By Richard Morgan
Football journalist - @Richiereds1976
Brighton 4-1 Swansea: Glenn Murray double eases hosts' relegation fears
Last Updated: 24/02/18 7:44pm
Glenn Murray scored twice to help Brighton & Hove Albion beat Swansea City 4-1 at the Amex on Saturday afternoon and boost their survival hopes in the process.
Murray opened the scoring early on from the penalty spot (18), before doubling the home side's lead with his seventh goal in his last nine games (69).
Anthony Knockaert then added a third with 17 minutes to go and despite Lewis Dunk's 85th-minute own goal, substitute Jurgen Locadia completed the scoring with his first goal for his new team since joining from PSV in January.
Brighton: Ryan (7), Bong (6), Dunk (7), Duffy (7), Schelotto (6), Stephens (7), Propper (6), Knockaert (7), Izquierdo (8), Gross (8), Murray (9)
Subs: Kayal (6), March (7), Locadia (7)
Swansea: Fabianski (6), Naughton (6), Van der Hoorn (6), Fernandez (6), Mawson (6), Olsson (6), Dyer (6), Clucas (6), Carroll (6), Ki Sung-yueng (6), Jordan Ayew (6)
Subs: Narsingh (6), Abraham (6), Andre Ayew (6)
Man of the match: Glenn Murray
As a result, Chris Hughton's side jump up to 11th in the Premier League and four points from safety after securing back-to-back home wins for just the second time this season.
Meanwhile, Swansea - whose 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions comes to an end - fall back into the relegation zone, albeit on goal difference.
Brighton took an 18th-minute lead after referee Mike Dean decided that Mike Van der Hoorn had fouled Murray in the box, although there appeared to be minimal contact.
Murray kept his cool from the spot, however, to send Lukasz Fabianski the wrong way as the striker calmly chipped the ball down the middle.
Both sides then had chances to score just before half-time, with Shane Duffy heading Pascal Gross' right-wing corner against the top of the bar.
Brighton had no new injury concerns, while Alfie Mawson started in defence for the Swans with the centre back having recovered from a knee problem.
Then in first-half stoppage time, Jordan Ayew cut in from the left and drilled a low shot against the post, with the ball striking Matt Ryan on the head, before Martin Olsson somehow missed the gaping goal from the rebound.
Brighton went further ahead following a lovely team goal involving outstanding duo Jose Izquierdo and Gross, who played a one-two on the edge of the box. And the Colombian's pull back from the left-hand byline was then tucked home by Murray for his 10th league goal of the season.
The hosts then made it 3-0 as Knockaert rounded off another fine move involving Gross and Murray, before Swansea - who by this stage had thrown on Tammy Abraham and Andre Ayew as further forwards - pulled a goal back when Dunk deflected the former's shot past Ryan.
In the final minute Brighton scored a fourth for the first time in the Premier League as Izquierdo again got free to the left byline, before the winger's pull back found Dale Stephens. And the midfielder then drilled the ball back across the box for club-record signing Locadia to net from close range.
- Swansea suffered their first defeat in their last six top-flight games (W3 D2), conceding one goal more against Brighton than in their previous five games combined.
- Murray has netted four goals in his last four Premier League games, as many as in his previous 15 in the competition.
- Izquierdo has been directly involved in a goal in each of his last three Premier League games (2 goals, 1 assist), after managing just two goals and two assists in his previous 20 this season.
- Gross has had a hand in three goals in his last three Premier League games (1 goal, 2 assists), and has scored or assisted 12 overall this season in the competition, more than any other Brighton player.
- Dunk has scored four own goals in the Premier League this season - the joint-most by a player in a single season in the competition's history (also Martin Skrtel in 2013-14).
Chris Hughton: "It was a worthy scoreline, particularly in the second half as the game opened up.
"And generally as games open up in that way, somebody is going to benefit, and it was us today. We have not been big goal scorers this season, but on a day with that little bit more guile and a better final pass, we could have had more.
"At the moment, particularly at home, we look more likely to score goals than perhaps we did earlier in the season. And that is something we will need to continue."
Carlos Carvalhal: "When we were losing 1-0 I was thinking we must change things, so we put Ayew in attack. We took the risks because we were not happy to lose and we wanted to try to win. So we put Luciano and Tammy on.
"It was a big bet and with a big bet you can win lots of money or you can lose lots of money. We knew if we scored one we could win, but we also knew if they scored another on the counter-attack it would be difficult, and that's what happened.
"That's football, that's the life of a manager. If it works the manager is a genius. We tried everything to try to win, but Brighton deserved to win. We lost the gamble."
The pundit - Charlie Nicholas
"Murray will get the headlines, but Gross stood out for me today. Lots of good link-up play in the area just off where Murray likes to play.
"They are very efficient and in the second half, they took advantage of Swansea gambling going forward and taking risks, and they were back to their worst defensively again today."
Man of the Match - Glenn Murray
The striker was once again in red-hot form in front of goal for Brighton on Saturday, with his two efforts either side of the break sending his team well on their way to a huge three points.
He has now netted 10 times in the league this campaign, with only three other Englishmen having scored more - Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, Man City's Raheem Sterling and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy.
Not only that, though, but the in-form Murray has also now scored five goals with his last six shots on target in the Premier League.
Brighton host Arsenal at the Amex in the Premier League on Sunday March 4, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Meanwhile, Swansea face Sheffield Wednesday in their FA Cup fifth-round replay on Tuesday evening, before taking on West Ham at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday March 3.