Gabriel Jesus swoops to beat gritty Brighton and ensure Manchester City's place in FA Cup Final
Gabriel Jesus ensured Manchester City confirmed their FA Cup Final berth with a 1-0 win against Brighton.
Jesus opened the scoring early as last season’s Premier League champions asserted their authority at the first opportunity.
Brighton were left to fleeting opportunities on the break while City themselves could not add to the sole goal as the game continued.
And it ensures City are one win away from adding the FA Cup to their Carabao Cup triumph, keeping dreams of the quadruple on course.
Pep Guardiola’s men predictably started on the front foot and had to wait less than four minutes to place one foot in the final.
Jesus was the man who did the damage when he swooped to head an unstoppable Kevin de Bruyne cross into the empty net. Shane Duffy, though close to the Brazilian, was taken completely out of the game by the in-swinging delivery.
The relentless nature of the City machine continued, though, with De Bruyne and Silva ensuring the Manchester club drained their opponents through retaining possession.
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Brighton’s first whiff of a chance alone took 17 minutes to come along - a corner from Anthony Knockaert which ultimately ended in Lewis Dunk slamming high and wide.
That, though, seemed to inspire marginally more confidence in the Seagulls - with Davy Propper trying his luck from range shortly after, although he dragged his shot wide.
Indeed, while City were ostensibly threatening, the Premier League challengers failed to test Mat Ryan after scoring the early goal.
Kyle Walker and Alireza Jahanbakhsh were then booked after clashing heads, following an on-field tackle. The former perhaps fortunate to remain on the pitch after VAR double checked the decision.
But after building some momentum before half-time, the Seagulls were the side looking most likely to score immediately after the break, with Aymeric Laporte desperately clearing the ball off the line with Glenn Murray otherwise destined to equalise.
A rejuvenated Brighton looked hopeful of causing an upset, but Ilkay Gundogan was next to try his luck - hitting a ferociously dipping effort straight at Ryan on the hour mark.
The Australian goalkeeper had to be at his best minutes later to keep out a rasping Raheem Sterling drive from 20 yards as City looked to regain dominance.
City should have wrapped up the win when Raheem Sterling volleyed straight at Ryan in added time following a swift breakaway.
But the miss proved not costly as they confirmed their place in the showpiece Wembley event at the season’s end.
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