Post Match report for the Burnley game - Saturday, 9th February 2019

PREMIER LEAGUE; Brighton v Burnley


VENUE; the Amex, Falmer - thirteenth home match of 26 fixtures to date. Early evening kickoff for pay tv coverage.
RESULT; 1-3 ~ Duffy . (h-t 0-1) . SHAPE; 4-3-3 . REF; made too many contentious decisions to be considered an artisan of his craft.

PROLOGUE; this game was the third of four consecutive domestic contests on a Saturday in all competitions, albeit kickoff times varied at will of tv broadcasters or for encompassing global audiences.
On a mundane level Brighton fans wished to see a first league victory this year to boost confidence with regard to gaining precious points and therefore perpetually remaining safe in mid-table.
GATE; 29,323 . WEATHER; breezy, dry first half but persistent rain thereafter.

CHRIS HUGHTON rotated from the successful midweek Cup side to go back to the regular Prem starting eleven. Andone was subsequently suspended following tv replays at the Hawthorns, thus substitutes lacked a recognised front man.

TEAM; . . . . . . . 1 Ryan
. 22 Montoya, 4 Duffy, 5 Dunk, 3 Bong
. . . 13 Gross, 6 Stephens, 24 Propper
. . . 20 March, 17 Murray, 9 Locadia

BENCH; 27 Button, 30 Bernardo, 33 Burn, 7 Kayal, 8 Bissouma (66), 16 Jahanbakhsh (66), 11 Knockaert (48).

GOALS; 0-1 - 26. Dunk slips and the advanced forward is left clear to take aim as Ryan appears dumbstruck & hesitant.
0-2 - 61. Another quick break and Clarets striker is through unmarked to beat Ryan with a cross shot the keeper touches.
0-3 - 74. Rampant travellers, cheered enthusiastically by a small away contingent, score from the spot after Ryan fouls.
1-3 - 76. From a high free kick by Knockaert deep out right, DUFFY stooped to glance a low bouncing header past visitors hero keeper and snatch a consolation.

INCIDENTS; 16 - plucky visitors twice hit frame of the goal when it appeared easier to score.
71 - handball in the away area goes unpunished.

YELLOWS; 72 - Ryan receives a caution rather than a sending off when bringing down the counter attacking striker one on one in the area.
The resultant spot kick transpired to be the seventh goal put past him since returning from the Asia Cup

SUBS; 48 - Knockaert replaces March who got injured before the interval.
66 - a double swap sees Jahanbakhsh for Locadia and Bissouma for Gross.
Hughton could not go to orthodox 442 as he had not got a second striker available. Instead it became more of the same old side to side passing around & around visitors box.

ANALYSIS; going a goal behind was unfortunate but being two and then three down exposed weaknesses in Seagulls application to get involved in a basic nuts & bolts exercise against strong, solid, physical opponents from days of yore. It was not as if we did not know what to expect, with ex-Albion personnel appearing here again.
And maybe thereby hangs a tale. The top six let Albion play here because they have better individuals and over ninety minutes do take their chances.
The visiting keeper made crucial saves and defenders mopped up but locals shied from the battle in atrocious climatic conditions and bad luck apart, duly paid consequences.
Hosts were ponderously slow and predictable in build up, so the final ball had to be accurate. Pretty little triangles worked out on flanks got locals nowhere nearer to opening up a towering defence. Possession was laborious to stifle any possible direct threats - these opposition clearly showed how to effectively expedite.
MoM - Duffy used his bulk to effect at either end, on a night when brawn counted for everything.

1ST FAN; +given some players were below par, there should still have been a method of offensive football to open up their rearguard but alas we went on sleepwalking to defeat+

2ND FAN; +our players did not seem to have a Scooby Doo how to turn things around from deficit and it just got worse & worse+

3RD FAN; +we conceded three soft goals and looked bereft of ability to impose our so-called quality on the game against a very average outfit+