- Ayoze Perez opens the scoring for Newcastle
- Pascal Gross heads important equaliser for Albion
- Albion move four points clear of Cardiff City
- The Seagulls are next in action away at Arsenal
Brighton & Hove Albion secured another point in their battle for Premier League survival after a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium.
A second-half header from Pascal Gross cancelled out Ayoze Perez’s opener to move Albion four points clear of the bottom three with two games left, after Cardiff City were beaten 1-0 at Fulham earlier in the day.
Chris Hughton made four changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, as Bruno, Beram Kayal, Jose Izquierdo and Glenn Murray all came into the starting line-up.
There was little that seperated the sides in the opening quarter of an hour, but Newcastle struck first with 18 minutes played through Perez, after Salomon Rondon chested the ball down to the former, who fired past Maty Ryan from close range.
Chances were otherwise few and far between in a very cagey opening half hour, as Albion struggled to make inroads into the Newcastle defence.
The visitors were dealt a blow after being forced into an early change, when goalscorer Perez was replaced by Kenedy.
Maty Ryan was called into action to keep the deficit at just one moments later, when Fabian Schar was allowed to work his way into the box, but the shot-stopper managed to claim the ball.
Hughton freshened up his forward options by bringing on Solly March in place of Florin Andone, but it was Murray that had Albion’s first chance after the re-start. Gross floated in a free kick towards the Seagulls frontman, whose glancing header went wide.
Albion were then forced into making a change of their own, as Kayal came off after receiving treatment and Yves Bissouma entered to partner Dale Stephens in midfield.
March looked to work his way into a shooting position after cutting in off the right flank, but the winger saw his shot blocked. Then, from the resulting corner, Shane Duffy rose highest in the box to meet Gross’s delivery and saw his header go just wide.
March cut in off the right again to find Gross inside the box, and the German’s back-heeled cut-back just missed Murray at the far post.
But Albion were rewarded for their improved display after the break as Bruno’s cross was headed down by Murray into the path of Gross, and the German headed past Martin Dubravka to level the scores.
There were still nervy moments for the Seagulls, after Javier Manquillo flashed a delivery across the face of goal with Ryan at full stretch.
Murray had a golden opportunity to get the winner late on after meeting Knockaert’s inswinging cross, but his header from deep inside the box went over the bar and the points were shared.
ALBION: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Gross, Stephens, Kayal (Bissouma 49); Izquierdo (Knockaert 66), Murray, Andone (March 46).
SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Bong, Burn, Locadia.
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