Post Match report for the Arsenal game - Wednesday, 26th December 2018

PREMIER LEAGUE; Brighton v Arsenal


VENUE; the Amex, Falmer - ninth home match of 19 fixtures to date (halfway stage).
RESULT; 1-1 ~ Locadia . (h-t 1-1) . SHAPE; 4-5-1 . REF; was in the Xmas spirit of peace, respect and goodwill.

PREAMBLE; it was arranged to be at teatime on Boxing Day for the festive kickoff this term. It also marked meeting our last opponents to play for conclusion of first half of the campaign. Despite other yuletide attractions for season-ticket holders, a near sell-out was anticipated once more.
GATE; 30,608 . WEATHER; cloudy & cool but dry.

CHRIS HUGHTON reverted to type rather than play Santa Claus and gift opposition an inexperienced line-up. Dunk was left on the naughty step but previously punished Duffy got rehabilitated. Locadia retained his place but Murray restarted up front.

TEAM; . . . . . . . . 1 Ryan
. . 22 Montoya, 4 Duffy, 14 Balogun, 30 Bernardo
. . 20 March, 6 Stephens, 24 Propper, 9 Locadia
. . . . . . . 13 Gross, . . . . . . . 17 Murray

BENCH; 27 Button, 2 Bruno, 3 Bong, 7 Kayal, 8 Bissouma, 10 Andone (79), 11 Knockaert (86).

GOALS; 0-1 - 7. Seagulls flapped while the ball bounced around in the area. Opposition robbed hapless defenders and found a free man to clip the opener home.
1-1 - 35. Visitors corner went right through the area and Propper picked it up. His long punt up field was chased by LOCADIA who picked it up via a defender, rounded the onrushing keeper and slotted into an empty net.

INCIDENTS; 24 - hosts were attacking and Montoya crossed from within the area. Murray miss-kicked, followed up as the keeper went down and the ball ended in the net. Ref listened to appeals and awarded a free-kick to visitors.

YELLOWS; 47 - Montoya went to ground when stretching at a challenge. 58 - Murray tackled from behind.

SUBS; 79 - late in the day Andone replaced Murray. 86 - even later Knockaert came on for Locadia.
It was an exercise in like for like and not influential for cause and effect.

ANALYSIS; based on the premise that after three straight defeats previously, another consecutive loss was to be averted at all costs, overall strategy was successful at end of the day. However the game plan went out of the technical area when top-six opponents scored very soon from kickoff.
A little good fortune was happily accepted for the equaliser and with ever-present Ryan on his A-game prior to international duty, a point remained attainable.
Albion generally held visitors at arms length during the second period despite Gunners tactical changes designed to produce more offensive action. Moves forward slowly built, attacks pushed on, set pieces were executed, chances came & went but parity continued.
MoM - Locadia.

1ST FAN; +there did not seem to be too much passion in the stadium for a rip-roaring result from open flowing football but a point will do whatever the display+

2ND FAN; +433 is the new 4141 and is worth persevering with while we maintain a cushion above those struggling below us+

3RD FAN; +it is a sometimes beautiful but mostly just a simple game and a straightforward chase from route one football got us an equaliser+

Happy New Year