Two of the season’s biggest surprise packages faced off at the AMEX Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as Brighton and Brentford headed into this mouth-watering tie level on points. A win would see either team leapfrog Liverpool and rise to sixth in the league.
BHA: Steele; Estupiñan, Colwill, Dunk, Veltman; Caicedo, Groß; Mitoma, Mac Allister, March; Welbeck
BRE: Raya; Henry, Mee, Pinnock, Jansson, Hickey; Jensen, Norgaard, Damsgaard; Toney, Mbuemo
Brighton looked to take an early lead in front of the home fans as Danny Welbeck sent Kaoru Mitoma through on goal, and the Japanese star breezed through the Brentford defence – but the outstretched leg of Ethan Pinnock brought his mazy run to an end before he could get a shot off.
Brentford took the lead against the run of play ten minutes in, after Pontus Jansson rose highest inside the box to divert Mathias Jensen’s cross into the back of the net. Brighton sought to equalise soon after, but Ethan Pinnock made a crucial block yet again to deny Danny Welbeck from close range.
The Seagulls equalised in the 21st minute, as Kaoru Mitoma received the ball from Jason Steele, who fired past Jason Steele who was left helpless between the posts. We were in for one hell of a game at the Amex – and it was 1-1 with seventy minutes left to play.
Brentford responded immediately, firing home just over a minute later as Bryan Mbuemo played in Ivan Toney from the left flank, and the Englishman slotted his sidefooted effort into the bottom right corner to restore the Bees’ lead on the road!
Their lead didn’t last long though, as Danny Welbeck found the back of the net in the 28th minute – heading Solly March’s cross past David Raya to bring the game level for a second time! We’d seen four goals in the opening thirty minutes; if this continued, we’d be in for a sensational game.
Brighton looked desperate to find another goal in order to take the lead before half-time, and Alexis Mac Allister came close after working his way through the Brentford defence before firing a shot towards the right post – but Raya did well to make the save.
Brentford restored their lead after the interval through Ethan Pinnock, who had already contributed massively to keep the Bees in contention. Bryan Mbuemo’s free kick found the defender at the back post, and Pinnock made no mistake in slotting the ball home from a few yards out.
Moises Caicedo looked to level the scores with a super strike from distance, but David Raya was able to tip it over the crossbar for yet another Brighton corner. The ‘keeper had well and truly kept Brentford in the game, and he was called into action again soon after – denying Solly March’s strike towards the bottom-right corner.
The Seagulls should have equalised with twenty minutes left, as Estupiñan found Lewis Dunk with a cross from the left flank – but somehow the defender nodded his header over the crossbar! They were eventually presented with a chance to bring themselves level in the 86th minute, as Deniz Undav’s close-range strike was sent over the crossbar by Aaron Hickey. The defender appeared to have struck the ball with his arm though as he tried to clear it, and a penalty was awarded after a long VAR consultation. Alexis Mac Allister made no mistake from the spot though, sending the ball into the top-right corner with an unsaveable strike. The Seagulls had left it late, but they managed to equalise eventually – a great result for both sides.