Brighton came from 1-0 down to score twice within 90 seconds, and take away all 3 points from West London, to reclaim top spot in the Championship. It was by no means an easy task, and were 2nd best for much of the game, but held strong and claimed a valuable win.
Albion could of been 1-0 down early on in the game after Bruno was judged to of handled the ball inside the box, to which ref Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot and gave Fulham the chance to take the lead; Stefan Johansen stepped up, but his loose penalty was easily saved by David Stockdale before Lewis Dunk cleared the ball away. Matt Smith had a glorious chance, but he couldn’t get the slight touch needed to score, after a teasing ball in from Sone Aluko, which left both central defender and goalkeeper stranded. Not much for either team in the first half, but the second half came to life early on, as Fulham did manage to take the lead after Lucas Piazon’s curling effort found its way into the bottom corner, with Stockdale unsighted. Anthony Knockaert had a great chance, after Glenn Murray had knocked the ball down into his path, but the Frenchman blazed his shot over. Knockaert had another chance, but his effort this time was well saved by David Button as he pushed it over the bar. Brighton then got themselves a penalty after Tomer Hemed was fouled in the box; the Israeli stepped up to take it, and placed the ball past Button who fell on his arse trying to judge which way the penalty was going. Seconds late Brighton took the lead after a driving run from Dunk, he slipped in Knockaert who’s shot cannoned off Button, only for the ball to fall kindly for Dunk who headed the ball into the empty net, and send the 6,000+ travelling fans wild. A late flurry of chances for the home team, but they couldn’t find a shot on target to test Stockdale, after a few half chances went begging. 2-1 the full time and after Newcastles surprise defeat away at Blackburn, Brighton sit top of the table by 2 points with a game in hand.
Stockdale (8); Great penalty save; couldn’t do much with the goal, and was a basic afternoon at times for him.
Bruno (6); Slightly harsh call for the penalty, but his afternoon didn’t get much better in truth.
Duffy (7); Had a real battle with Smith, but was relatively sound.
Dunk (8); Got the winning goal, and like Duffy was sturdy at the back.
Bong (6); Not the same player as last season, where he would turn heads with his performances, and this was another one of those where you didn’t realise he was on the pitch at times.
Knockaert (7); Bit quiet in the first half, but lit the game up when Fulham took the lead with his great talent.
Stephens (6); Both him and Norwood slightly over-run in midfield, but stood strong to quell the threat posed from them.
Norwood (6); Was more on defensive duty that attacking, but was still a good performance.
Skalak (6); Surprisingly re-called to the side, but didn’t make much of an impact.
Baldock (6); Had some chances here and there, but not much going for him on a tough afternoon.
Murray (6); Mostly used to get the long balls under control; wanted the penalty but shrugged off it by regular penalty taker Hemed.
Hemed (7); Clinical penalty to get Albion back level; a specialist in that department.
March (6); Brought on for Skalak, and made an impact with an chance early on but couldn’t convert.
Murphy (6); Brought on for Knockaert, just to help with the imminent bombardment of Fulham attacks coming Brighton’s way.
Fulham - Brighton; Piazon (55); Hemed (74pen), Dunk (75);
Att; 24,300 (6,400 Brighton – Estimated)