Julio Enciso stunner earns Brighton and Hove Albion draw against Manchester City to guarantee Europa League football


Julio Enciso scored a screamer as Brighton secured a place in next season’s Europa League courtesy of a lively 1-1 draw at home to champions Manchester City.

The hosts needed a point to confirm a sixth-place finish and carved out a series of good opportunities before falling behind on 25 minutes when Phil Foden squeezed home Erling Haaland’s lay off.

Brighton responded and Enciso rifled a stunning 25-yard effort into the top corner seven minutes prior to the interval.


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Both sides continued to take turns to attack throughout the second period and Haaland had a late goal chalked off following a VAR intervention for a shirt pull 11 minutes from time.

The result means sixth-placed Brighton are four points ahead of nearest rivals Aston Villa in seventh with the two sides set to meet at Villa Park on the final day of the season.

Manchester City sign off at Brentford needing a point to break the 90-point barrier for a record fourth time in a Premier League season.

Talking point

It’s party time in Brighton. The Seagulls have secured that European berth they wanted with a game to spare and ended the champions’ 12-match winning streak in the Premier League.

The hosts were well worth their point too as they signed off from the Amex with another polished showing to surpass last year’s ninth-place finish as their best ever in the top-flight. Next term they will be the first English side since Hull City in 2014 to make their bow in European competition and they will no doubt be a threat in the draw despite the prospect of once again seeing some star names move on in the summer.

Player of the match

Julio Enciso (Brighton). The 19-year-old Paraguayan was inventive and energetic throughout his time on the pitch, capping an eye-catching display with a wonderful effort that had the Man City supporters behind the goal applauding. It was a strike befitting of confirming the club’s place in the Europa League next term.

Player Ratings

BRIGHTON: Steele 7, Van Hecke 8, Colwill 7, Caicedo 7, Estupinan 7, Gross 7, Gilmour 7, Enciso 8, Buonanotte 7, Mitoma 6, Welbeck 7. Subs: Mac Allister 7, Ferguson 7, Undav 6, Veltman 6.

MAN CITY: Ortega 8, Walker 7, Stones 7, Rodri 7, Lewis 6, Gundogan 6, De Bruyne 6, Silva 7, Mahrez 6, Haaland 6, Foden 8. Subs: Palmer 7, Alvarez 6, Gomez n/a, Phillips n/a.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

Match Highlights

06’ – MAN CITY CHANCE! Foden weaves his way beyond several Brighton challenges and dinks a cross to the far post for Haaland, but the Norwegian somehow manages to head over from close range.

21’ – BRIGHTON CHANCE! Welbeck’s superb 20-yard free kick curves over the wall but smacks back off the crossbar.

22’ – MAN CITY CHANCE! Foden sends Haaland rampaging clear but the forward fails to find the finish to beat the advancing Steele.

25’ – GOAL! – Brighton 0-1 Man City. Haaland advances on Steele once again but this time he cuts past the keeper and lays it across for Foden to squeeze a shot beyond van Hecke on the line.

38’ – GOAL! – Brighton 1-1 Man City. Julio Enciso lights up the Amex with a stunning 25-yard strike into the top corner.

77’ – BRIGHTON CHANCE! Estupinan fizzes a thunderous first-time strike from 30-yard inches past Ortega’s right-hand post.

80’ – MAN CITY GOAL CHALKED OFF! Haaland powers home Palmer’s left-wing cross but VAR will check for a shirt pull on Colwill. And the goal is ruled out! Still 1-1.

Key Stats

Brighton fired in 20 shots against Man City; only Wolves (21 v Man City in December 2019) and Atlético de Madrid (22 v Barcelona in March 2009) have ever attempted more shots in a top-flight match against a side managed by Pep Guardiola.

Foden has six Premier League goals against Brighton – at least twice as many as he has versus any other opposing side. In fact, only Harry Kane (7) has ever scored more Premier League goals against the Seagulls than Foden.

Haaland’s assist tonight was his 44th Premier League goal involvement in 2022-23 (36 goals, 8 assists) – a joint-record in a 38-game Premier League season, along with Thierry Henry in 2002-03 (24 goals, 20 assists).


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22/05/2023 AT 21:37

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