Brighton 2-2 Bournemouth: Seagulls surrender lead twice against south-coast rivals
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 01/01/18 8:55pm
Bournemouth came from a goal down on two occasions to claim a 2-2 draw against Brighton at The Amex on New Year's Day.
Steve Cook (33) and Callum Wilson (79) struck as Eddie Howe's men dug deep after Anthony Knockaert (5) and Glenn Murray (48) put Brighton in the driving seat early in both halves.
The result lifts Bournemouth up to 13th in the Premier League, two points and a place behind their south-coast rivals, who will rue a number of missed chances to kick 2018 off with a victory.
Brighton: Ryan (6), Dunk (6), Duffy (6), Suttner (6), Propper (5), Stephens (6), Schelotto (6), Knockaert (7), Izquierdo (8), Gross (8), Murray (7).
Subs: Bruno (5), Brown (5).
Bournemouth: Begovic (8), Francis (6), Cook (7), Smith (6), Daniels (6), Cook (6), Pugh (6), Arter (6), Ibe (7), Afobe (5), Wilson (6).
Subs: Gosling (5), Ake (5), Mousset (5).
Man of the Match: Jose Izquierdo
Knockaert picked up a knock in the warm-up but emphatically allayed those pre-match injury fears inside five minutes when he fired Jose Izquierdo's cross home from a narrow angle - the first Premier League goal of 2018.
Wilson failed to connect with Charlie Daniels' 12th-minute cross as the Cherries pushed for an equaliser, before referee Michael Oliver rejected the visitors' penalty appeals after Harry Arter's shot struck Knockaert's arm.
Asmir Begovic and Mathew Ryan were both called into action to deny shots from Murray and Jordon Ibe before Cook haunted his former employers by hauling Bournemouth level with a stunning looping header.
The impressive Pascal Gross remained at the heart of the Brighton attack and so nearly set up Izquierdo for a second, but a brilliant point-blank save from Begovic ensured parity at the interval.
Just as they had in the first half, Brighton flew out of the traps and got their just reward as Izquierdo unselfishly squared for Murray to slot his sixth Premier League goal of the season.
Brighton had two chances to pull further clear of Bournemouth but Shane Duffy's volley on the hour was blocked before Izquierdo opted to shoot instead of teeing up Davy Propper at the end of a counter, and Begovic thwarted his effort.
Eddie Howe made four changes following Bournemouth’s win over Everton. Marc Pugh, Charlie Daniels, Harry Arter and Benik Afobe were recalled, while Ryan Fraser missed out through injury. Chris Hughton made three changes from Saturday's goalless draw at Newcastle as Markus Suttner, Jose Izquierdo and Ezequiel Schelotto returned to the starting line-up.
Ibe struck the post with a thunderous 25-yard drive on 73 minutes before Bournemouth punished Brighton's profligacy as Wilson fortuitously poked home after a goalmouth scramble to snatch a point.
- In what was Chris Hughton's 150th competitive match in charge of Brighton, the Seagulls ended a run of three consecutive league defeats against Bournemouth with this draw.
- Bournemouth have now gone eight league matches unbeaten against Brighton (W4 D4), with their last defeat coming back in January 2008 (2-3).
- Brighton scored as many goals today (2) as they did in their previous nine Premier League games, having failed to score in seven of their previous nine league matches.
- Callum Wilson's goal meant that Bournemouth have now scored 50 away goals in the Premier League.
- Callum Wilson has scored 16 Premier League goals without providing an assist - the most a player has scored in the competition without setting up a team-mate, overtaking Branko Strupar (15 goals, 0 assists).
- Glenn Murray now has six Premier League goals this season, just one off his best-ever tally in a single PL campaign (seven goals in 2014-15).
Chris Hughton: "I thought we were very good in the goalscoring department today. That regards our intensity in the game and our work in the final third. I'm just hugely disappointed that having gone in front on two occasions, and creating the chances to win the game, we didn't."
Eddie Howe: "It's frustration for us that we gave them the goals at the start of both halves. We had to work really hard to get back into the game. The lads showed great fighting spirit to come back twice."
Man of the Match - Jose Izquierdo
It's fair to say Izquierdo has failed to scale the heights many envisaged he would following his club-record switch to Brighton. Like so many before him, the Colombia international has taken his time to adjust to the English game, but Monday's at times scintillating performance was strong indication he's finally found his feet.
Izquierdo became the first Brighton player to register two assists in a single Premier League game, and while a third assist for Propper failed to materialise, his display will have no doubt offered a crumb of comfort to the Seagulls.
Attention turns to the third round of the FA Cup as Brighton host rivals Crystal Palace and Bournemouth entertain Wigan. The Seagulls then return to Premier League action with a trip to West Brom on January 13, while the Cherries host Arsenal a day later on Nissan Super Sunday.