4-1 Murray (17th min, pen, 69th min) Knockaert (72nd min) Abraham (85th min) Locadia (90th min)
Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1 Swansea City: Seagulls soar to 12th after impressive win

Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1 Swansea City: Seagulls soar to 12th after impressive win

Brighton's survival hopes received a massive boost as a Murray inspired performance saw Chris Hughton's side claim the three points.

dylan_walsh
Dylan Walsh

Brighton and Hove Albion sealed an impressive and important win at the Amex Stadium as the Seagulls swept past relegation rivals Swansea City 3-0.

Despite a balanced start, Glenn Murray put Brighton in the lead after the striker was brought down in the area 17 minutes in, with the former Bournemouth attacker chipping the ball down the mouth of the goal to beat Lukasz Fabianski.

Murray doubled his tally on the 69th minute mark when a great team move involving Pascal Gross and Jose Izquierdo saw the Colombian winger tee the ball to veteran striker for an easy finish inside the penalty area.

Gross was also involved with the third and final goal of the game, as the German midfielder picked out Anthony Knockaert with a accurate pass that saw the French winger through on goal, and the Brighton cult icon fired the ball past Fabianksi to make it three for the hosts.

A well-taken Tammy Abraham goal five minutes from time gave the visitors some hope of a comeback, but a debut goal from winter signing Jurgen Locadia restored Brighton’s three goal advantage in the 90th minute.

The result sees Brighton raise up to 12th in the Premier League table.

An equal start

Both sides started off scrappy, doing anything possible to get the ball up the pitch to create chances early on. Brighton had the best of the chances in the opening 10 minutes with Knockaert easily able to find space in the stretched out Swansea defence, but Fabianski remained untested.

Gross was also finding it too easy to exploit the five-man Swans defence, as the German midfielder on multiple occasions was able to drift into open areas of the pitch and cause real danger for Carlos Carvalhal’s side.

Murray fires Brighton ahead

It had all been Brighton in the opening 15 minutes, and they were given the golden opportunity to take the lead 17 minutes in when Murray was brought down in the penalty area foolishly by Mike van der Hoorn, and Mike Dean correctly pointed to the spot.

Murray, eager to take the penalty he had just won, stepped up to the ball, and brilliantly chipped the ball past the diving Fabianski to give the Seagulls a deserved lead.

Swans fight back

The Murray paneka had sent Swansea into panic mode as the visiting team realised they had to get a foot back into the game if they were to get something this afternoon.

Van der Hoorn almost redeemed himself for conceding the penalty when the Dutch centre back ventured out forward and fired a long-range strike that almost resulted in the equalising goal, as the ball deflected off Shane Duffy and wrong footed Matthew Ryan, but the Australian keeper was able to recover and catch the goal-bound shot.

With Swansea now fighting for an equalising goal, Carvalhal made the interesting decision to make a tactical substitution just 36 minutes in when the Swans manager opted to bring on Andre Ayew for Nathan Dyer, and changing the formation from a 5-4-1 to a more attacking 5-3-2 structure.

Duffy came close to doubling Brighton’s lead two minutes before the break as the Irish defender’s header from a Seagulls corner fell looped onto the frame of the bar. And straight from the resulting goal kick, Swansea went agonisingly close to levelling the game with the final chance of the half as Jordan Ayew’s strike from distance smashed the near post, and Martin Olsson’s follow-up flew inches wide of the same post.

More Carvalhal tactics

The second half began with Carvalhal yet again making a tactical change. This time the Portuguese manager decided to bring off Van der Hoorn for attacker Luciano Narsingh, as well as changing the formation yet again to a 4-4-2.

The formation proved to be effective, as Swansea found it easier to keep possession of the ball as well actually create some danger going forward. Ryan was yet again forced into a quick save when roaming midfielder Ki Sung-yueng fired a shot from distance, but Brighton’s number one was able to parry the ball out for a corner.

Murray thought he had doubled his tally on the day when the veteran strike bundled in the ball from close range after meeting a Knockaert cross, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside, ruling out the goal.

Soaring Seagulls

The second goal was coming and it eventually came to the player who had been the most active in the attacking third, Murray.

A quick Brighton counter resulted in Gross playing in Izquierdo inside the penalty area, and the Colombian winger’s burst of pace allowed him to have the time to pick out Murray in the centre of the area, and the veteran striker bagged his brace with a calm finish past Fabianski to make it 2-0 to the Seagulls on the 69 minute mark.

Three minutes later, Brighton had a third goal. A lapse of concentration at the back allowed Gross to burst through into a wide open area of space and play a devastating threaded pass to Knockaert. The French attacker dashed towards goal and expertly finished the ball past Swansea’s Polish keeper with a outside of the boot finish, to make it 3-0.

Abraham pulls one back

It wasn’t a perfect game for the Seagulls, as five minutes from time the sturdy Brighton defence was broken after a moment of magic from Swansea striker Abraham.

The attacker, on loan from Chelsea, burst through the centre of the pitch, shrugging off multiple Brighton players in his path, and the England U21 striker’s effort from the edge of the area nestled perfectly into the net at the far post.

A debut goal for Locadia

Swansea’s two-goal deficit wasn’t to last for long, though, as club-record sign Locadia made it 4-1 to the hosts after the former PSV striker turned in Dale Stephens’ miss hit shot, to seal the game for the hosts.

Brighton move up to 12th in the Premier League table following this win.

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