Brighton ends winless race after Trossard and Maupay sank Brentford superbly | premier league
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After a few weeks of testing, this was exactly the kind of performance Graham Potter needed. Brighton’s first victory in 12 Premier League appearances, thanks to two spectacular goals from Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay in the space of eight minutes, brought them back to the top half of the table.
While Brentford – who had started the game on points level with their opponents – put on a typically engaging display that sometimes threatened to spoil Brighton’s party, they couldn’t complain about the quality of the strikes they were given here. Both goals were the culmination of a dazzling 10-minute spell on Potter’s side just before half-time, which hinted that there could be a lot more to come from this team when he has a team. complete to choose from.
“It was like a result which was very important to us,” said the Brighton manager. “It’s been a frustrating race, but goals change everything. “
The hosts had made four changes to the squad which started their last game on December 15, with Adam Webster returning from injury to replace captain Lewis Dunk. Brighton’s search for a first league win since the 2-1 triumph over Leicester on September 19 had included eight draws, as their previous five appearances had yielded just two goals. Perhaps that and the late kick-off time both contributed to the number of empty seats on an unusually balmy evening on the South Coast.
Brentford had spent more than two weeks since their last league game after a Covid outbreak in the squad and were delighted to welcome top scorer Ivan Toney again as one of five changes, along with former l arsenal academy Dominic Thompson made his league debut. Seven points from their last four league games have kept Thomas Frank’s side on track to reach their goal this season and they have started here as a confident team.
A tight offside call against Bryan Mbeumo in the fourth minute after Thompson’s cut pass was a symbol of their offensive intent, with Shandon Baptiste then seeing his shot on goal wide via a deflection. Brighton’s lack of sharpness has been a growing concern for Potter after their excellent start to the season and the closest to testing Álvaro Fernández in the first half hour was a Dan Burn header that came close to the crossbar. Enock Mwepu should have done better with his effort from inside the penalty area but missed by far.
However, with the imposing Mwepu proving a competent assistant for suspended Yves Bissouma, Brighton began to dominate possession in midfield and almost found a way to repeatedly break through through passing moves. complex. It was through a more direct approach that the home crowd finally came to life, as the Mwepu striker meant Trossard didn’t have to interrupt his stride before passing the ball over Fernández and into the empty net. Trossard also came close soon after when his free kick went just over the crossbar, with Brentford then being forced into a change as Mbeumo limped.
Things then improved for Potter ahead of halftime when Trossard found Jakub Moder on the left and his inside run gave Maupay time and space to come home his seventh goal of the season. Suddenly Brighton was rampant.
Trossard failed to emerge for the second half as a precaution after Potter said he felt tension in his hamstrings. He was replaced by Danny Welbeck, returning from a thigh injury for his first appearance since the draw with Crystal Palace in September. Brentford also made a change at the break as they tried to find a way back into the contest, with Frank Onyeka trying to provide some support for the isolated Toney.
Mwepu’s brilliant through pass almost created another opening for Maupay, but Brighton’s momentum stalled and Brentford sensed an opportunity. It took two excellent saves in one minute for goalkeeper Robert Sánchez to maintain their two-goal cushion, with the former denying Baptiste after his shot took a bad deflection. The second was as good as Sánchez dived to his right and pushed Ethan Pinnock’s header off the post. Not to be outdone, his Spanish compatriot Marc Cucurella managed to avoid the crossbar by jumping to clear another Pinnock header which had buckled Sánchez.
“We tried to put the pressure on them at the end but when they scored their goals it was difficult for us to recover,” said Frank.
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