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HUGHTON PLEASED WITH SECOND-HALF REACTION

25 January 2015


Proud Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton was delighted with his side's second-half performance against Arsenal at the Amex this afternoon - and revealed he felt his side were denied a penalty with the score at 3-2.

Speaking after the game Hughton said, "I was delighted with the way we finished. I wasn't happy with our first-half performance.

"Even with an Arsenal team, as good as they are, we went into the game with no fear, but we were second best in most areas, certainly for that first half an hour.

"Too often in that first-half period we were too deep and not allowing ourselves to get out of trouble. We got a response [in the second half] and it is goals that change games.

"We had to put ourselves into a position where we could get into areas in which we could hurt them. I was really pleased with what we showed at the end.

"We stretched the game in the second half and we certainly made more of a game of it and made it close.

"You want your own crowd to go home having seen a Brighton team that has had a real go, and I think they saw that."

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Just after Sam Baldock had halved the deficit and pulled the score back to 3-2, Calum Chambers handled Adrian Colunga's cross.

Referee Michael Oliver waved away Albion's appeals, but Hughton felt he should have awarded a penalty, and given his side a chance to level the game.  

"I have looked at the handball and it is the type of penalty that I have seen given week in, week out.

"My first impression was that the lad [Chambers] was very close, but he had his arm out and most referees will see that - even though he is close - as a penalty, because of the fact that he has his arm out.

"That would have changed things around, especially with the momentum that we had and the crowd behind us as they were.

"We gave ourselves the best opportunity to get back in the game, but you can only reflect on what you see week in and week out, and on a lot of occasions we will absolutely see that given as a penalty."

One area for improvement for Hughton was Albion's first-half display, and the Seagulls boss felt his side started slowly, against a powerful Arsenal side.  

"In the first half they were quicker to the ball than us. They are a quality side and if you give them that time and space then they can hurt you.

"We were not physical enough when we needed to be, we did not press hard enough and when we had the ball, we gave it away too often.

We had to be better and I think it was a combination of Arsenal not being able to sustain that, and us improving vastly in that second half."

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