- Leonardo Ulloa nets first Premier League goal for the club
- Danilo, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho score for the home side
- Seagulls stay 14th in the Premier League
- Albion travel to Liverpool on Sunday in their final game of the season
Brighton & Hove Albion fell to a 3-1 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Leonardo Ulloa netted his first Premier League goal for the club either side of strikes from Danilo and Bernardo Silva in the opening period, before Fernandinho added to the advantage in the second half to seal the win for the champions.
Chris Hughton made one change to the side that beat Manchester United so impressively on Friday night at the Amex Stadium, with Ulloa coming into the side for Glenn Murray in attack.
The game began with the home team in the ascendency, and Shane Duffy was involved in the game’s first meaningful action when he did superbly to block an effort from Ilkay Gundogan, as the midfielder met a cutback from the byline with ten minutes on the clock.
A minute later and Albion fashioned their first chance of the evening, as Anthony Knockaert got on the end of Ulloa’s clever knockdown and flashed a shot wide of Claudio Bravo’s near post.
But it was the home side who took the lead after 14 minutes courtesy of Danilo.
Leroy Sane picked up possession in the centre of the field and drove the home side forward, and the Brazilian full-back made no mistake as he slotted past Mathew Ryan and put the hosts ahead.
Nevertheless, Hughton’s men were soon back on level terms courtesy of Ulloa.
Davy Propper made an intelligent run from deep and rounded Bravo, before the Dutch midfielder stood the ball up to the far post and the Argentine beat two defenders to the ball and nodded the visitors back into the contest.
Gabriel Jesus hit the side netting just before the half-hour mark, having been played in by Yaya Toure, before Bruno got forward well at the opposite end and flashed a ball across the face of goal, but there was no yellow shirt to meet it in the middle.
In an end-to-end contest the hosts retook the lead ten minutes before the break through Silva.
The dangerous Sane got to the edge of the area and crossed to the back post to allow the Portuguese midfielder to fire a shot into the bottom corner and beyond Ryan to restore the home side’s advantage.
The Australian keeper was then off his line well to beat Silva to the ball just before the interval, but that was the last action of an entertaining half as the home side went in ahead.
Lewis Dunk and Bruno both made vital interceptions after the restart, as the hosts began the second period on top, before Fernandinho’s shot from range was saved and cleared by Ryan.
Albion’s first chance of the half came on 58 minutes, as Knockaert couldn’t make the most of a glorious opening after Pascal Gross had driven Albion forward and laid it into the Frenchman on the right-hand side.
Jose Izquierdo delivered a teasing cross into the area from the cutback, and after Danilo hacked at the clearance, Knockaert fired over from the edge of the six-yard box.
As the game entered the final half an hour Danilo’s speculative volley sailed well over the crossbar, before Bruno’s stylish switch to Gross ended with the German’s equally eye-catching volleyed cross being hacked clear by the home defence.
Stephens’ lofted through-ball was cut out by Danilo just as Izquierdo looked to have found space on the left-hand side, before City restored their two-goal advantage on 72 minutes.
Sane latched onto a short corner and laid the ball back for Fernandinho to calmly slide the ball into the net.
Hughton made a double switch and introduced Beram Kayal and Jurgen Locadia for Gross and goalscorer Ulloa soon after, and Solly March replaced Izquierdo with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Ryan held Toure’s strike from inside the area and Stephens did well to block substitute Brahim Diaz’s effort from the edge of the area in the final stages of the game.
Danilo cracked a free-kick against the crossbar with one minute of normal time remaining, but that was to be the last of the action for the evening and Albion travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in their final game of the 2017/18 campaign.
Albion line-up: Ryan, Bruno ©, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo (March 79), Gross (Kayal 73); Ulloa (Locadia 73).
Subs not used: Krul, Schelotto, Goldson, Murray.
Manchester City line-up: Bravo; Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko (Mendy 76); Toure © (Nmecha 86), Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva, Sane; Jesus (Diaz 83).
Subs not used: Ederson, De Bruyne, Adarabioyo, Foden.