Post Match report for the Watford game - Saturday, 11th August 2018

PREMIER LEAGUE; Watford 2 : 0 Brighton

Albion travelled north as ever for this opening day fixture and alighted at Vicarage Road once more, almost a case of deja vu in starting their second Prem season.
Chris Hughton had a full squad from which to select a match-day eighteen but in trademark fashion elected to start tried & tested, bar new signing Bernardo da Silva Jr at left back. Other additions to appear among substitutes were David Button (gk), c-d Leon Balogun, m-f Yves Bissouma & winger Ali Jahanbakhsh.

1 Ryan, 2 Bruno, 4 Duffy, 5 Dunk, 30 Bernardo, 11 Knockaert, 6 Stephens, 24 Propper, 20 March, 13 Gross, 17 Murray.
Bench; 27 Button, 3 Bong, 14 Balogun, 7 Kayal, 8 Bissouma, 16 Jahanbakhsh, 9 Locadia.

1 min. Albion wore green shirts, which were distinctive on a colourful August afternoon, whilst clashing with Hornets.
3. each team tries to settle into the game by passing the ball around, building from the back and reaching the final third.
5. corner to Seagulls is cleared and locals counter attack at speed, while visitors hurry back to help Bernardo clear lines.
7. play is quite open and mistakes litter the game during opening phases as player combinations attempt to link moves.
9. Murray misses a header and the home unit goes route one which forces Ryan into denying opposition taking the lead.
11. f-k to Watford, when Bernardo is caught out, deflects off the wall for a follow-up set piece which is easily defended.
14. travellers are being stretched, so the backline is under continued pressure. Another corner causes more trepidation.
16. sporadic counters from visitors run into trouble and they regroup but play breaks down and Ryan is forced to save.
18. confirmation Stephens was booked. Visitors are on the back-foot needing a cohesive method for breaking to effect.
21. Stephens punt goes wide following an exchange of passes between Bruno & Knockaert. But Bruno pulls up short.
24. Knockaert goes down late and the crowd boos. Bruno is forced off injured. Bong is the replacement, swaps at full back.
28. Albion probe up field and March is prevalent. But penetration in the final third is rare and locals are quick to counter.
31. Watford miss a chance and are on top at present. Duffy & Dunk clash of heads, so play stopped which relieves pressure.
35. GOAL. corner to locals taken short gets pumped to the back stick - there is a free man & he volleys Hornets into a lead.
40. visitors are not putting too much together, where progress is hit & miss and they lose possession too easily in midfield.
43. the away outfit are ready for the interval to arrive but have to complete moments into stoppage and keep it together.
45+ Seagulls have hardly got off the ground in the first half as they meander to the dressing room. The performance has been dismal and on this evidence, against a supposed fellow struggler, is bottom of the league stuff already.

46. Brighton restart in positive vein and Knockaert goes forward. Visitors retain possession but are lacking real intent.
49. a set piece by hosts is delivered into the danger zone but they miss going two up. Travellers marking is abysmal.
51. visitors poor away form last term is repeating in this opener, which with basically the same 11 is below levels required.
54. GOAL. Knockaert makes an error and loses the ball. Hornets immediately take advantage with a simple pass & fine shot.
59. the game is lost to BHA and changes surely are imminent. Too many individuals have not done the basics correctly at all
60. Bissouma replaces Gross who has been invisible in this one-sided contest. Hughton considers his final option to change.
63. possession apart, stats are comprehensively in favour of the home eleven. The biggest away failure is 0 shots on target.
64. booking for hosts. Bissouma smashes a f-k wide of target. It was hopeful, in terms of distance & therefore accuracy.
69. travellers are chasing the game and Dunk berates left flank colleagues for being less than determined when defending.
71. Bissouma has a dig from distance. March comes off for Jahanbakhsh. Knockaert swaps wings. Brighton do go forward.
73. booking for hosts. Set play by visitors is an opportunity lost when the keeper comes out to take. It is too little too late.
77. poor delivery at f-ks & corners has not presented the sort of chances to be easily converted and open play is dismal.
80. changes by hosts. They are seeing the game out and are very happy with the two goal cushion as they push on again.
81. Bernardo is booked. He has had a torrid afternoon during full introduction to the Premier League. The jury is out.
87. final change by Hornets who withdraw their double goal-scorer. It has been easy for him to shine against this BHA 11.
89. the game is nearly up and Seagulls are just going through motions. Midfield, wide and attacking areas are cause for concern.
90+ Brighton fans are glad the game is over and spared further embarrassment. The team has not evolved to a permanent state of elite football standard and many players have to look at their performance during this ninety plus minutes.
Writing is on the wall for a different tactical method employed on the road in future.

Fatmanslims