Brighton vs Brentford: Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay (against his former club) scored first-half goals as the Seagulls soared past the Bees for a 2-0 final score at Amex Stadium on Boxing Day.
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The victory sends Brighton (23 points) up to 9th in the Premier League table, leapfrogging five sides, including Brentford, in the process. The Bees (20 points) slip to 12th, though they remain nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Brighton vs Brentford final score, stats, results
Final score: Brighton 2, Brentford 0
Goal scorers: Brighton (Trossard 34′, Maupay 42′), Brentford (None)
Shots: Brighton 14, Brentford 16
Shots on target: Brighton 5, Brentford 6
Possession: Brighton 50%, Brentford 50%
3 things we learned – Brighton vs Brentford
1. 12th time’s the charm: Finally, at long last, after 98 days, Brighton are winners once again in the Premier League. Sure, they only lost three of their last 11 games, therefore a positive perspective isn’t totally misplaced, but nearly 100 days without a win will wear down even the most confident of sides.
2. Possession, style turn into goals, points: For two years (at least), Brighton’s identity has been “the team that plays beautiful football for 90 percent of the field, but loses all bodily coordination inside the final few yards.” Perhaps that’s still the case, as both goals came from just outside the penalty area, but on Sunday the Seagulls displayed a confidence — bordering on audacity, for them — to fire when ready, and they were duly rewarded for that approach. Backup-turned-starting goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez endured another difficult day for Brentford, playing his part in Brighton’s first two-goal Premier League performance since Oct. 30.
3. Brentford begging for Ajer, Raya to return: When Brentford are at their best, so much of what they do (at both ends of the field) is reliant upon having an uncharacteristically (for newly promoted sides) strong spine, with goalkeeper David Raya behind center backs Kristoffer Ajer, Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock. When half of the stabilizing four went down with injuries two months ago, Brentford didn’t just lose their ability to defend and keep clean sheets (three clean sheets and nine goals conceded in nine games), but also their ability to control games with prolonged periods of possession and chance creation. Brentford have kept just one clean sheet in eight games since Ajer and Raya went down, and virtually every game turns into a shootout (if it doesn’t start that way). Raya isn’t expected back until February or March, while Ajer could be back in early or mid-January.
Man of the Match: Enock Mwepu – The Zambian midfielder assisted Trossard on the opening goal, but his greater impact was felt through the game as he patrolled the center of the park and blew up so much of Brentford’s possession.
Brighton vs Brentford highlights
Leandro Trossard lifts the ball over Fernandez for 1-0 (video)
Enock Mwepu played a speculative ball in behind the Brentford defense, but it turned into something very dangerous when goalkeeper Fernandez didn’t come all the way out for it after Trossard perfectly timed his run into wide open space.
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Neal Maupay hammers ball into upper-90 for 3-0 (video)
The ball stayed hit, as they say.