Citizens swoop on the Seagulls
Written By: Robert Halter
Brighton & Hove Albion faced Manchester City in the first of the FA Cup semi finals at Wembley stadium, in an early Saturday evening kick off on April 6. It only took four minutes for the Citizens to open the scoring, with an inch perfect delivery by Kevin De Bruyne and a low soaring header from Gabriel Jesus, into the bottom left corner. On eight minutes from a pull back by Aymeric Laporte, a strike by De Bruyne, was skied out of play. On sixteen minutes the Seagulls responded as Anthony Knockaert’s dangerous ball in, was wedged over by Nicolas Otamendi to avert the danger. Then from a corner by Knockaert, the ball was sliced wide from Albion captain, Lewis Dunk. In the twentieth minute, Davy Propper turned a shot wide of the left post, from outside the box. The Citizens responded when Raheem Sterling slid the ball through to his captain, David Silva, who rolled the ball into Brighton shot stopper, Mathew Ryan. In the thirty first minute, Kyle Walker clashed with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and faced up to him as the Citizens keeper, Ederson, intervened, but the VAR decision was no red card. In the thirty fifth minute, Nicolas Otamendi fired over from a flick on by Bernardo Silva. Four minutes later, Knockaert struck the ball narrowly over the top through an assist by Yves Bissouma. Before the re-start due to injury Walker was replaced with Danilo. In the fifty fourth minute from Knockaert’s corner and a header by Duffy, the ball was hooked over from Laporte to rescue the situation for City, while he was under pressure from Glenn Murray, in front of the goal line. On sixty one minutes through a miss placed header out by Bissouma, a curling strike by Ilkay Gundogan, was caught in the clutches of Ryan. Two minutes later, Marin Montoya found Knockaert, who bent the ball out wide to the left. But the Citizens pressed again, as Ryan leapt to make the save towards the bottom left corner to stop a bending shot by Sterling from outside the box, through an assist by Bernardo Silva. Soon the Citizens replaced De Bruyne with Fernandinho, while the Seagulls switched Murray with Florin Andone before making a further change by bringing on Jose Izquierdo for Jahanbakhsh. City later took off Benjamin Mendy for John Stones, after which Brighton gave Jurgen Locadia his chance in favour of Bissouma. In the eighty sixth minute, Izquierdo curled the ball into the reaches of Ederson, after collecting the ball from Propper. Although City threatened again, as Fernandinho set up Danilo, who whipped the ball over the crossbar. In stoppage time, Jesus then gave Sterling a chance to wrap the game up, when his floated ball in was struck by Sterling into Ryan, who flipped the ball away with his out stretched hand, before Manchester City recorded a 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion to book a place in the 2019 FA Cup Final on the 18th of May with a return to Wembley.