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Match Reports

REPORT: WATFORD 0 ALBION 0

26 August 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Pascal Gross in action at Vicarage Road today.
  • Miguel Britos sent off for a late challenge on Anthony Knockaert in the first half
  • Anthony Knockaert and Tomer Hemed both hit the post
  • Jose Izquierdo comes on to make his Albion debut
  • Albion next face West Bromwich Albion after the international break

Brighton & Hove Albion’s wait for a first Premier League win continues, but they can take plenty of positives from a goalless draw against Watford at Vicarage Road.

It was a match where Albion showed plenty of attacking endeavour, but lacked that final cutting edge against a ten-man Watford side that had Miguel Britos sent off in the first half.

Chris Hughton made two changes to the starting line-up that lost to Leicester City on Saturday, as Anthony Knockaert and Tomer Hemed replaced Jamie Murphy and Glenn Murray.

There was also a place on the bench for new club record signing Jose Izquierdo, who came on to make his Albion debut.

Watford had an early chance to break the deadlock when Nathaniel Chalobah’s bullet header was cleared off the line by Lewis Dunk.

Down at the other end, Knockaert came agonisingly close to opening the scoring for Albion, but his close-range strike cannoned back off the post.

The Hornets were reduced to ten men midway through the half after Britos was shown a straight red card for a dangerous two-footed challenge on Knockaert.

Marco Silva responded by bringing on Craig Cathcart for Nordin Amrabat to shore up his defence.

Hughton’s men continued their bright start to the game and carved out multiple opportunities. Lewis Dunk was next to come close when his header flashed wide from Pascal Gross’s cross.

Solly March then teed up Hemed inside the box, and the Israeli’s stretched effort came off the post.

Brighton were getting joy down both flanks, with the March-Hemed combination almost reaping dividends again, but the Israeli could not get on the end of the winger's cross.

Albion pressed forward once again to try and take the lead before the break, but Hornets keeper Heurelho Gomes punched away Knockaert’s delivery.

Brighton looked to continue their ascendancy after the break, as Markus Suttner’s first-time ball caused all sorts of problems in the Watford defence, but Kiko Fermenia got to the ball first ahead of Gross.

Hemed again threatened to draw first blood in the match, but his first-time effort went inches wide of the right post.

Another moment of controversy came shortly before the hour mark when Graham Scott gave an indirect free-kick for a high boot on Knockaert, despite contact having been made. Dunk’s subsequent set piece was blocked.

Albion’s dominance continued, and March picked out Knockaert inside the box, but the Frenchman couldn’t beat Gomes with his header back across goal.

Knockaert was the key protagonist again, but his low strike towards the bottom corner was pushed away by the Brazilian shot-stopper.

Hughton then freshened up his options on the wings with the introduction of Izquierdo, who replaced Knockaert.

The Colombian almost made it a debut to remember with a speculative shot that went just wide, but the points were shared in Hertfordshire.


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