This was no choke but Manchester City simply have a better squad, all-time great manager and nation-state wealth

In the moment of full operatic collapse, the pain of a season of dashed and throttled glory reaching its narrative end point, the Emirates Stadium was treated to the sight of Roberto De Zerbi doing a knee slide.

A slightly creaky one but with sufficient momentum to get a little purchase on the lime green early summer turf, fist pumping, head up sedately. Brighton had just gone 3-0 up in this game, playing a lovely, breezy, light kind of pass‑and-run football. And De Zerbi had marched and pranced and barked around his technical area all afternoon, chest puffed, like an alpha squirrel taking control of the acorn patch. His team were delightful here, and instructive too en route to a vital victory.

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