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Nick Szczepanik's press verdict: Southampton

Albion may have suffered a first defeat of the season, but the media were still impressed by the display of Graham Potter’s men in Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat.

By Nick Szczepanik • 25 August 2019

By Patrick Sullivan
The press verdict for Albion v Southampton

Former Argus man Ben Findon wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “It was somewhat tough on Brighton, whose unbeaten start to the season was cut short despite another largely encouraging performance under new manager Graham Potter, whose next Premier League examination is at Manchester City next Saturday.

“There can be no doubting the invigorating effect Potter has had on his Sussex side. They had a spring in their step from the opening moments, unsettling the visitors from along the coast with a high work rate and some fluent, adventurous passing.

“Brighton were full of bright ideas. A three-man corner-kick routine almost unhinged a baffled Southampton defence, then came an artful break down the left by Leandro Trossard, delivered an outswinging cross for Martin Montoya, who had delayed his run, to head narrowly wide.

“Potter wants his side to pass the ball out from the back but there was a warning when goalkeeper Mathew Ryan was almost caught in possession and Shane Duffy, the Brighton defender, was forced to intervene with a desperate crowd-bound clearance.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Davy Propper

The Observer website noted that “The new Brighton manager had begun his tenure in impressive fashion with four points from a possible six but had predicted this would be his team’s toughest fixture to date.

“They had the better of the limited early chances, with Neal Maupay and Martín Montoya each going close with headers. But their task became more difficult after half an hour when the Romanian forward Andone raked his studs down the leg of Valery. The referee, Kevin Friend, had no hesitation in pulling out the red card.

“Seven minutes before the break VAR disallowed a Brighton ‘goal’ for the second successive week. The captain Dunk powered home a header following a corner from the right but the celebrations were cut short by a review which ruled that his fellow defender Dan Burn was in an offside position as he challenged the Southampton goalkeeper, Angus Gunn.

“Most of those in the stadium, who last week saw Leandro Trossard denied a goal against West Ham in similar circumstances, were left baffled by the decision, with a tweet from the Premier League finally clearing up the confusion.”

Shane Duffy in action against Southampton

According to The Mail on Sunday, “Southampton are not as poor as results on the first two weekends of the season suggested, and Brighton may not be quite as good.

“But Brighton must think that VAR was devised specifically to target them after they had a second goal in eight days ruled out by the system. They were already up against it after Florin Andone had been sent off on the half-hour for a high challenge on Yan Valery when Lewis Dunk’s 39th-minute header was – correctly - disallowed.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Solly March

Paul Rowan took up the story in the Sunday Times. “However, Brighton did not let their heads drop. They started the second half with a flurry, with March again a threat down the left, forcing Gunn into a low save.

“On 53 minutes, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl decided to press home Southampton’s numerical advantage and signalled Valery to come on over. The defender was replaced by Djenepo, who hails from Mali and was signed for £14m from Belgian club Standard Liege in the summer. Djenepo has yet to make his full Southampton debut but within a minute he had made himself a hero.

“The home crowd were frustrated but could not fault their 10-man team for effort. It looked like Potter’s side had the chance they were waiting for in the 87th minute when substitute Glenn Murray rose highest in the area and the ball fell nicely for another replacement, but Jurgen Locadia could only strike an upright.”

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