Julio Enciso’s beautiful long-range strike secured Brighton’s qualification for the Europa League in a 1-1 draw with Manchester Metropolis on Wednesday.
The Paraguay worldwide unleashed an unstoppable effort from round 25 meters to even the rating after Phil Foden had fired Premier League champion Metropolis forward at Amex Stadium.
A degree means Brighton is assured to complete sixth, its highest-ever remaining place in English soccer’s prime flight.
It marks an impressive first season in cost for supervisor Roberto de Zerbi, who solely took over from Graham Potter in September after the previous Brighton boss left for Chelsea.
“It’s a fantastic goal, we achieved an incredible target,” De Zerbi stated. “Man City is the best team in the world. For us it was a very tough game. We deserve the point. We deserve the Europa League.”
The membership confronted an unsure future on the time however has gone on to flourish underneath the Italian, who additionally led the crew to the semifinals of the FA Cup this season.
Sixth place beats Brighton’s earlier highest end of ninth, which it achieved underneath Potter final yr.
“You never know in the early part of the season what may happen when you hire a new coach,” Brighton chairman Tony Bloom said. “Fortunately we hired the perfect man. The players have taken to him so magnificently. His motivational skills, tactical skills and getting the best out of our players has been absolutely superb.”
The draw ended Metropolis’s 12-game successful streak within the league, which had seen Pep Guardiola’s crew overhaul long-time chief Arsenal on the prime and win a fifth title six years.
With a 3rd league championship already wrapped up, Metropolis had little to play for apart from bettering its factors whole.
“The sport we performed, 48 hours after we drank all of the alcohol in Manchester, 48 hours later we behaved and we confirmed why we had been the champions towards that crew,” Guardiola joked in reference to Metropolis’s title celebrations on Sunday.
Having rested a variety of his star gamers towards Chelsea on Sunday, Guardiola recalled Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne to his beginning lineup, with John Stones, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva additionally again.
Haaland twice had possibilities to open the scoring earlier than turning supplier for Foden to place Metropolis forward within the twenty fifth minute.
On the different finish, Danny Welbeck had already hit the crossbar with a free-kick.
The equalizer got here from Enciso and it was a strike worthy sending his crew to the heights of the Europa League as he launched a right-footed shot into the highest nook within the thirty eighth.
Haaland thought he had scored his 53rd purpose of the season with a late header, however it was dominated out by VAR after he was adjudged to have pulled Levi Colwill’s shirt beforehand.