- Albion end pre-season with a narrow defeat
- Mathew Ryan, Pascal Gross, Markus Suttner and Izzy Brown make their home debuts
- Nicolas Gaitan, Fernando Torres and Lucas Hernandez on target for Atletico
- Steve Sidwell and Pascal Gross score for the Seagulls
Brighton & Hove Albion ended their pre-season campaign with a close-fought 3-2 defeat against Atletico de Madrid at the Amex.
Strikes from Pascal Gross and Steve Sidwell ensured Albion twice recovered from a goal down, but a late strike from Lucas Hernandez handed the visitors the victory.
Atletico had their first chance inside the opening ten minutes when Beram Kayal was penalised for a late challenge, but Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick was straight at goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.
The visitors then had a two chances in quick succession through Yannick Carrasco and Griezmann, but were denied by Ryan’s save and Shane Duffy’s block respectively.
Carrasco showed some brilliant footwork on the edge of the box to create another opening, but was denied thanks to Ryan’s brilliant outstretched save.
Albion had their first clear-cut chance of the game when Duffy rose highest in the box to meet Gross’s set-piece, but his header went over the bar by the aid of a deflection.
Atletico maintained a threat going forward, and Ryan was forced into another superb save at his near post before denying Griezmann on the follow up.
Joe Maria Gimenez was next to test the Seagulls' defence, but his shot from inside the box went high over the crossbar.
Carrasco was a constant threat throughout the half and after driving down the right flank, he forced Ryan into another smart reaction save.
The visitors made their breakthrough in the 43rd minute thanks to Gaitan, whose tame shot from distance agonisingly slipped through Ryan’s grasp.
Chris Hughton made a triple change at the break with Gaetan Bong, Sidwell and Solly March replacing Markus Suttner, Kayal and Jamie Murphy.
March had an instant impact as he cut inside from the right, worked his way into a central position but saw his shot go narrowly over the target.
Gross also had joy down the right and his searching cross narrowly failed to pick out the onrushing Tomer Hemed at the far post.
Albion equalised from a set piece, after Jose Maria Gimenez was penalised for a challenge on Hemed just outside the box. Gross stepped up and his free-kick took deflection off Gaitan before beating Atletico keeper Jan Oblak at his near post.
Sidwell was next to test Oblak, this time from distance, but a deflection took the sting out of the shot and the Slovenian claimed the ball.
The visitors reclaimed the lead with 68 minutes on the clock through Fernando Torres, who headed the ball in at the far post from Juanfran’s in-swinging right-wing cross.
The Seagulls hit back again, as some brilliant wing play by March resulted in a pin-point cross for Sidwell, whose header beat Oblak to make it 2-2.
Albion could have scored a third when the ball fell to Gross on the edge of the area, but his shot just whistled past the left-hand post.
Atletico won the game late on though, as Ryan parried Griezmann’s effort into the path of Hernandez, who fired home with one minute of normal time remaining.