Erling Haaland suffers rare off day as Man City tested by Brighton

Haaland suffers off day

Erling Haaland’s season has been sensational but last night’s clash at the Amex will not feature in the highlights reel. In the first half, the Norwegian missed two good chances before eventually becoming the provider for Phil Foden’s opener.

After the interval, City’s talisman was further frustrated. Cole Palmer’s brilliant cross was headed home by the 22-year-old who had seemingly won the game only for VAR to overturn the goal for a foul.

With one goal in his last six matches, the striker will be keen to address the drought before next month’s big finals.

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Foden steals the show before a scare

Foden was clearly the best City player on the pitch in the first half both offensively and defensively. The attacking midfielder was well worthy of his goal when it came to him.

However, the Stockport-born star lasted little more than five minutes after the break before being substituted for Palmer. It may have been a precaution but the Blues could do without more time on the sidelines for Foden.

Guardiola’s strong line-up

A few eyebrows were raised when the teamsheet was announced. Pep Guardiola welcomed back all of his major stars who sat out for most of the Chelsea victory.

It was a sign of respect from the Catalan coach towards Roberto De Zerbi’s men but could have easily backfired had the Blues picked up some major injuries. Foden did not look too bad when he was replaced but we can expect another much-changed team at Brentford.

Lewis makes his case

Rico Lewis has had to sit out on a couple of occasions in recent weeks but securing the title before the start of the season has allowed him a chance to show what he can do. Before kick-off, the youngster admitted he was aiming to showcase his ability ahead of the finals and he did just that at Brighton.

In the second half in particular, the 18-year-old showed exactly why Guardiola has compared him to Phillip Lahm. His reading of the game was hugely impressive and he showed strength above his years when faced with a strong Brighton frontline.

A future Haaland replacement?

By no means is Haaland on the way out of City nor is Evan Ferguson looking to leave Brighton any time soon. But, should this day ever come, City could do a lot worse than look at the Irishman.

When he came on in the second half, the 18-year-old showed glimpses of why he is so highly rated. Only a superb Stefan Ortega stop prevented him from winning the match for the Seagulls.

It should only be a matter of time before some of Europe’s biggest clubs come calling for him.

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