Six things we learned from Southampton v Brighton

Brighton fought back from 2-0 down to draw for the second successive game last night. Here's six things we learned from their match at Southampton.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 1:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 1:08 pm
Glenn Murray. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Glenn Murray. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

'Pathetic' to 'Fantastic'

It was a real tale of two halves for Albion at Southampton last night.

The Seagulls were far from at their best in the first half and trailed 1-0 at the break through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's stunning strike.

Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton was on Radio 5 Live commentary and said at half-time: "Brighton have been pathetic!

"If you are a Brighton fan then the good thing is they cannot and will not be any worse in the second half. It's been that bad. They haven't laid a glove on Southampton and haven't had a shot on target.

"Not good enough Brighton!"

Albion were much better in the second half and despite falling 2-0 down when Danny Ings scored from the penalty spot, they grabbed a point with goals from Shane Duffy and Glenn Murray.

That led Sutton to say afterwards: "When you want a man to take a big chance it's got to be Glenn Murray. He was calm, composed, and it was straight down the middle. Brighton have been fantastic second half."

Set-piece delivery

When Albion get their attacking set-pieces right, they are such a threat with the likes of Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray.

A frustration for Seagulls fans was hitting the first Southampton man on a few occasions.

Solly March and Yves Bissouma both failed to get the ball past the first defender when Albion had momentum early in the second half and opportunities went begging.

However, it was a peach of a delivery from Anthony Knockaert which got Albion back into the match. His inswinging free kick was headed home by Shane Duffy and then the French winger's late corner caused mayhem in the box.

There were a couple of incidents where it looked as though penalties could be given but it was James Ward-Prowse's push on Duffy which was punished by referee Anthony Taylor, with a penalty awarded.

Another comeback

No one can doubt the character in this Brighton squad but they've certainly done things the hard way in the last couple of games.

Fulham and Southampton are both likely to be in and around the Seagulls come the end of the season, so they're teams you don't want to give too many points to.

To come back from 2-0 down against both shows great character and resilience. But Albion cannot afford to keep falling behind, especially by two goals, and expect to come back.

Prior to the last two matches, Brighton had come back to draw just three times in 20 games when conceding first in the Premier League - and had not collected a victory.

It just goes to show the importance of the first goal in games in the top flight.

Should Albion be more attack-minded away from home?

This was one of the questions asked by fans after the game.

In the first half, Albion barely posed a threat to the Southampton goal but it was completely different after the break.

Brighton pressed higher up the park and looked a different team altogether. The introducation of pacy threats Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Jurgen Locadia also led to the Seagulls looking more dangerous - as Albion finished with two up front.

Jahanbakhsh almost scored with a deft flick at the near post and Locadia was denied by Saints keeper Alex McCarthy late on.

It's unlikely Seagulls boss Chris Hughton will change too much from his preferred 4-4-1-1 formation but the strong finishes against Fulham and Southampton with two up top will certainly give him food for thought.

Will two up front be the way to go against the mid-table and lower sides, especially when Florin Andone is back?

Murray's mint

Glenn Murray was Albion's hero yet again, with his last-minute penalty taking him on to 98 goals for the club.

It was his fourth in five games this season, after he top-scored with 14 goals last year.

Saints boss Mark Hughes had spoken about Murray's threat before the game and Southampton managed to keep him relatively quiet throughout.

However, when it mattered, the 34-year-old stepped up to secure a point which looked highly unlikely when the Saints went 2-0 up midway through the second half.

What a strike!

Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up to an amazing goal.

There was nothing Albion could have done about Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's stunning strike in the first half.

There appeared little danger when Lewis Dunk headed a cross out to Hojbjerg, 35 yards out, but the Southampton midfielder unleashed an unstoppable low shot which curled just inside the bottom corner.

Brighton would arguably have been happy with Hojbjerg shooting from that distance too, as it's not often a player - even in the Premier League - will hit a shot as sweet as that.