Coming into the game, [team 65] were on the back of a defeat and three defeats from the last four. Forster started in goal with a predictable 4-2-2-2 in front of him. Bednarek and [player 31129] partnered at the heart of the Southampton defence with Ward-Prowse and [player 537558] in front of them. In-form Che Adams started upfront alongside a much rotating partner. [player 52671] and [player 1494225] kept interchanging their positions and kept floating around Adams.
As for [team 78], things were getting worse as they found themselves on the brink of the relegation zone after [team 20]’s point against [team 15]. Brighton came into the Southampton game on the back of three consecutive defeats in the [league 8]. Results did not back an exciting brand of football, and a response with a result was necessary.
Welbeck started upfront alongside [player 95776], with [coach 452683] trying to get more goalscorers on the pitch. Trossard and Groß were on the wings with Lallana and the ever-present [player 96870] in the middle of a midfield four. The backline had Burn and [player 24655] on the sides, with Dunk and [player 3259] partnering in front of [player 581000].
The game had a fast start to it as both managers like to press high and like to get on the front foot. Southampton were winning more second balls, and Brighton were gradually growing into the game. [player 155138] and Vestergaard were not under much pressure and were playing out effectively. With the lack of pace in Southampton’s defence, Maupay and Welbeck constantly tried to make penetrative runs in behind.
However, after a good start, Southampton were put under pressure, and Brighton had a good spell. With a few encouraging moments, Brighton looked close to the first. Brighton’s pressure did pay off in the 16th minute when [player 2461]’s powerful header found its way past the slow reaction of [player 1241]. It was a fine delivery by [player 31504], which was headed brilliantly by the skipper. However, Forster’s reactions were slow, and he could have adjusted his feet better to get a strong hand behind the ball.
With both teams playing with their attacking identity, Southampton then had a good spell which led to a [player 1155] corner. His corner was initially cleared but only as far as Minamino, whose shot was blocked and picked up by [player 172357]. The Scotsman then delivered the cross, and Southampton won the first header. The ball found its way to [player 3596] as Dunk failed to deal with the ball and Adams’s volley brought Southampton’s back in the game. Overall, the goal was avoidable for Brighton, but as it was, an unmarked player at the far post is a big mistake not to be punished for.
The half came to an end, with both teams pushing for the second goal. Brighton ended the first half on the front foot but couldn’t finish the chances that came their way.
Brighton’s half-time substitution saw [player 2815] make way for [player 199544] as Brighton shifted to a back three. It was [coach 524297]’s men who started the second half with more thrust as they did in the first half. Still, they couldn’t make most of their opportunities as Brighton started to respond.
The seagulls started to get into their strides and play quick and incisive football. With the changed formation from the away side, Southampton were getting outnumbered in the middle of the park. As a result, Brighton were enjoying a bit more vertical passing in the process. [player 1149] was at the heart of a lot of things that Brighton were doing. His passes from deep were allowing the other midfielders to get in the box for crosses.
With 56 minutes on the clock, Brighton got the second after a special move which finished by [player 61780]. The move involved excellent movement and precise passing. [player 627]’s assist was as clinical as Trossard’s first touch, followed by a composed finish.
With Hasenhüttl trying to get back into the game, [player 979] replaced Minamino before [player 978883] came in for Tella. Two fast and skilful wingers were sent on to have an impact that they never had. A free-kick just outside the box was awarded. Ward-Prowse effort was deflected wide for a corner. Late on, Ward-Prowse stretched to square the ball in a chaotic scenario in Brighton’s box. However, it somehow cleared, and Brighton’s lead was prevented till the very last.’
A win with immense significance as far as Brighton’s survival bid is concerned. As for Southampton, relegation should not be an issue, but if the form doesn’t improve, then they might find themselves in the thick of the mess.
Fixture Details: [fixture 16943085]