Manchester City 3-1 Brighton: Champions set three Premier League records on Yaya Toure farewell
Last Updated: 09/05/18 11:09pm
Manchester City bade an emotional farewell to Yaya Toure with a record-breaking 3-1 victory over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.
Danilo fired the champions ahead 16 minutes into the Ivorian's final home game as a City player, but the lead lasted just four minutes as Leonardo Ulloa equalised after Claudio Bravo vacated his goal.
Bernardo Silva restored City's lead on 34 minutes with their 104th goal of the season - eclipsing Chelsea's record tally of 103 in 2009/10 - before Fernandinho wrapped up the points with a third on 72 minutes.
The victory sees City become the first English side to win 31 games in a 38-game top-flight season and moves them onto a record 97 points with one game remaining.
Man City: Bravo (4), Danilo (7), Kompany (6), Laporte (6), Zinchenko (6), Fernandinho (7), Toure (6), Gundogan (6), Bernardo (7), Sane (8), Jesus (6).
Subs: Mendy (5), Nmecha (n/a), Diaz (5).
Brighton: Ryan (5), Bruno (5), Dunk (6), Duffy (6), Bong (5), Knockaert (6), Stephens (5), Propper (6), Izquierdo (6), Gross (6), Ulloa (6).
Subs: March (5), Kayal (5), Locadia (5).
Man of the Match: Leroy Sane.
Ilkay Gundogan had the first opportunity, having a shot blocked by Shane Duffy before Anthony Knockaert fired a shot wide in response for Brighton.
But City claimed a deserved lead when Sane drove forward and released right-back Danilo with an inch-perfect pass. The Brazilian raced through and coolly converted past Mat Ryan.
Brighton responded immediately as they pounced on an error by Bravo. The Chilean raced off his line to pressure Davy Propper, who shifted the ball away from the wandering City 'keeper and crossed for Ulloa to head the equaliser.
City reclaimed the lead by scoring their record-breaking 104th goal of the season, Sane cutting the ball back for Silva who took a touch before rifling a low shot home at the near post.
Yaya Toure was handed the captain’s armband for his final home game at Manchester City. Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus were the only players to retain their places from the draw with Huddersfield as Pep Guardiola made eight changes. Leonardo Ulloa got a rare start in place of Glenn Murray as Brighton made one change from their victory over Manchester United.
Bravo had another moment to forget early in the second half when he spilled a Jose Izquierdo shot. The ball rebounded awkwardly off Danilo but Knockaert let him off the hook by firing over from close range.
The game had a testimonial feel for most of the second half but City claimed a third goal 18 minutes from time when Gundogan took a short corner and Sane pulled back for Fernandinho to fire past Ryan.
Toure was denied a farewell goal with his last involvement as Ryan saved his shot from a Sane pull back, before Danilo struck the bar with a late free-kick.
- Man City now hold the outright record for most goals in a single Premier League campaign (105) - overtaking Chelsea's total of 103 goals in the 2009-10 season.
- Pep Guardiola's side have won 31 Premier League games this season - the most in single campaign in the competition. In fact, they've equalled the all-time English top-flight record for most wins in a single campaign (31, Tottenham in 1960-61).
- Manchester City have won 97 points in 2017-18, the most by a Premier League team in a single season. Furthermore, City's 97 points is only bettered in the English top-flight by Liverpool's haul of 98 in 1978-79 (adjusting 3 pts for a win).
England World Cup watch
Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and John Stones had a watching brief from the stands after they were all given the night off by City manager Pep Guardiola.
- Man City have conceded in seven of their last eight Premier League home games against newly-promoted sides - only keeping a clean sheet against Huddersfield at the weekend.
- Leonardo Ulloa scored his first league goal for Brighton in 1467 days, last netting for the Seagulls against Nottingham Forest in May 2014.
- Leroy Sane has been directly involved in more league goals this season than any other German player in Europe's big five divisions (10 goals, 15 assists).
Pep Guardiola: "We cannot deny, we are so proud [of the records]. I am not saying we are the best [PL side] but we did the best season ever. Nobody scored more goals, more points. Now it's 97 so if someone wants to beat that record they have to be good and win a lot of games. Today is a special day."
Chris Hughton: "We stuck in there, it was a hard night, as it is for most teams that come here. What they showed was their quality in the final third. It's very difficult to deal with that, you've got to get so many things right on the night. We got a lot right but they pose such a good threat."
Man of the Match - Leroy Sane
The PFA Young Player of the Year excelled on City's record-breaking evening, setting up all three goals to become only the fourth player register a hat-trick of assists in the Premier League this season.
Champions City finish their stellar season away at Southampton while Brighton travel to Liverpool.