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Albion Analytics Debrief: Brentford

A closer look at our third Premier League win of the campaign.

By Liam Tharme • 14 September 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Leandro Trossard's strike against Brentford ensured Albion secured all three points.

Albion continued their impressive start to the season with victory on the road at Brentford, the first win in ten trips to London since December 2019 (2-1 win at Arsenal). Three points in the capital on Saturday means that, in 2021, Albion have now won more Premier League games (10) than they have lost (9), doubling the wins tally from 2020 (5) despite having played eight fewer games.

Such a win was made more impressive by Brentford's fast (and unbeaten) start to Premier League life. Brighton limited the not-so-busy Bees to their lowest shots (7), shots on target (1) and xG (0.7) totals in a Premier League game so far this season, with Brentford’s efforts being shot from an average of 20.7 yards from goal, their furthest distance in any of their opening four fixtures. From a shooting perspective, Albion are still outshooting opponents, and the Seagulls' shot frequencies, shot accuracy and conversion rates are all above the league average so far this season.

Leandro Trossard's late strike means Brighton are still yet to draw this Premier League season (3 wins, 1 defeat), which is certainly welcome change for a side who drew a league-high 14 games last season. Using the 2020/21 campaign as a yardstick, it took the Seagulls exactly half the season (19 games) to register their third win, and they have reached that milestone 15 games earlier this campaign. The Belgian’s strike was his 11th in the Premier League, and the majority of those (6 of 11) have been match winners.

As well as being a chart topper in Saturday's win, Trossard tops the Brighton tables this season for shots (9), progressive passes received (26), touches in the opposition box (21) and progressive dribbles (29). He sits second for shot-creating actions (10) and pressures in the final third (25), evidence as to his importance within the side currently.

Again the goal came after involvement from substitutes, with Jakub Moder and Alexis Mac Allister combining to work the ball into Trossard. In total, the three substitute involvements that Brighton have had in goals thus far this season is unmatched in the Premier League.

Marc Cucurella stood out in the capital, having a relatively assured debut. He was Brighton's best progressor of the ball, when combining progressive passes and dribbles (11 – three better than second place), also leading the way for crosses attempted (3) and opposition passes blocked (4), while recording two shot-creating actions. Trossard was the only Albion player to better him in the latter metric.

Yves Bissouma can raise the bat for a ton of Albion appearances, 90 of which have come in the Premier League. The Malian maestro celebrated this milestone in the only way he knows: bossing the midfield. Against Brentford, Bissouma had the most touches (73) of any Brighton player, received the most passes (51), recorded the most progressive dribbles (6), whilst ranking second for ball recoveries (14) and third for tackles + interceptions (4).