Brighton comes back thrice in head-spinning thriller with Brentford
David Raya and Brentford frustrated forward-firing but defensively-leaky Brighton in a head-spinning 3-3 draw at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
The Bees were out-shot 33-7 but led 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 through Pontus Jansson, Ivan Toney, and Ethan Pinnock.
But Kaoru Mitoma, Danny Welbeck, and Alexis Mac Allister all scored equalizers -- Mac Allister’s coming from the spot in the 90th minute after a VAR review -- and Brighton got its point, too.
Brentford’s been the total package and good at finding results, losing just five Premier League matches this season, but their unwillingness to hold onto leads Saturday means their 43 points are six off fourth place having played the same amount of matches as Spurs.
Brighton’s 43 points give it sixth place and the Seagulls have two matches-in-hand on Spurs plus a goal differential advantage of six on their Saturday foes.
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De Zerbi’s Seagulls shining but lacking top-four cutting edge
Credit Brighton for so many things: Its ability to recruit replacements for big name players and coaches, its stylish football, its three (3?!?) equalizers on Saturday.
And credit them and Brentford for giving us a wonderful feast of attacking football on Saturday. It was awesome. Let’s do it again next year, yeah?
But given Liverpool and Chelsea’s relative season failures, the Seagulls are going to waste one of their best chances -- if not their best ever chance -- to qualify for the UEFA Champions League because of draws like this (and March 11 at Leeds... and Feb. 11 at Palace... and Jan. 21 at Leicester).
Yes those are good points for a team of Brighton’s reputation and expectations, but the reason they’re on the outskirts of the top four battle and not in the catbird seat is the missed opportunities to get three points from teams of, around, and behind their reputation.
Brentford is a very good team and the same criticism can be lobbed at the Bees given recent results with Leicester, Everton, and Palace, but there’s a rub: Thomas Frank’s men will have ultimately understood a point from the Amex as a positive even with three blown leads, especially given the gulf in shot attempts. Brighton needed all three of these points.
Brighton vs Brentford player ratings: Stars of the Show
Alexis Mac Allister
Brighton has two away matches In five days, traveling to Bournemouth on Tuesday before a Saturday trip to Tottenham.
Brentford will likely determine its top-four hopes this week with a Wednesday trip to Manchester United before hosting Newcastle on Saturday.
Pontus Jansson goal video: Veteran defender thumps header home
Kaoru Mitoma goal video: Brighton’s first equalizer is sweet
Ivan Toney goal video: Quickest of quickfire replies as Mbeumo flicks assist
Danny Welbeck goal video: Brighton back level!
Ethan Pinnock goal video: Third lead for the Bees
Alexis Mac Allister goal video: Third leveler comes from spot
How to watch Brighton vs Brentford live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10apm ET, SaturdayTV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton is driven by Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo, a midfield pairing envied by most teams of their ilk.
And Brentford has had lovely contributions from Mathias Jensen and complete center forward play from Ivan Toney.
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Adam Lallana (thigh), Jakub Moder (knee), Tariq Lamptey (knee)
Brentford team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Keane Lewis-Potter (knee), Shandon Baptiste (suspended), Vitaly Janelt (knee), Kristoffer Ajer (calf).