Six things we learned from Brighton's draw with Huddersfield

Brighton drew 1-1 at home to Huddersfield this afternoon as they moved seven points clear of the Premier League relegation zone. Here's six things we learned from the game.

Davy Propper misses an early chance to give Brighton the lead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Davy Propper misses an early chance to give Brighton the lead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

A valuable point or a missed opportunity?

Before the home matches with Leicester and Huddersfield, many Albion fans thought four points from the two games would all but seal Premier League survival.

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Just one point from the two fixtures could mean a nervy end to the season for the Seagulls as there are now six tough games to come.

Albion fans celebrating taking the lead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton should have got more from their 2-0 defeat to Leicester last week and gifted Huddersfield their equaliser today. However, they had to play the last 15 minutes with ten men today and it could prove to be a vital point.

The draw moves Albion seven points clear of the relegation zone and Southampton's game in hand is at Arsenal tomorrow. If the Saints lose that, they'll have to pick up a minimum of seven points from their final six games - which includes fixtures with Chelsea and Manchester City - to finish above the Seagulls.

Stoke are now eight points behind Brighton and have played a game more. Three of their last five matches are also on the road, so one win should be enough for Albion to keep their place in the top flight.

However you can't help but think today was a missed opportunity. A win would have given Albion a bit of breathing space heading into the rest of their season. They might already have enough points to stay up but things could have been so much better.

A tale of missed chances

Albion can only have themselves to blame for failing to pick up the three points today in a game they arguably needed to win.

The Seagulls created some glorious chances but only found the back of the net when Solly March's shot came back off a post and went in off Huddersfield keeper Jonas Lossl.

Davy Propper should have put Brighton ahead after just 25 seconds when he found himself clean through on goal but side-footed the ball wide from 15 yards.

Opportunities continued to come Brighton's way in the second period despite a disjointed performance. Lewis Dunk's header from close range went across goal and even when they went down to ten men after Propper's red card, Brighton continued to create openings.

Jose Izquierdo got clean through but over-ran the ball and Shane Duffy headed over from eight yards when he met March's corner.

A Propper bad day

Albion made a quick start and should have taken the lead after just 25 seconds. The Huddersfield defence were caught high up the pitch which allowed Davy Propper to break clean through but the Dutch midfielder's wait for his first Seagulls goal continued as he side-footed wide from 15 yards with just keeper Jonas Lossl to beat.

It was an outstanding chance and you wonder how differently the game might have panned out had it gone in.

Propper's day didn't get much better as he was sent for an early bath after catching Huddersfield defender Jonathan Hogg with a late challenge 15 minutes from time.

Albion saw out the remainder of the game to hold on for a point but - unless they're successful with an appeal - will now be without Propper for their next three matches.

Huddersfield's gift

Just two minutes after taking the lead, Albion gifted Huddersfield an equaliser.

The Terriers went into the match having failed to score in four successive matches but when Shane Duffy was under pressure on the right-hand side of defence, he turned and tried to play the ball back to keeper Mathew Ryan and only found Huddersfield striker Steve Mounie, who rounded Ryan and tapped into an empty net.

It extended Brighton's run without a Premier League clean sheet to 11 games. With tough games to come, they can't afford to give cheap goals away in the battle for Premier League survival.

It was a sloppy showing from Albion possession-wise and they will be frustrated not to have capitalised on taking the lead.

Stephens boost

It was a big boost for Albion fans to see Dale Stephens back in the starting line-up.

The midfielder had missed the previous three games with a hamstring injury and the Seagullls lost all three 2-0.

Since Stephens joined from Charlton in January, 2014, Brighton have struggled when the 28-year-old has not played.

From the 146 league matches he has played, Albion have a win-rate of 49 percent and that drops to a win rate of just 17 percent in the 48 games he has missed in that time.

Although Albion did not win today, Brighton fans will be pleased to see Stephens back for the crucial run-in.

Public enemy number one at the Amex

Alex Pritchard was booed throughout by Albion fans on his second trip to the Amex since rejecting a move to the Seagulls.

The attacking midfielder was on the verge of joining Brighton from Tottenham in the summer of 2016 until Norwich came in with a late bid and Pritchard changed his mind and joined the Canaries instead.

It may well have been a decision the 24-year-old regretted as Albion won promotion from the Championship last season and Norwich finished eighth and also suffered a 5-0 defeat at the Amex last season - although Pritchard did play a large part in the Canaries' 2-0 win over the Seagulls at Carrow Road.

Pritchard joined the Terriers in January and most of their dangerous moments involved the attacking midfielder today.

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