Brighton 1-1 Southampton: Glenn Murray earns point for hosts in south-coast clash
Last Updated: 29/10/17 8:47pm
Glenn Murray was on target again as Brighton came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Southampton in Sunday's south-coast affair at the Amex.
Steven Davis had nodded the visitors in front after just seven minutes but Murray - who scored his first goals of the season in last week's win over West Ham - restored parity with a header of his own in the 52nd minute.
A tight contest failed to yield a winner but both sides remain in the comfort of mid-table after a point that felt fair in their first top-flight meeting since 1983.
Southampton had scored just eight goals all season, but they asserted authority from the off and were ahead when James Ward-Prowse - recalled to the starting XI - struck the corner of the goalframe with a free-kick and Davis reacted quickest, stooping to head past Mathew Ryan.
Brighton: Ryan (6), Bruno (6), Duffy (7), Dunk (7), Bong (6), Knockaert (7), Stephens (6), Propper (6), Izquierdo (7), Gross (8), Murray (7).
Subs: March (N/A), Brown (N/A).
Southampton: Forster (6), Cedric (6), van Dijk (7), Hoedt (6), Bertrand (7), Romeu (6), Davis (7) , Tadic (6), Ward-Prowse (7), Boufal (6), Gabbiadini (6).
Subs used: Long (N/A), Redmond (6), Hojbjerg (N/A).
Man of the match: Pascal Gross
Brighton eased their way into the contest, buoyed by Saints' deep defending, but Davy Propper's header from an Anthony Knockaert delivery was tame (19) and a slick move down the right in the end evaded Murray.
The visitors retained goal threat, Dusan Tadic crafting a yard before firing just wide (35) but Chris Hughton's side finished the half strongly, Knockaert almost converting a fizzing Jose Izequierdo ball and then dinking to the far post where Shane Duffy could only head over.
Brighton were unchanged from the side that beat West Ham, while Southampton made three changes. Mario Lemina missed out through injury, while Shane Long and Maya Yoshida dropped to the bench, with Wesley Hoedt, James Ward-Prowse and Sofiane Boufal recalled to the starting XI.
Southampton started the second half as briskly as they had done the first, but Brighton were level when Pascal Gross delivered a looping cross that Murray rose to meet, Fraser Forster slow to react as he was beaten at his near post.
Murray and Wesley Hoedt were booked for a tussle, the game freshly competitive, but chances came and went at both ends as Manolo Gabbiadini swivelled to shoot from a tight angle and Duffy sliced a Knockaert lay-off just wide.
Izequierdo had lashed a lively ball at Knockaert before the break and another fierce drive caught Virgil van Dijk by surprise, the Saints defender wincing as he stopped the threat with his stomach.
Mauricio Pellegrino threw on Nathan Redmond in search of spark but both sides ran out of ideas, as the clock ticked down, and were both seemingly satisfied enough with their efforts.
- Southampton have won just four of their last 18 Premier League matches (W4 D7 L7).
- Glenn Murray has scored as many Premier League goals in his last two appearances (3) as he did in his previous 28 PL apps combined (3).
- Five of Murray's last eight Premier League goals have come from headers and half of his PL goals overall have been from a header (7/14).
- This is the second time this season that Steven Davis has scored from the first shot on target in a Premier League game - he also did this versus Crystal Palace in September. Harry Kane is the only other player to have done this on two occasions this season.
Man of the match - Pascal Gross
Murray might have had the decisive touch but Gross was the familiar creator, teeing up chances for Propper and Knockaert before standing up an inviting ball that the veteran striker made count. Gross has been involved in seven of Brighton's 10 Premier League goals this season (two goals, five assists); only Manchester City pair David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne (6) have more top-flight assists this term.
Chris Hughton: "The overriding feeling is that when you're down 1-0 so early in the game, you've got to get back into it and I thought we showed great resilience to get through that difficult period and came on to a really good game.
"I think a draw in the end was probably a fair result. It would've been an injustice if we'd lost the game and we deserved to get back into it. We showed a great response to going 1-0 down."
Mauricio Pellegrino: "It was a really tight game. It was high tempo, up and down all the time. We never could control the ball totally and create more action because both teams were really compact and there were not too many spaces to think about. My players competed well, although we couldn't win."
Alan Pardew: "Glenn's a super lad - we let him go (at Crystal Palace) because he wanted to play first-team football - but he always wants to score goals. When that cross went in, I sensed he'd score. He loves those sorts of crosses. Fraser Forster's a bit leaden-footed there - he should be across another yard and be livelier on his toes. He's been caught out but it's still a great header."
Brighton head to Swansea in the Premier League next Saturday, while Southampton host Burnley in a 3pm kick-off.