Monday 23 April 2018

Bizarre Wilson goal saves Bournemouth

Brighton 2 Bournemouth 2

Callum Wilson celebrates after equalising for Bournemouth. Photo: Reuters/David Klein
Callum Wilson celebrates after equalising for Bournemouth. Photo: Reuters/David Klein

Sam Dean

It felt somewhat fitting that in the early game on New Year's Day, the defining moment involved a whole party of Premier League footballers stumbling over their own feet as if they were still feeling the effects of the previous night's celebrations.

A total mess of miscued clearances, scuffed shots and flailing limbs eventually resulted in the ball bobbling off Callum Wilson's outstretched leg and into the Brighton net.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Pascal Gross (left) and AFC Bournemouth's Adam Smith battle for the ball. Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Brighton & Hove Albion's Pascal Gross (left) and AFC Bournemouth's Adam Smith battle for the ball. Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

It was just the fourth goal of 2018, but there will surely be none more shambolic in the coming year.

"It wasn't one for the purists," laughed Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. "I can't remember too much about it. A mass of bodies, hacked clearances and Callum claiming the goal."

A suitably chaotic finish, then, to a compelling and remarkably open match in which there were more shots than in any other Premier League game this season.

Twice Bournemouth had to come from behind on this short trip down the south coast, and twice they demonstrated the same spirit they had shown in scoring a late winner against Everton last Saturday.

AFC Bournemouth's Adam Smith (right) and Brighton & Hove Albion's Anthony Knockaert in action. Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire
AFC Bournemouth's Adam Smith (right) and Brighton & Hove Albion's Anthony Knockaert in action. Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Wilson's strike, if we can call it that, prevented Brighton from taking another major step forward in their quest for mid-table obscurity.

Chris Hughton's side, in his 150th game as Brighton manager, produced more attacking quality in the first half an hour than they have in entire games this season, but still left the Amex feeling like they should have made more of their many openings.

"I thought we had four really good opportunities to score," said Hughton, perhaps a little conservatively. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Brighton's Glenn Murray fouls Bournemouth's Charlie Daniels. Photo: Reuters/David Klein
Brighton's Glenn Murray fouls Bournemouth's Charlie Daniels. Photo: Reuters/David Klein
Brighton's Glenn Murray in action with Bournemouth's Charlie Daniels. Photo: Reuters/David Klein
Brighton's Glenn Murray in action with Bournemouth's Charlie Daniels. Photo: Reuters/David Klein

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