Brighton storms past sorry Southampton
Brighton dished out a Boxing Day beating to Southampton as the Seagulls won 3-1 to continue their fine season.
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Adam Lallana put Brighton ahead early on after a goalkeeping error from Gavin Bazunu, then an own goal from Romain Perraud rubbed further salt into the wounds.
A second half stunner from Solly March added another as Southampton’s new manager Nathan Jones had an awful first Premier League home game in charge. James Ward-Prowse did score a consolation as his penalty kick was saved but he headed home the rebound.
Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton move on to 24 points as their quest for European qualification continues, while Southampton remain in the relegation zone and have 12 points.
What we learned from Southampton vs Brighton
Huge job for Jones to keep Saints up: If we didn’t know it already, we learned that Southampton are in big trouble. A combination of poor defensive mistakes, slack finishing and just a general lack of confidence on the ball led to a heavy defeat at home to Brighton. The first home PL game of the Nathan Jones era went terribly for the new Saints boss and he needs to find an identity for this team. Southampton need a very fast start to the January transfer window and you would hope they’ve been doing lots of work behind-the-scenes over the last few months to recruit better players. Right now, that is the only way Saints are going to stay up this season. They need fresh talent. Fast. The current crop of players (many of whom are extremely young) have had too many chances and just aren’t good enough individually or as a group.
Brighton back to their best: They didn’t have Alexis Mac Allister (he’s still celebrating the World Cup win in Argentina) but they didn’t need him. Brighton looked back to their best as Mitoma, Gross, Trossard, Lallana and March were rampant and are such a slick unit. They haven’t missed a beat since De Zerbi replaced Potter.
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Stars of the show
Solly March: Brilliant strike from outside the box and gave Perraud so many problems on the right.
Moises Caicedo: Dominated midfield and just mops everything up so nicely.
Southampton head to Fulham on Saturday, Jan. 31, while Brighton host Arsenal on the same day.
How to watch Southampton vs Brighton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Monday (December 26)TV Channel: PeacockOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
It is wave after wave of Brighton attack now. They look like they could score five or six today.
Sam Edozie smashes over the bar! Great play by substitute Stuart Armstrong to set up Edozie. Brilliant block from Lewis Dunk to deny Edozie moments later. Much better from the home side. Joe Aribo and Stuart Armstrong making a difference after coming on at half time.
GOALLL! 2-0 to Brighton. Pervis Estupinan whips in a dangerous cross and the ball hits Romain Perraud and goes in. Saints all over the place. Brighton superb.
James Ward-Prowse whips a free kick just wide. The hosts trying their best to get back level.
GOOALL! Brighton take a 1-0 lead at Southampton. Bad mistake from Gavin Bazunu. Adam Lallana’s header somehow squirms through him and goes in. Brighton ahead.
Nathan Jones was hired from Luton because he is a motivator and he can get the best out of young players. He needs a fast start at Southampton and he needs a goalscorer to stand tall. Captain James Ward-Prowse has had a poor season so far (hence his omission from the England squad) needs to regain his best form if Saints are to drag themselves up the table. Che Adams, Adam Armstrong and Sekou Mara also need to start finishing chances. It will be intriguing to see how many changes Jones makes.
Brighton will push for European qualification and they’ve had some big wins already this season against Chelsea and Man United and they dumped Arsenal out of the League Cup too. This is a seriously talented squad which hasn’t really missed Graham Potter since he departed for Chelsea. De Zerbi knows now is the time for him to kick on as Seagulls boss and the last few months will have helped him to settle in. Brighton finally seem to have solved their issue of scoring goals and they are more clinical than in previous seasons.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Saints’ best player of the season so far has been Romeo Lavia and the 18-year-old is back after his injury and his driving runs from midfield should be a key factor in this game, and for the rest of the season for Saints. Mohammed Salisu had a fine World Cup with Ghana and Saints went away to Spain to work with their team over the break and they had pretty much everyone available to work with Nathan Jones.
Brighton have a host of players who were great before and during the World Cup. Mitoma was excellent before the break and for Japan in Qatar, while Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan both excelled for Ecuador at the World Cup. Leandro Trossard, Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck are all having fine campaigns too. However, Welbeck and Adam Webster will be missing for this trip to Southampton.
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Theo Walcott (calf), Juan Larios (adductor), Romeo Lavia (thigh)
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Alexis Mac Allister (late return from World Cup), Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Webster (undisclosed), Danny Welbeck (undisclosed)