Thursday 13 December 2018

Late Murray penalty earns Brighton draw at Southampton

The Seagulls came from two goals behind to secure a share of the spoils.

A Glenn Murray penalty earned Brighton a 2-2 draw at Southampton (John Walton/PA)
A Glenn Murray penalty earned Brighton a 2-2 draw at Southampton (John Walton/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Glenn Murray scored a stoppage-time penalty as Brighton recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 at south coast rivals Southampton.

The veteran striker converted his fourth goal of the season from the spot after Saints substitute James Ward-Prowse was adjudged to have fouled Shane Duffy by referee Anthony Taylor.

Pierre Hojbjerg’s stunning strike and a penalty from Danny Ings looked to have put the hosts on course for successive Premier League wins for the first time since April 2017, before Albion defender Duffy headed in to start the fightback.

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Glenn Murray (centre) celebrates Brighton’s second goal from the penalty spot (John Walton/PA)

The late equaliser denied Saints what would have been just a fifth home win from 27 top flight games and earned the Seagulls rare away joy.

The Seagulls have won only twice on the road in 22 Premier League trips since promotion in 2017, with the more recent of those two victories coming at Swansea in November.

Both meetings between the sides last season ended in 1-1 draws and it made for a cautious opening period of limited chances.

Southampton gradually took control and almost edged ahead in the 21st minute when Ings’ effort was scrambled off the line by Anthony Knockaert following Mohamed Elyounoussi’s corner, before Wesley Hoedt wastefully fired over with a follow-up attempt.

Norway winger Elyounoussi should then have done better with a free header which was directed narrowly wide following a Nathan Redmond cross.

The pressure began to build and it paid off with 35 minutes played as Hojbjerg continued his eventful start to the season.

The former Bayern Munich man, who was sent off against Leicester before scoring in the win at Palace, smashed a thunderous strike into the bottom left corner from distance after Elyounoussi’s cross was only partially cleared by Seagulls captain Lewis Dunk.

Brighton had never won a Premier League game after falling behind, with this their 43rd fixture since coming up from the Championship.

Chris Hughton’s Seagulls began the second half with increased purpose and, after Davy Propper headed wide, Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy showed the skills which led to recent England recognition by palming away Knockaert’s fierce drive.

Saints were struggling to reassert their authority but they doubled their advantage in the 65th minute when Ings coolly converted from the spot after he had tricked his way into the box and enticed a foul from Gaetan Bong.

Any hope manager Mark Hughes may have had of comfortably seeing the game out was dashed just two minutes later though.

French winger Knockaert delivered an enticing inswinging free-kick from wide on the right and Republic of Ireland defender Duffy rose to steer his second goal of the season into the bottom right corner.

Brighton continued to push and Jurgen Locadia forced a fine save out of McCarthy with a close-range header.

The hosts looked to have done enough to hang on for the three points but, after a left wing corner, Taylor pointed to the spot and Murray kept his composure to roll the ball down the middle in front of the travelling fans.

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