Brighton players and staff celebrate first EVER Europa League qualification in raucous dressing-room scenes – including a rendition of Freed From Desire led by Roberto De Zerbi – after 1-1 draw with Man City
- Brighton & Hove Albion have never before qualified for continental competition
- The Seagulls have put faith in youth this season, with teenager’s netting 11 times
- JACK GAUGHAN: Julio Enciso stunner seals Europa League football for Brighton
Brighton shared footage of their dressing-room celebrations following a historic night at the Amex on Instagram on Wednesday night.
The Seagulls held the newly-crown champions Manchester City to a 1-1 draw, after Phil Foden’s fifth in as many starts against Brighton was cancelled out by a Julio Enciso wondergoal.
The Paraguayan’s was the 11th goal score by a Seagulls teenager of the season, highlighting the faith the club have put in youth this campaign.
But it was a far more important marker for the South Coast outfit, as they ensured their first ever involvement in continental competitions.
The Seagulls can no finish no lower than sixth, and will therefore compete in the Europa League next term, denying Aston Villa the opportunity in the process.
Roberto De Zerbi led the way as Brighton celebrated qualifying for Europe for the first time in their history
Julio Enciso (second right) scored a stunning effort from range to grab the equaliser
And the scenes from the dressing-room confirmed the importance of the occasion was not lost on the squad.
With Roberto De Zerbi leading the chants, the changing room quickly took on a party atmosphere, with the squad belting out the Gala classic now intrinsically linked to football, Freed From Desire.
Members of the backroom staff and the playing squad formed a ring around the Italian boss, with many stood up on benches and thumping the walls to the beat of the song.
The celebrations matched the quality on show from the Seagulls throughout the campaign, as well as the goal scored on the night to secure Europa League action will be on show at the Amex Stadium next term.
Receiving the ball around 30 yards or so from the goal, Enciso let fly with a right-foot rocket that sped past Stefan Ortega into the top-right corner to draw the hosts level once again after Phil Foden’s opener.
Brighton’s previous highest ever finish in the Premier League was ninth, achieved last term, but De Zerbi’s work has taken them to new heights this term.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk boss was swiftly appointed after Graham Potter left to take charge of Chelsea early in the season, and has made light work of acclimatising to the demands of the Premier League in his debut season.
Chelsea loanee Levi Colwill admitted that he had briefly forgotten about his parent club – who have failed to secure any European football at all.
Enciso’s effort flew into the top-right corner from around 30 yards in the first half of the game
Levi Colwill has impressed on loan at Brighton and admitted he forgot about parent club Chelsea
In an interview with The Athletic, the 20-year-old had to be reminded which club he is – permanently – contracted to. He laughed and replied: ‘I forgot for a minute.’
He was then asked about his future. ‘Brighton have done a lot for me,’ he said. ‘They put their trust in me when others didn’t and I’m a person that loves to repay that. We’ll see.
‘I don’t know what is going to happen [at Chelsea]. I’m still here until the end of the season. I just focus on that, then I’ve got the Euros [U21 European Championship with England] in the summer.
‘After that, we’ll see what happens and go from there. I love the Brighton fans, I love everything about them. I’ll take that into consideration.’
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