Anthony Knockaert was full of praise for his teammates and the effort they showed despite Brighton & Hove Albion’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final.
An early goal from Gabriel Jesus was enough to see City emerge as winners, but Knockaert’s man-of-the-match display helped Albion fight right until the end.
He said, “We gave it everything today. We had a game-plan, but obviously it’s really tough when you concede in the fourth minute.
“At that time all the Manchester City fans and people watching at home would have expected it to finish four or five nil.
“But the effort the lads put in today was incredible and I think we come out of the game with a lot of credit - we were playing against last year’s champions and potentially this year’s champions, but apart from their goal they didn’t really have many chances.
“Right now, I feel disappointed as we could have got something from the game, but I’m also happy as the lads were amazing. What we showed today against such a good team was incredible.”
There was a moment of controversy in the first half when Kyle Walker could have been sent off after an altercation with Alireza Jahanbakhsh, but Knockaert refused to let what he saw as an incorrect decision affect him and his teammates.
He said, “I think it’s definitely a headbutt and it should have been a red card. But the decision was made, and we have to respect that. I can’t say that it would have changed the game, and even with the game as eleven against eleven we played really well.”
Over 30,000 Seagulls’ supporters made a superb atmosphere, and Knockaert emphasised how much the supporters affected the contest and the impact they had on the side.
It’s one of the best games I have played in in my life,” he continued.
“When you know that you have the chance to play in a game like this you will obviously enjoy it. When we came out of the hotel we saw all our fans and having them behind us gave us a massive boost.
“We tried really hard today and I think the fans will be proud of us. We showed them that we can play at a really high level.”