Dale Stephens

Wolves, Seagulls split spoils at the Amex

Leave a comment

Wolves failed in a bid to pull within three points of fourth place, drawing Brighton 2-2 at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Diogo Jota scored twice in a 4-goal first half, with Neal Maupay and Davy Propper bagging goals for Brighton. The Seagulls remain 12th with 19 points.


Three things we learned

1. Wolves’ blink at Top Four chance: Wolves entered the day with a chance to close to within three points of fourth place Chelsea, and Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men next face Spurs, Norwich City, Man City, and Liverpool. They needed three points here. Not for lack of effort, they couldn’t conjure the magic.

2. Jota calm in the finish: Jota scored his second and third Premier League goals of the season, joining his Europa League success to give him six. He added five assists in the UEL, and is averaging 2.5 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per contest.

 

3. Maupay paying off faith: The French center forward has blossoming into a steady Premier League contributor after his outlandish production in the Championship earned him a big money move to the Amex Stadium. His sixth goal in 16 matches now includes goals against Wolves, Spurs, Everton, and Arsenal.

Man of the Match: Jota.


Brighton had most of the ball for the first half hour, but could’ve solve the Wolves back line.

Jota put Wolves ahead via a clever 1-2 with Raul Jimenez to get behind the line, prodding home for 1-0.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The lead lasted all of six minutes, as Maupay and Propper struck two minutes apart.

Maupay’s was a fine finish of a long Dale Stephens assist, while Propper headed a Leandro Trossard cross past Rui Patricio in the 36th.

Propper then fell from grace with a miserable pass stolen by Jonny Otto, the wingback finding Jota for his second goal of the night.

Wolves thought VAR might give them a penalty for handball in the 62nd minute, to no avail.

It was Wolves’ turn to give away a huge chance, but Stephens curled the effort wide of the far post in the 72nd minute.

VAR awards late penalty as Brighton tops Everton

Leave a comment

VAR awarded a penalty for the first time in Premier League play as Brighton and Hove Albion twice struck late to defeat Everton 3-2 in a back-and-forth affair at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

The referee hadn’t spotted Michael Keane‘s foul against Aaron Connolly but the eye in the sky did, and Neal Maupay finished from the spot. Then Lucas Digne couldn’t prod a stoppage time cross over his goal, recording an own goal with Glenn Murray lurking behind him.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Pascal Gross also scored Brighton’s first PL free kick goal in a game of firsts, as the Seagulls leapfrog Everton and move 12th with 12 points.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a Richarlison-inspired own goal accounted for the Toffees’ offense, as Everton again failed to build league momentum and sits 16th with 10 points.


Three things we learned

1. Gross, point blank: We pointed out in the club power rankings that Pascal Gross is top five in big chances created and key passes despite Brighton’s status as a relegation scrapper. The German playmaker was given a chance by an Andre Gomes foul, and buried his free kick. Jordan Pickford should’ve done better but that doesn’t make the strike any less easy on the eyes. Brilliant, deserved stuff.

2. VAR does its job: The commentary team on the broadcast laid out the reasons to award a penalty to Brighton in a way the referee clearly couldn’t explain to Everton’s players. Michael Keane fouled Aaron Connolly in the box, and replays showed how difficult it would be to spot the foul from field level. Moments after Brighton went down, it was level through Maupay.

3. Everton’s inconsistent season continues with more bad Fortune: Don’t get us wrong — The Toffees bear the brunt of the blame for the loss, but had the better of the play. That means absolutely nothing when there are four big mistakes contributing to three conceded goals. Andre Gomes committed a needless foul and Jordan Pickford flubbed his chance to stop a free kick goal, then VAR awarded a penalty for a Keane foul, and Digne had no choice but to try and improbable clearance than turned into an own goal since poached Murray was running free behind him. A solid team goal from Brighton, but this feels more like an Everton loss than a Seagulls win (and Graham Potter won’t care one bit. A fine win).

Man of the Match: Either Dan Burn or Dale Stephens, and we’ll use the former’s hockey assist on the winner to nod to Burn.


 [ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Brighton needed less than a quarter of an hour to take the lead, a needless Andre Gomes foul setting up Gross for a free kick.

The German midfielder drove his shot over the wall, and Jordan Pickford as slow to react. The goal looked great, but the keep will want it back.

Zonal marking did little for Brighton on a poorly-defended corner kick, and VAR upheld Richarlison’s near post header in the 20th minute as it went off Webster for an own goal.

Richarlison made a terrific move down the right to set up two players for a cutback, but flubbed his pass.

Gross had the ball in the goal off a Davy Propper cross, but was offside.

Calvert-Lewin put Everton back in front off an inch-perfect through ball from Mason Holgate, but VAR quickly gave Brighton a chance to level from the spot.

Michael Keane fouled Aaron Connolly, who left the match for Murray before the spot kick. Maupay slotted past Pickford for 2-2 in the 80th minute.

That wasn’t the end of it, as Burn played Leandro Trossard into the box and the Belgian’s cross was pushed behind an equal parts stranded and indecisive Pickford for an o.g.

Brighton hammer woeful Tottenham

Leave a comment

Brighton and Hove Albion hammered Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, as teenage striker Aaron Connolly scored twice on his full Premier League debut.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Following a serious early injury to Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris — his error less than three minutes in allowed Neal Maupay to make it 1-0 — Mauricio Pochettino‘s men never recovered and Connolly struck twice to deepen Tottenham’s crisis.

Brighton’s win was their first since the opening day of the season, and their first against Tottenham since 1983. The Seagulls now have nine points, while Spurs have 11 and are without an away win in the Premier League since January.


3 things we learned

1. Spurs’ crisis deepens: Spurs have had a horrendous 10 days or so, as Pochettino will be under serious pressure over the international break and beyond. After being hammered 7-2 by Bayern Munich on Tuesday, his team got off to the worst possible start as Lloris made another costly error and then suffered a serious injury. When your luck is out, it is properly out. Spurs’ slump is a worrying one, and it appears their players have lost the intensity and drive which were the hallmarks of their last few seasons. Right now it is difficult to see how Spurs will get out of this, as Daniel Levy and Pochettino have so many questions to answer about squad recruitment, new contracts and everything else that happened over the summer.

2. Brighton’s new front-line sets tone: Connolly was a revelation with his clever running, tireless hold-up play and fine finishing. The teenager is ready to become a regular after ripping it up in the U23 side. His partnership with Neal Maupay dragged Spurs’ defense all over the place and after being so concerned about where goals will come from, Brighton have found a new duo to lead their line as Connolly is a star in the making. Graham Potter‘s side are very good on the ball and now they have a cutting edge.

3. Lloris’ error and injury adds to misery: Lloris made an error which led to a goal for the second PL game running but what is more worrying for Spurs is that their captain and star goalkeeper is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Lloris looks to have suffered a serious arm injury and was in agony after his error early in the game. Paulo Gazzaniga will now have to step in and even though Lloris has made errors, his presence is needed for a struggling Spurs side. More bad news for Pochettino after a truly horrendous week.

Man of the Match: Aaron Connolly – The Irish teenager, just 19, scored his first two PL goals on his first start in the league and his pace, clever running and finishing shows he can cut it in the top-flight. What a gem Brighton have produced from their academy.


Just two minutes and 28 seconds into the game, Lloris made a huge error and suffered a serious injury to his elbow.

A routine cross from the left was dropped by Lloris and Maupay was on hand to tap home, but as he fell to the floor Lloris appeared to seriously injure his elbow. The Spurs and France captain was carried off the pitch as he received oxygen, with Paulo Gazzaniga coming on. A nightmare start for Tottenham.

That injury sucked the life out of Spurs as Brighton’s Dale Stephens has a thunderous effort blocked and the home side did most of the pressing.

Brighton doubled their lead as Connolly was found in the box and after his first effort was saved he pounced to tap home the rebound for his first PL goal on his first start.

Another effort from Connolly deflected just wide and he than dragged an effort wide as Spurs were all over the place. At the other end Erik Lamela had a shot well-blocked but Maupay was causing so many problems as Spurs hardly got going in a disastrous first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Tottenham improved after the break as Harry Winks came on, they changed their formation and Davies’ cross was blocked as Kane lurked.

Brighton then figured out Spurs’ new shape and continued o dominate as Pascal Gross hit the crossbar with a clever free kick.

Connolly then wrapped up his Man of the Match display as he ran down the left flank, cut inside and curled home a wonderful effort into the far bottom corner to make it 3-0. Game. Set. Match.

Heung-Min Son, Kane and Lucas Moura all went close late on but it was too little too late for Spurs as their crisis plunged to new depths.

Nightmarish Brighton braces for massive Tuesday clash

Leave a comment

Brighton and Hove Albion finished Week 15 in the Premier League’s 10th place, 12 points clear of 18th place Saints, holders of a 5W-1D-2L run of league form and hoping for even better.

Since then? 17 matches, 12 more points, and the 17th spot on the table.

[ RECAP: Brighton 0-5 Bournemouth ]

Chris Hughton‘s men are now the last hope for Cardiff City, who visits Brighton five points back of the Seagulls and desperate for a shot at safety.

“The pressure’s on now,” said Dale Stephens. “We’ve got to stand up and be counted on Tuesday.”

[ MORE: Relegation picture clear ]

Brighton will host Cardiff City on Tuesday and must get a result from a must-win win for the Bluebirds.

Hughton is flummoxed at what happened to his team in an abject, 10-man display against Bournemouth which saw the Seagulls lose by five and lose Anthony Knockaert for Tuesday.

“It was a reckless challenge,” Hughton said. “It was the right decision. I’ve spoken to the team and I think it was one of the poorest performances since I’ve been here. Especially knowing the qualities of the team we were playing against.”

After Cardiff’s visit, Brighton tangles with Wolves at the Molineux before visiting Tottenham, hosting Newcastle, traveling to Arsenal and hosting Man City on the final day of the season.

Their quality coupled with Cardiff City’s defensive struggles should be enough to survive the battle, but Hughton and some of his men may not get out of the war with their jobs in tact.

Premier League preview: Brighton v. Burnley

Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Burnley has never lost a top-flight match to Brighton
  • Brighton has not at home to a PL side outside the top 4 this season
  • Burnley ended a 67-match PL penalty-less streak last time out

A critical relegation battle takes place at Falmer Stadium on Saturday as Burnley travels to Brighton & Hove Albion at 12:30 p.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Burnley sits in 17th position, just two points and one place above the relegation zone. Brighton is in a safer position, sitting 13th but just three above Burnley in a tight bottom third of the table. The Seagulls started the season brightly, but have not won in league play in 2019, leaving them vulnerable as the teams at the bottom battle for points.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

The hosts will be without striker Florin Andone, who was suspended three matches for violent conduct after throwing a wayward elbow in the 0-0 draw with Watford last time out. Dale Stephens also left the Watford match with a hip problem and is questionable for this weekend, but Jose Izquierdo is reportedly out despite having returned to training from a knee injury.

For Burnley, Steven Defour nears a return from a calf injury that has cost him over two months of this season, but this weekend appears too soon for his return. Matt Lowton has a slightly fractured toe, but will still give this match a try, while defenders Matt Lowton and Kevin Long are looking more likely to play after returning to training. The Clarets are on a good run of form, unbeaten in their last six, coinciding with the return of Tom Heaton in goal who has helped hold opponents to just five goals in that span.

What they’re saying

Burnley manager Sean Dyche on Brighton: “They’re on a tough run and they’ll be wanting to correct that, for sure. We’re on a good run, we’ll be wanting to continue that. It makes for another good game.”

Brighton striker Glenn Murray on poor run of form: “We are absolutely fine behind closed doors, no matter what people are saying. We feel confident. We are happy with the way we are playing. We felt as though we dominated the game on Saturday at home to Watford in the Premier League. Again [Wednesday in the FA Cup] we felt as though we put a good display on and won the game.”

Video Preview

Prediction

Brighton comes into this match in poor form, and Burnley needs the game more. With the Clarets’ good results of late, they have something to build on, and pulling themselves further away from the relegation scrap is a motivation that can have the team truly rearing to go. Burnley grabs a valuable road win in a hard-fought 1-0 victory.