Stoke 1-1 Brighton: Matt Ryan's late penalty save hands visitors a point
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 10/02/18 7:34pm
Matt Ryan saved a last-minute penalty to help earn Brighton & Hove Albion a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Jose Izquierdo made the breakthrough just past the half-hour mark after one of the strikes of the season - his second in a week - and now been directly involved in four of Brighton's last seven league goals.
Xherdan Shaqiri brought Stoke level with a curling effort midway through the second half, the hosts' first effort on goal in the match, before Charlie Adam saw his late spot kick kept out by Ryan.
As a result, Stoke stay in the drop zone - albeit on goal difference - while Brighton remain three points from safety.
Stoke: Butland (6), Bauer (6), Zouma (6), Shawcross (6), Pieters (6), Allen (6), Fletcher (6), Ndiaye (8), Shaqiri (7), Choupo-Moting (6), Diouf (6)
Subs: Adam (7), Berahino (5), Jese (7)
Brighton: Ryan (8), Bong (6), Dunk (8), Duffy (8), Schelotto (6), Stephens (8), Propper (8), Gross (7), March (6), Izquierdo (9), Murray (8)
Subs: Kayal (6), Knockaert (7), Ulloa (6)
Man of the match: Jose Izquierdo
Izquierdo almost gave the visitors the perfect start after just two minutes, only for Jack Butland to deny the winger by turning his curling effort over the bar with a brilliant stop.
However, the Colombia international was not to be denied and opened the scoring for Brighton after 32 minutes following a wonderful team goal.
Izquierdo picked up possession on the left flank before exchanging passes with Solly March and driving forward. The wide man then played another neat one-two with Dale Stephens, before cutting inside and placing the ball past Butland.
Stoke boss Paul Lambert brought on forwards Saido Berahino and Jese Rodriguez in the second half in a bid to bring more invention to his team's attack, and the move paid dividends for the Scot.
Darren Fletcher returned in midfield for Stoke, as did Mame Biram Diouf in attack and Jese was also back on the subs' bench for the first time this year.
Meanwhile, Solly March replaced Anthony Knockaert in midfield for Brighton, but club-record signing Jurgen Locadia had to settle for a place on the bench.
The hosts equalised after 68 minutes when Brighton backed off Shaqiri on the edge of the area as the Swiss placed a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal, the first time he has scored in back-to-back league contests.
In the final minute, though, Stoke had a great chance to claim all three points after referee Robert Madley decided Dale Stephens had pulled back Jese in the box.
However, after an irate Jese was not given penalty responsibilities, Ryan then dived full length to his right to keep out Adam's well-struck spot kick.
The midfielder almost tucked home the rebound too, but Lewis Dunk made a miraculous goal-saving tackle on the line, before Anthony Knockaert was on hand to brilliantly head Mame Biram Diouf's injury-time header off the line again in a breathless finale.
- Stoke are unbeaten in their last 17 home games against Brighton in all competitions (W9 D8 L0), since losing 1-0 in a second tier match in September 1961
- Brighton are unbeaten in three successive league games for the first time since November (W1 D2). However the Seagulls are without a win in eight games on the road in the top-flight (D3 L5)
- The Potters have missed their last three penalties in the Premier League, with each taken by a different player - Charlie Adam, Saido Berahino and Marko Arnautovic
- Brighton have scored in consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since November, after a run of six games without a goal on the road
- Shaqiri has had a hand in each of Stoke's last three Premier League goals, scoring twice and assisting once
2 - Xherdan Shaqiri has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time in his career. Placement.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 10, 2018
Paul Lambert: "I never (had a view of the penalty). I know that is the answer nearly everybody says, but I have not had a chance to look at it.
"Before that, there might have been one or two little ones that might have gone our way, but that one I would have to see again.
"Nobody likes to see that (players fighting over who to take a penalty). Charlie scored the last one against Coventry and he felt confident he was going to score. So I am a great believer that if you feel confident, step up and hit it."
Chris Hughton: "At the time I thought it was soft, but I was not sure and presumed I would come in here and see something different. I still think it is incredibly soft, there are two players grappling each other and if anything Dale is almost pushing him off him.
"The lad goes down very, very easily and probably we feel a little bit of justice done with the save, which was a super save. And of course Lewis Dunk with some brilliant defending from that."
Pundit - Charlie Nicholas
"When the 'keeper saves the penalty, I have seen my granny get of the sofa quicker, he [Charlie Adam] was so slow it was frightening! It is just a simple tap-in, but he forgets there are people behind him. But [Lewis] Dunk comes from nowhere with his cape and rescues the day."
Man of the Match - Jose Izquierdo
Brighton's wide man was a joy to watch all afternoon, almost giving his side an early lead with a delightful curler that extended Butland to the full, before deservedly putting the visitors ahead.
There appeared little danger when the 25-year-old picked up possession near the left flank. However, in the blink of an eye, the ball was in the back of Stoke's net after a fantastic goal involving two majestic one-twos - with the winger finishing off the move with a composed finish.
Stoke travel to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday February 24 for a lunch-time kick-off that is live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Brighton, meanwhile, host Coventry City in the FA Cup fifth round next Saturday afternoon, before entertaining Swansea City at the Amex Stadium seven days later.