star men taking a rest for the evening, Pep Guardiola’s starting XI still had a formidable look to it.

The strength in depth that City possess is what sets them apart from their supposed title challengers, and this was a side that could, if they put their minds to it, blow many opposing sides away.

However, with Toure's imminent departure weighing on everyone’s minds and neither side having too much motivation to fully commit to the game, it was a bit pedestrian.

Albion sat deep and, as we’ve come to expect, kept their shape well and retained their discipline, giving City little space to work with.

The opener came with the Albion pressing forward and losing possession. This gave City the chance to break at pace, sending Danilo though to beat Maty Ryan.

Fears the floodgates could open were dismissed as Albion got back on terms a few minutes later. Claudio Bravo made a bit of a hash as Davy Propper ran through on goal, allowing the Dutchman to cross for Leo Ulloa to nod home.

Some uncharacteristically sloppy defending from Albion allowed Bernardo Silva to put City back in front before the break, and Fernandinho completed the scoring in the second half. 

It felt like City never really got out of second gear, something our goal difference thanks them for!

Knockaert on his game again

Anthony Knockaert continued where he left off on Friday night against Manchester United.

With Jose Izquierdo on the opposite flank struggling to make much of an impression on the game, Knockaert was the main Albion outlet going forward.

Once again, the Frenchman showed a strong desire to run at his full-back, carrying the ball with pace and trickery.

After his Man of the Match performance at the Amex, it was another indication that Knockaert may be back to his best.

Although it’s a shame that coincides with the end of the season, Albion fans will be hopeful that Le Petit Magicien will be able to show the same form when he returns to Premier League action next term.

Anfield party poopers?

Albion see out the season at Anfield on Sunday. The Sky cameras will be there to see if Albion can be party poopers.

Despite only picking up a point against Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge, The Blues narrowed the gap to Liverpool, immediately above them in fourth, to just two points.

Chelsea travel to Newcastle on Sunday knowing a victory would see them take the last Champions League qualifying position should Albion cause an upset on Merseyside.

If Liverpool win the Champions League Final they will automatically qualify for the competition next season, but Jurgen Klopp will not want to rely on that.

With the Real Madrid clash in Kiev still two weeks away, I expect few of Liverpool’s big names to be rested, meaning a stern test for Albion.

These are the games we earned promotion to play in, so I look forward to Albion wrapping up the season with a decent performance. 

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