sport news Brighton secure Europa League football for next season after holding Man City ... trends now
As is his want and occasional tendency, Pep Guardiola opened a can of worms in the hours before Manchester City made their way down here to the growing beat of jungle drums.
Much of the discourse since Sunday, the fifth coronation in six years for a super team – one of the greatest we have ever seen - has centred on those Premier League charges for alleged financial breaches rather than the stuff on the grass and that understandably irks Guardiola.
So that is why City's manager chose to unload on the time this is all taking. Give us a clue is the synopsis. Guilty or not, he wants a quick resolution to get on with the football. 'Let's go, 24 hours,' he said, hoping for certainty over whispering, believing that his employers will clear their names.
Unfortunately, law does not work like that; both City sympathisers and an army of detractors – a list that includes boardrooms of several rival clubs – lie in a wasteland of unknown, foes fighting over scraps of narrative.
Meanwhile, the team continue to do what they do, the fans outside the Amex Stadium merrily singing about 'three in a row' and the players later accepting another guard of honour.
Brighton have officially secured Europa League football for next season after holding Manchester City to a draw on Wednesday evening
Phil Foden (right) opened the scoring for Manchester City in the 25th minute of the game
Enciso (above) scored an absolute rocket from 25 yards out to get Brighton back into the game
Erling Haaland scored for Manchester City in the second half but his goal was chalked off
Immediately after Guardiola's remarks, there were calls that actually, it was City's lawyers who slowed this all down and, as the charges state, 'obstructed' the investigation. City's legal side might well argue that they did not fancy handing over intellectual property to the league not deemed entirely relevant. But we are guessing. Everybody is guessing.
Nothing was left to the imagination on the south coast last night though. A game of sensational artistry, Brighton providing evidence as to why they have upset many traditionally big sides this year, Julio Enciso's incredible equaliser a product of Roberto De Zerbi daringly splitting the centre halves and playing through City. Very few manage that.
A yellow carded Guardiola may well have left this place wondering if, in hindsight, it will have proven a tougher assignment than at least one of the upcoming finals. History awaits and the guy inside the other technical area is creating some