Pascal Gross

VAR awards late penalty as Brighton tops Everton

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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.

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 9

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Monday’s Arsenal loss and a massive midweek of European football means this week’s Premier League club power rankings come hours before Week 10 begins.

Better late than never.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low


20. Watford — The Hornets simply must get their first win soon, with Bournemouth and Chelsea at home and Norwich City away before the international break.
Last week: 20
Season high: 19
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Spurs
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Bournemouth

19. Norwich City — A decent draw, but the Canaries are wasting an electric season from Emiliano Buendia. His 27 successful dribbles trail only Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe, although perhaps his numbers are so high because he’s such a focus outside of Teemu Pukki.
Last week: 19
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Bournemouth
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday v. Manchester United

18. Brighton and Hove Albion — Speaking of wasted efforts, Pascal Gross is Top Five in the league in big chances created and key passes. Good effort in the loss at Villa, but the Seagulls would’ve wanted more.
Last week: 17
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Aston Villa
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Everton

17. Newcastle United — Decent effort at Chelsea, but the Magpies need to take advantage of road-weary Wolves (even without Fabian Schar).
Last week: 15
Season high: 15
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 1-0 at Chelsea
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sunday v. Wolves

16. Southampton — Of Saints nine goals, only four have been assisted. Southampton’s passing in general needs to be much better, as Saints’ 74.4 percent passing is only better than Bournemouth and Burnley.
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 19
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Wolves
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Friday v. Leicester City

15. West Ham United — There are clubs that bring their supporters pain because they don’t try or buy, and those that do. West Ham and Everton are both in that category, and the Irons brought nothing in a loss to the Toffees. Sad.
Last week: 9
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 2-0 at Everton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Sheffield United

14. Everton — The most infuriating batch of talent in the league delivered against West Ham, so I suppose we should expect them to underwhelm in what should be a straight-forward win at the Amex Stadium.
Last week: 14
Season high: 5
Season low: 14
Last match: Won 2-0 v. West Ham
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Brighton

13. Tottenham Hotspur — Will the Champions League win over Red Star and an extra day’s rest help Spurs get their season on track while kinda/sorta avenging the UCL final loss?
Last week: 13
Season high: 2
Season low: 13
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Watford
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Liverpool

12. Manchester United — A much-improved performance from the players and tactical approach from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has Red Devils fans hoping that maybe, just maybe, something good has taken root at Old Trafford.
Last week: 16
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Liverpool
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Norwich City

11. Burnley — Sean Dyche‘s scrappiest scrappers who ever scrapped.” Register the trademark.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 15
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Leicester City
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Chelsea.

10. Wolves — Were in Slovakia on Thursday night. Now onto Newcastle on no rest. Trouble?
Last week: 7
Season high: 7
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Southampton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Sunday at Newcastle

9. Bournemouth — Do better than two of the match’s three shots on target against one of three teams to have allowed 20-plus goals this season.
Last week: 8
Season high: 6
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Norwich City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Watford

8. Aston Villa — Two-straight wins, unbeaten in three, and set for a visit to a Man City side with plenty of injuries who played during the week. What could go wrong? What could go wrong? Bueller?
Last week: 11
Season high: 8
Season low: 15
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Brighton
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Man City

7. Arsenal — DYK? Arsenal now has three points from four away matches this season…
Last week: 4
Season high: 4
Season low: 7
Last match: Lost 1-0 at Sheffield United
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday v. Crystal Palace

6. Crystal Palace — …Unfortunately, Arsenal is 3W-1D at home and hosting Palace. Maybe Wilfried Zaha will put on a proper audition?
Last week: 6
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 2-0 v. Man City
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Arsenal

5. Sheffield United — Look, Chris Wilder‘s men deserve this spot, and it feels just as good to put them here. The best story in the Premier League so far this season.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 1-0 v. Arsenal
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at West Ham United

4. Leicester City — It’s promising for the Foxes that beating plucky Burnley just seems like “ho-hum, that’s how it’s supposed to go.”
Last week: 5
Season high: 3
Season low: 10
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Burnley
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Friday at Southampton

3. Man City — Too many injuries to key players given all the congestion still to come, but City can feel good that its UCL status is so safe.
Last week: 3
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 2-0 at Crystal Palace
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Aston Villa

2. Chelsea — The Christian PulisicMichy Batshuayi chemistry is real and has been for some time. It’s a bonus Chelsea didn’t plan for given the transfer ban, and could help keep them in all competitions.
Last week: 2
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Won 1-0 v. Newcastle United
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Burnley

1. Liverpool — Again, the fact that the Reds have such a big lead on the field even after drawing Manchester United, while also not being near their best in PL play, should be plenty of comfort to the Kop. Now when will they kick on? Spurs at home seems a nice moment for it.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Manchester United
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday v. Tottenham Hotspur

Grealish leads Villa past 10-man Brighton

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Jack Grealish‘s star turn helped Aston Villa take advantage of 10-man Brighton and Hove Albion in a 2-1 comeback win at Villa Park on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Adam Webster‘s early goal gave Brighton a lead but Aaron Mooy‘s twin first half yellow cards put them under the knife.

Aston Villa moves 11th with 11 points. Brighton’s nine points seat them 16th.


Three things we learned

1. Touchy red helps undo Brighton: Aaron Mooy’s first yellow card was silly, so he know there was a need to play careful the rest of the way. He didn’t, and a soft yellow doomed the Seagulls to more than a half without the full complement of players.

2. Villa finally catching breaks: Dean Smith‘s men have had their fair share of bad luck come from good performances, so it was nice for them to follow up a blowout defeat of Norwich City with a little nudge from the Seagulls. Matty Targett’s winner came after plenty of time playing 11v10, and Villa’s standing of 11th now reflects its performances.

3. Grealish a monster: A sliding finish to make it 1-0 and clever feed to Targett for the winner. The Peaky Blinders’ haired man turned in a performance worthy of a BAFTA, with five dribbles and plenty of good moments in keeping possession moving for the victors.

Man of the Match:


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Brighton was knocking on the door early, but you’d be forgiven if you failed to predict the man to break it down.

Promising center back Webster’s stock continues to rise as he did to nod Pascal Gross‘ free kick into the goal.

A silly first yellow card for Mooy’s blocking of a free kick became egregious when he was shown another for knocking down Grealish, who would then score a sliding goal — they all count — to bring Villa level before halftime.

Solly March saw a shot through traffic go wide in the 51st as the Seagulls worked to overcome their disadvantage.

But Villa got the win through Targett at the death, a deserved-enough win although Brighton will feel hard done by.

PL AT HALF: Spurs trail at home; Brighton down a man

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Six 10 a.m. ET kickoffs are at the break in England, with Tottenham and Leicester losing at home.

Tottenham 0-1 Watford – NBCSN [STREAM]

Miserable defending from Spurs saw Abdoulaye Doucoure walk onto a Daryl Janmaat cross for an easy goal. Danny Welbeck has been injured for the Hornets.

Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Adam Webster‘s stock continues to rise as he did to pound a Pascal Gross free kick into the goal, but Villa leveled the score through Jack Grealish.

Leicester 1-1  BurnleyNBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Chris Wood is a unit, and if we tell you he scored you can probably guess the style of goal. Jamie Vardy answered the bell with a goal off a Harvey Barnes pass before halftime.

Wolves 0-0  Southampton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Raul Jimenez saw a goal ruled off for a handball, but found the opener before halftime. WAIT! That one was taken off the board as well!

Bournemouth 0-0 Norwich  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Cherries dominating the chances but yet to lay down a marker.

Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Allan Saint-Maximin producing chances at both ends, but finishers not finishing.

Brighton hammer woeful Tottenham

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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.