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Hughton: The Champions Showed Their Quality

By Kieran Cleeves • 09 May 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton admitted that Manchester City’s quality shone through as his team gave their all at the Etihad Stadium, but fell to a 3-1 defeat against the Premier League champions.

Leonardo Ulloa equalised for the Seagulls after Danilo put the hosts in front, but goals either side of half-time from Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho secured the points for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Hughton was pleased to see his team equalise in the opening half, but accepted that City’s undoubted quality won them the game, as they broke a number of Premier League records at the Etihad.

He said, “It was a hard night for us, as it is for most teams that come here. They can heap the pressure on you and get that second and third [goal].

“We showed good character to come back at 1-1, but they showed their quality in the final third.

“We’ve looked at all three goals and they’re three great counters with pace. It’s difficult to deal with that.

“You’ve got to get so many things right on the night. I thought we got a lot right, but they have such a good threat.”

Ulloa netted his first Premier League goal for the Seagulls to cancel out City’s early lead, and despite going behind again, Hughton felt his team could have held the game at 2-1 for a while longer.

“The game opened up a little bit and the changes that they made helped with that, as well as the atmosphere in the stadium.

“That gave us a little bit of hope, but we didn’t need to concede that third goal, as it was a poor goal from us.

“If we don’t concede that, it would have encouraged us a little bit and then you don’t know what will happen. But it became a hard one after the third goal went in.”

City broke the record for most points recorded in a Premier League season with victory this evening, and Hughton praised the champions, as they showed their class throughout at the Etihad.

“It’s always a learning curve, because when you play against the big sides, they do things that maybe the other sides don’t do.

“Certainly in my time, they’re the best footballing side that I’ve seen. They show pace, strength and they’re great athletes. You’ve got to have a good day on the ball against them.

“The options that they have and the intensity of their game - they’re not only a side with great individual players, but they all work incredibly hard as well.”

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