It was Pascal Gross who scored the goal that ensured Albion’s Premier League safety last season, at home to Manchester United, and the German playmaker may just have done the same again with another header, against Newcastle.
Of course, we all face a nervous wait to find out, but many of the written press at the Amex on Saturday had the feeling that Cardiff City now have too much to do.
Mark Irwin of The Sun, for example. He wrote:
“Pascal Gross ended the longest drought in Brighton history to all but secure Premier League survival.
“The German midfielder lifted the roof off the Amex Stadium with a 75th minute header to rescue a priceless point in the battle to beat the drop.
“Now the only way Chris Hughton’s team can go down is if Cardiff win their final two games of the season and Brighton lose both of theirs.
“And while you wouldn’t bet on the Seagulls getting anything from a trip to Arsenal and a final day visit from title-chasing Manchester City, nor would you fancy Cardiff to take maximum points.
“Yet Brighton still find themselves in the slightly awkward position of relying on bitter rivals Crystal Palace getting something at the City of Cardiff Stadium next Saturday to help them over the finishing line.”
Sam Dean of the Sunday Telegraph agreed.
“It was not the win that Brighton were hoping for, but this draw certainly felt momentous on the south coast given the circumstances that Chris Hughton’s side had found themselves in for much of the game,” he wrote.
“Cardiff City’s defeat at Fulham earlier in the day meant that Brighton knew a win would all but secure their Premier League safety.
“Gross’s goal was their first in well over seven matches. That statistic tells its own story of Brighton’s frustrations in recent weeks, as did the celebrations of Hughton on the touchline when the German headed home deep in the second half.”
Rob Draper of the Mail on Sunday thought he had detected a masochistic streak in Chris Hughton’s men. And he had also spotted the uncharacteristically emotional celebrations in the home technical area.
“They seemed determined to take this to the wire, Brighton and Hove Albion,” he wrote.
“Where would the excitement be in that? What tension is there in comfortable survival?
“Offered the chance to pretty much secure survival with Cardiff's defeat at Craven Cottage, they declined to record their first Premier League win since early March, despite the fact they were taking on Newcastle, a team now safe, secure and you would imagine with less desperation about them.
“On 66 minutes, Anthony Knockaert came on for Jose Izquierdo, and the breakthrough came on 76 minutes, inevitably it was from that right wing which was proving so productive. It was Bruno, seemingly the oldest of campaigners, who swung in a teasing cross.
“Murray met it decisively heading it goal-wards and Gross made the darting run to connect and head it past Martin Dubravka for 1-1. Gross and Murray fell into each other's arms and cavorted as Chris Hugton leapt into the air on the touchline and seemingly considered a jig. It was a goal of such importance that inhibitions were unimportant.”
Dominic Fifield of The Observer felt that another substitution had turned things in Albion’s favour.
“Solly March’s introduction on the flank offered the hosts some much needed impetus. The winger, cutting infield, forced Federico Fernández into a smart block which actually seemed to shock the home side out of their creeping panic, and it was March’s delivery which was almost turned home by Pascal Gross moments later. In the context of this display, that flurry of half-chances constituted a prolonged period of pressure.
“It certainly roused the locals, with Albion looking more like themselves as they sensed Newcastle – shorn of the man who had scored their previous five league goals – were becalmed. They edged forward with greater purpose and, eventually, got their reward.”
And, just like Mark Irwin, John Aizlewood of the Sunday Times felt that that would be enough. “They didn’t make things easy for themselves, but Brighton & Hove Albion will surely survive now."
We shall see. On to Arsenal …