Brighton 2-2 Stoke: Jose Izquierdo earns Seagulls draw
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 21/11/17 10:07am
Stoke were denied back-to-back away Premier League wins for the first time since October 2015, after Jose Izquierdo's second-half strike earned Brighton a 2-2 draw at the Amex Stadium.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting gave Stoke the lead (28) with a fine finish after receiving Xherdan Shaqiri's measured pass but after Brighton were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty, the hosts equalised through Pascal Gross (44).
Chris Hughton's side were punished just over a minute later as Bruno could only deflect Darren Fletcher's corner into the path of Kurt Zouma to head home from three yards out, but Izquierdo rescued a point when he crashed in the Seagulls second equaliser (60).
Brighton: Ryan 6, Bruno 6, Bong 6, Dunk 6, Duffy 6, Stephens 7, Knockaert 6, Gross 7, Propper 7, Murray 6, Izquierdo 7.
Subs: March (6), Brown (6), Schelotto (n/a)
Away Team: Grant 6, Pieters 6, Wimmer 7, Zouma 7, Shawcross 7, Allen 7, Diouf 6, Shaqiri 7, Fletcher 7, Sobhi 6, Choupo-Moting 7.
Subs: Crouch (6)
Man of the match: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
The result means Brighton remain in ninth position while Stoke stay in 15th position having missed out on the chance to rise into the top half of the table.
Brighton, who had not lost at home since the opening day of the season against Manchester City, came close to breaking the deadlock after just four minutes, but the in-form Glenn Murray produced failed to convert from Izquierdo's inviting cross.
Stoke responded as defender Ryan Shawcross lost Lewis Dunk at Darren Fletcher's corner, but his header was tipped over by Matt Ryan. Davy Propper then released Izquierdo, but the Colombian winger bent his right-footed shot a yard wide of the far post before Stoke stunned the Amex Stadium by taking the lead.
Brighton named the same team for the fourth successive Premier League game. Stoke made one change to the side that drew 2-2 with Leicester in their last outing as Lee Grant came in for the injured Jack Butland. Darren Fletcher became the Scotsman with the most Premier League appearances (326), overtaking Gary McAllister.
Choupo-Moting, starting up front despite not scoring in his last seven games, caught Dunk ball-watching as he expertly took down Shaqiri's lofted pass and stroked the ball low to the left of Ryan.
Brighton fans felt aggrieved seven minutes before the interval after Murray went down in the box under a challenge from Shawcross. The centre-back failed to make contact with the ball, but referee Lee Mason indicated a corner before awarding a goal-kick having spoken to his assistant.
Murray was booked soon after the incident for a late challenge on Kevin Wimmer, but the hosts fought their way back into the game before the interval.
Propper dribbled past four Stoke players before crossing for Gross to slam the ball between the legs of Grant for his third goal of the campaign, but the Seagulls were level for only a minute.
Zouma ensured Stoke went into the break ahead as Fletcher's dangerous corner was flicked in his direction by Choupo-Moting off the back of Bruno for the defender on loan from Chelsea to head the ball home from three yards.
Stoke nearly extended their lead four minutes into the second period after a mistake from Propper allowed Ramadan Sobhi to play a one-two with Joe Allen before having his shot saved by Ryan, and the visitors would rue the missed opportunity as Brighton levelled on the hour-mark.
Izquierdo was due to be replaced by Solly March, but the £13.5million club-record signing timed his biggest contribution to perfection, receiving Murray's disguised pass before scoring at the second attempt after Kevin Wimmer blocked his initial cross.
Shaqiri flashed a fierce left-footed shot a yard wide of Ryan's far post, but neither side over-committed in the final third of the match with both managers happy to settle for a point as Brighton extended their unbeaten run to five games.
Chris Hughton: "I was fairly close (to taking off Izquierdo). Sometimes that happens, hence we left him on for another 10 minutes after. We've shown great character to come back from that, but we weren't at our best tonight.
"I didn't think we probed enough and were a little sloppy at times with our passing. What we have to be is realistic, we're now playing in a different division against better teams with better players. The supporters saw a lot of exciting football tonight."
Mark Hughes: "It's an away point in the Premier League, so you've got to be happy with that. I don't think they created too much of note, but we're disappointed with the goals we conceded.
"We missed a couple of tackles on the edge of the box for the first goal, but as an away performance we have to be happy with that. We're more resilient away from home, that's two away games in recent weeks where we've not been beaten so that augers well for us."
- Brighton ended a run of eight straight defeats against Stoke in all competitions, getting their first result against them since a 1-0 win in September 2001 in the third tier.
- Peter Crouch's substitute appearance was his 143rd in the Premier League - more than any other player in the competition.
- Pascal Gross has been directly involved in 62 per cent of Brighton's 13 Premier League goals this season (three goals, five assists), the second highest ratio in the division after Tammy Abraham at Swansea (71 per cent).
- Xherdan Shaqiri has been involved in more Premier League goals in 11 games this season (2 goals, 5 assists) than he was in 21 appearances in the competition last season (4 goals, 2 assists).
- Kurt Zouma's goal was Stoke's sixth from a corner situation this season - more than any other Premier League side.
- Darren Fletcher made his 326th appearance in the Premier League - more than any other Scottish player in the competition.
- Fletcher was also playing in his 103rd consecutive match in the competition - the outright 5th longest such run for an outfield player.
Man of the match - Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
The Cameroonian forward was preferred to Peter Crouch up front and he provided the one moment of class in the game as he took down Shaqiri's long ball before sitting Ryan with a composed finish into the bottom corner.
With his third strike of the season, Choupo-Moting has now scored as many goals for Stoke as he achieved in 30 appearances for Schalke last season.
The 28-year-old, who signed on a free transfer, has enjoyed a fine start to life in the Potteries with his header back across goal assisting Kurt Zouma for Stoke's second before the break. He has now been involved in seven of Stoke's 14 goals so far this season (three goals, four assists).
Brighton will look to continue their unbeaten run with a tough trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday while Stoke travel to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on the same day.