A L B I O N R E P O R T - 28
(featuring the Southampton (30/3) and Chelsea (3/4) games)
30 MARCH 2019 - BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0 SOUTHAMPTON 1
( Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 1 - 53 minutes ) - PREMIER LEAGUE - at
the AMERICAN EXPRESS COMMUNITY STADIUM, FALMER.
Following the excellent win (2-1) at Crystal Palace on the 9 March and the dramatic FA
Cup win (5-4 on penalties) at Millwall on the 17 March, the Seagulls were back at the Amex
to face South Coast rivals Southampton in the Premier League.
Albion named an unchanged starting line-up from the last Premier League game at Crystal
Palace on the 9 March.
Southampton Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl made two changes to his starting line-up from the
game at home to Tottenham Hotspur (2-1) on the 9 March, with Stuart Armstrong and Danny
Ings coming in for Jannik Vestergaard and Charlie Austin. Austrian Hasenhuttl had replaced
the sacked Mark Hughes in early December 2018. The Saints were in 16th spot in the Premier
League with 30 points from 30 games, just one place below the Albion who had 33 points
from 29 games.
In the corresponding fixture at the Amex last season on the 29 October 2017, "live" in front
of the Sky Sports cameras the teams drew 1-1, with Glenn Murray (52) scoring for the
Seagulls and Steven Davis (7) netting for the Saints. The Albion line-up at the Amex on the
29 October 2017, was (4-4-1-1):- Mathew Ryan; Bruno Saltor (Capt), Shane Duffy, Lewis
Dunk, Gaetan Bong; Anthony Knockaert, Dale Stephens, Davy Propper, Jose Izquierdo
(Solly March 87); Pascal Gross (Izzy Brown 84); Glenn Murray. Subs not used: Tim Krul
(G/K), Connor Goldson, Markus Suttner, Izequiel Schelotto, Tomer Hemed. Earlier this
season the teams met twice in the space of 20 days, on the 28 August 2018, the Saints
triumphed 1-0 at the Amex in a Carabao Cup Second Round tie, with Charlie Austin netting
an 88th minute winner. On the 17 September 2018 the teams drew 2-2 at St. Mary's
Stadium in a Premier League clash with the Saints taking a two goal lead through Pierre-
Emile Hojbjerg (35) and Danny Ings (65, penalty) and the Seqgulls equalising through Shane
Duffy (67) and Glenn Murray (91, penalty).
Considering both teams needed to win the game to preserve their Premier League status the
first-half turned out to be a non-event with neither team having a shot on target.
The first serious action of the second-half saw Southampton take the lead on 53 minutes.
Albion's Yves Bissouma carelessly gave the ball away just inside his own half which enabled
the lively Nathan Redmond to embark on a long unchallenged run into the Albion penalty
area where he laid ball off to Southampton Captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who coolly slotted
the ball past Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan. 0-1. Going behind saw the Albion wake from
their slumber and full-back Martin Montoya was unlucky to see his left-footed shot from the
edge of the area strike the crossbar with Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn looking on. Albion
were denied a penalty when the Saints scorer Hojbjerg clearly pulled-back Davy Propper in
the penalty box as the Dutchman shaped to shoot for goal but Referee Michael Oliver waved
aside Albion's penalty appeals. Prior to the final whistle substitute Jurgen Locadia saw his
on-target shot comfortably saved by Saints keeper Gunn. A lack-lustre display by the Albion
and three vital points for the Saints. Final-score 0-1.
The Seagulls had 14 attempts at goal, with 1 on target and won 6 corners, free-kicks
conceded - 8. The Saints had 8 attempts at goal, with 2 on target and won 5 corners,
free-kicks conceded - 10.
VERDICT - Following their recent improved results this was a disappointing display by
the Albion. The forthcoming April home games against AFC Bournemouth (13/4), Cardiff
City (16/4) and Newcastle United (27/4) now take on a greater significance for the
Albion line-up (4-3-3):- Mathew Ryan; Martin Montoya, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk (Capt),
Bernardo; Yves Bissouma, Dale Stephens, Davy Propper (Jurgen Locadia 74); Anthony
Knockaert, Glenn Murray, Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Solly March 62). Subs not used: David
Button (G/K), Dan Burn, Gaetan Bong, Beram Kayal, Jose Izquierdo.
Southampton line-up (4-2-2-2):- Angus Gunn; Yan Valery, Jan Bednarek, Maya Yoshida,
Ryan Bertrand; Oriol Romeo, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Capt); James Ward-Prowse, Stuart
Armstrong (Jack Stephens 76); Danny Ings (Sam Gallagher 67), Nathan Redmond (Josh
Sims 88). Subs not used: Alex McCarthy (G/K), Matt Targett, Mohamed Elyounoussi,
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland). Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt & Simon
Bennett. Fourth Official: Graham Scott.
Yellow Cards: Albion: 1 - Dale Stephens. Southampton: 2 - James Ward-Prowse,
Possession: Albion - 60%. Southampton - 40%.
Match Sponsors (Brighton Tools & Fixings) Albion Man of the Match: Bernardo.
3 APRIL 2019 - CHELSEA 3 ( Oliver Giroud 1 - 38 minutes, Eden
Hazard 1 - 60 minutes, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 1 - 63 minutes ) BRIGHTON
& HOVE ALBION 0 - PREMIER LEAGUE - at STAMFORD BRIDGE,
After the disappointing 0-1 home defeat to Southampton on the 30 March the Seagulls
took off for West London to meet 5th-placed Chelsea (60 points from 31 games) at
Stamford Bridge in a Premier League encounter.
Albion Manager made four changes to his starting line-up from the Southampton game,
with Captain Bruno Saltor, Gaetan Bong, Florin Andone and Solly March replacing Martin
Montoya, Bernardo, Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray.
Last time out Chelsea had secured a last-gasp 2-1 win at relegation threatened Cardiff
City on the 31 March and for this game Manager Maurizio Sarri made no fewer than
seven changes to his starting line-up from the Cardiff game, with Andreas Christensen,
Emerson, N'Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, debutant Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier
Giroud and Eden Hazard coming in for Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovacic,
Ross Barkley, Pedro, Gonzalo Higuain and Willian.
Last season the Albion travelled to Stamford Bridge on the 26 December 2017 for a
Premier League fixture with Chelsea running-out 2-0 winners with their goals coming
from Alvaro Morata (46) and Marcos Alonso (60). Albion's line-up at Stamford Bridge
on the 26 December 2017 was (4-5-1):- Mathew Ryan; Ezequiel Schelotto, Shane
Duffy, Lewis Dunk (Capt), Markus Suttner; Solly March (Anthony Knockaert 82), Dale
Stephens, Beram Kayal (Pascal Gross 73), Davy Propper, Jose Izquierdo; Tomer
Hemed (Glenn Murray 80). Subs not used: Tim Krul (G/K), Bruno Saltor, Connor
Goldson, Sam Baldock. In the reverse fixture earlier this season at the Amex on the
16 December 2018 Chelsea won 2-1, with their goals coming from Pedro (17) and
Eden Hazard (33). Solly March (66) replied for the Seagulls.
Despite a spirited defensive display by the Albion they were no match for their
illustrious hosts. Numerous chances were created by Chelsea in the opening half
with debutant Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud and Captain Cesar Azpilicueta
failing to convert the chances which came their way. The Albion lost Solly March
to injury on the half-hour, Anthony Knockaert substituting. It was no surprise when
Chelsea took the lead on 38 minutes when Hudson- Odoi's cross was flicked home by
Giroud at the near post. 0-1. Half-time 0-1.
The game was clinched by Chelsea with two goals in the space of three minutes
early in the second-half. On 60 minutes Eden Hazard escaped the attentions of Lewis
Dunk to fire a right-footed shot past Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan. 0-2. Three
minutes later Hazard's precise pass set-up Ruben Loftus-Cheek who fired an
unstoppable shot past keeper Ryan into the top corner. 0-3. Midfielder N'Golo Kante
missed a great opportunity of increasing Chelsea's lead when he wastefully fired over
from Hazard's pass. Substitute Bernardo posted Albion's only shot on target when
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made a comfortable save. In time added on
Dunk's long-pass put Knockaert through but the Frenchman's shot missed the target
with only keeper Arrizabalaga to beat. Final-score 0-3.
The Albion had 3 attempts at goal, with 1 on target and won 1 corner, free-kicks
conceded - 9. Chelsea had 17 attempts at goal, with 4 on target and won 7 corners,
free-kicks conceded - 5.
VERDICT - Not an unexpected result as Chelsea's three goals had class written all
over them. The Seagulls put in the effort but to no avail. The Albion have three
crucial home matches coming up in April and will need to gain wins in these games
to ensure they retain their hard-earned Premier League status.
Albion line-up (4-3-3):- Mathew Ryan; Bruno Saltor (Capt), Shane Duffy, Lewis
Dunk, Gaetan Bong; Yves Bissouma, Dale Stephens, Davy Propper; Alireza
Jahanbakhsh (Bernardo 75), Florin Andone (Glenn Murray 70), Solly March (Anthony
Knockaert 31). Subs not used: David Button (G/K), Dan Burn, Beram Kayal, Jose
Chelsea line-up (4-3-3):- Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta (Capt) (Davide
Zappacosta 73), Andreas Christensen, David Luiz, Emerson; N'Golo Kante, Jorginho,
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Mateo Kovacic 82); Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud, Eden
Hazard (Willian 84). Subs not used: Willy Caballero (G/K), Antonio Rudiger, Ross
Barkley, Gonzalo Higuain.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).
Possession: Albion - 32%. Chelsea - 68%.
6 APRIL 2019 - MANCHESTER CITY - WEMBLEY STADIUM - THE
EMIRATES FA CUP SEMI-FINAL. "LIVE" ON BBC1.
First time Albion have reached the FA Cup Semi-Finals since 1983. A massive
challenge for the Seagulls against City, who are chasing a quadruple, having
already won the Carabao Cup. On form it should be City but you never know
and if the Albion get the breaks a place in the final beckons. Go Seagulls -
you can do it.
5 April 2019.