Dale Stephens

Nightmarish Brighton braces for massive Tuesday clash

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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.

Cardiff gets dramatic win over 10-man Brighton

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  • Bamba scores in 90th
  • Brighton down a man for 60+
  • Cardiff moves 16th

Sol Bamba pumped a 90th minute loose ball into the top of the goal as Cardiff City beat 10-man Brighton and Hove Albion at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.

Lewis Dunk and Callum Paterson traded first half goals, but a Dale Stephens red card with an hour to play yielded few chances until Bamba was in prime position with precious few ticks on the clock.

The win is just the second of the season for Cardiff, who moves out of the drop zone with 8 points. Brighton stays 12th with 14 points.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

The sixth minute saw the match’s first goal, with Dunk heading down a Solly March back-post free kick.

Victor Camarasa’s vicious free kick had too much power as Cardiff attempted to answer two minutes later.

Paterson did tie the score after Kadeem Harris‘ mazy dribble toward the end line ended with a deflected cross atop the six.

Fortunes improved even more for Brighton when Roger East showed a straight red card to  Dale Stephens for a studs-up challenge on Greg Cunningham.

Cardiff just didn’t have much flair in trying to break down Brighton, and it was a Seagul who challenged the scoresheet in the 82nd minute. Jose Izquierdo ripped a shot that Neil Etheridge poked over the bar.

But a wild 10-seconds saw Cardiff hit the bar and see a ball cleared off the line before Bamba blasted the third chance over the line.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Pereyra stars as Watford slams Brighton

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  • Pereyra scores beauty off corner
  • Then runs in a gift for brace
  • Gulls outshot 19-6

Roberto Pereyra scored twice to give Javi Gracia‘s men a controlling 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Mat Ryan made a fine stop on Watford captain Troy Deeney to properly open the danger. The Hornets had plenty of the ball to start the match.

As expected, Brighton grew into the game and tempted the frame through a Dale Stephens volley.

It was the Hornets who would take the lead off a corner kick, with Pereyra ripping a terrific shot off a volley that Ryan couldn’t stop.

Christian Kabasele missed a chance to make it 2-0 after the break when his header popped over the bar.

And it was Pereyra who gave Watford that score line moments later with his first Premier League brace.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Benitez peeved by block on Brighton’s clever set piece goal (video)

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Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens and Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez obviously feel quite different about the match-winning goal the Gulls nabbed off a set piece on Sunday.

[ MORE: Recap | Hemed denies intent vs. Yedlin ]

Both agree on one thing, though, there’s blocking involved in the play’s success.

“We’ve tried it a few times,” Stephens said. “I’m glad it paid off. We change the blocker each time.”

Benitez saw his club’s three-match winning streak end largely on the merit of that goal, and thinks a foul should’ve been spotted by Andre Marriner.

Ciaran Clark is partially and purposely blocked from moving toward Stephens at the back post, and also misses the ball after Stephens nods back across goal.

It’s a clever play which led to an important goal, but Benitez feels it was insidious and illegal.

“I am not happy with the way we conceded. It was a block, an illegal block. You cannot argue too much but it is very difficult to understand some things. They pushed my players.

What do you think? There’s not much in the block. At the same time, it’s hard to call it anything but a block.