Chris Hughton demanded a response from his team after Saturday’s dreadful result, and he got exactly what he asked for; with a 4-0 thumping of Bristol City. Saturday’s result is week and truly behind them now after a Israeli inspired win. Tomer Hemed and Beram Kayal were the main 2 players which sunk the City ship, in where they had won their last 3 games, and had kept 4 clean sheets in their previous 6 games. But they came up against a Albion side, hell-bent on getting revenge.
Brighton took an early lead thanks to a defensive error from the Robins; after a heavy chest down from young full-back Zak Vyner, Jamie Murphy nipped in to steal the ball away, and after a clever one-two with Hemed he was set away 1-on-1 with keeper Richard O’Donnell, and slid the ball past the keeper into the far corner, to give the Seagulls an 8th minute lead. Lee Tomlin tested David Stockdale moments later from a curling free-kick, but the Albion stopper tipped the ball over the bar. Brighton doubled their lead through Sam Baldock; Liam Rosenior played a quick ball into Hemed, before he flick the ball Ito the path of Baldock who carried the ball onto the edge of the box before striking the ball into the corner of the net, past the disparing O’Donnell. Tomlin had City’s first chance of the second half, when he had a strike from just under 25 yards go marginally over the cross bar. City were made to pay again, when a delightful through ball from Kayal split the Robin’s defence, which allowed Hemed to run onto the ball before slotting the ball home to make it 3-0. Stockdale was called into action; a well-struck volley from Johnathan Kodija was brilliantly saved after the Frenchman had be played in by Marlon Pack’s header. Pack had a volley of his own well saved by Stockdale moments later, after he turned with no pressure, he struck the ball towards goal with some dip, but it was beaten away by Stockdale. It went from bad to worse for City, when substitute Mark Little scored an own goal, after a deep free-kick from Anthony Knockaert; I have never seen fans disperse from a ground as quickly as City’s fans did after the 4th goal. Bristol’s night was summed up in the 92nd minute, when Kieran Agard missed the penalty he had won, off a foul from Kayal. The game ended much to the delight of the travelling fans, while City manager Lee Johnson suffered his first defeat in charge of the Robins.
Stockdale (7); Not much to be done, but his 3 superb saves as mention above, stopped City from gaining some hope.
Bruno (7); Solid as usual, supported Knockaert well, and was quick to snap out dangerous chances from City.
Goldson (7); Great performance for the young centre-back, was given a hard task marking the dangerous Tomlin, but did well.
Dunk (8); High praise needs to be given for him, after a shocking display on Saturday, he dusted himself off and produced a spectacular defensive display; Kodija just couldn’t shrug him off.
Rosenior (7); First start since November, and looked composed and full of energy throughout the game; supported Murphy well and produced a couple of chances.
Knockaert (7); A little off the boil of late, but showed glimpses of what he can do with his high-powered work rate, and his eagerness to make chances.
Kayal (8); A quite wonderful performance in the middle of the park; a fantastic assist for countryman Hemed and his passing was crisp and precise.
Stephens (7); Looked shaky to start with, but as the game grew he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in.
Murphy (8); Well-taken goal, but his general all-round play was superb.
Baldock (8); Scorer against his former club, and it was a well-taken goal but some say O’Donnell should have gotten there. Good work rate as per usual.
Hemed (9); Outstanding match from the Israeli; 2 fantastic assists and a goal topped off a great night for him. If he can continue the form, there is no reason he could be the one to catapult Brighton to the automatics
Calderon (7); On for the injured Bruno at half-time; basically took over where Bruno left off, supported Knockaert well, and contained Tomlin well when he moved to the left wing.
Wilson (6); On for Baldock; didn’t do too much but had a presence in the box which lead to the own goal.
Sidwell (N/A); On for Hemed; Not on for too long, just to see the game out.
Bristol City - Brighton; Murphy (8), Baldock (22), Hemed (56), Little (75og)
Att; 15,256 (907 Brighton)