'Back on the pitch without pain' Brighton's Bernardo enjoys a personal victory
The one major plus from Brighton and Hove Albion's 2-1 Boxing Day loss at Tottenham Hotspur was the return of Bernardo.
It was the first start for the Brazilian since the 4-0 loss at Manchester City way back in August.
Bernardo sustained his knee problem in training after the City defeat and the impact injury took much longer than expected to heal.
Bernardo was used as a second half substitute in the 1-1 draw at Palace but starting yesterday's match pain free at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was a big moment for the left sided player.
"It was good," admitted Bernardo. "Playing in this stadium, with an amazing atmosphere, in such an important game made it even more special.
"I've been waiting for my first touch for such a long time after picking up my injury. You need to recondition yourself to be prepared to play 90 minutes again. Obviously it's not the result we wanted, but from my perspective it was an individual victory to be back on the pitch without feeling any sort of pain."
Brighton produced a decent display at Spurs and took the lead through Adam Webster's first half header. They were denied however in the second half by two excellent finishes from Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
"Definitely, the way we played I think deserved a draw," said the 24-year-old who signed for Brighton for £9m in 2018 from RB Leipzig. "I think the match was equal, they had a really good moment in the beginning of the second half, but if you analyse the match overall I think a draw would be fair, and that is really disappointing.
"But we are in the right way. We just need to fix some small details and then we will start to get good performances and more points.
"We obviously had the chance but the reality is that we didn't take the opportunities, but they [Spurs] did take theirs.
"It is 2-1 to Tottenham, and we got zero points. This is what I was talking about when I said 'small details', it's about getting the chance and scoring the goal."
Bernardo will hope to keep his place in the team for Brighton's home fixture against Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium this Saturday.