Ken Early: Guardiola’s joy will be tempered by Champions League regret

Premier League a testament to City manager – but defeat to Spurs will surely rankle

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates winning the Premier League title following their 4-1 defeat of Brighton & Hove Albion  at American Express Community Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates winning the Premier League title following their 4-1 defeat of Brighton & Hove Albion at American Express Community Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Sometimes a sharp slap in the face is just the ticket. When Glenn Murray scored to put Brighton 1-0 up against Manchester City, it was the first time City had been behind in the league since January. How would they react?

The answer was: immediately. It took 83 seconds for Sergio Agüero to punish Brighton’s faulty offside trap with the equaliser. A few minutes later Murray split his own defence with a bizarre throughball backpass. Mat Ryan saved from Riyad Mahrez, but Aymeric Laporte met the resulting corner with a powerful header for 2-1. Confident now of victory, City’s football started to flow. With 30 minutes remaining, Riyad Mahrez – a £60 million reserve – scored a beautiful goal to put the result beyond doubt.

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