Tuesday 11 December 2018

Slick Murray making the most of his opportunity

Brighton 1 Southampton 1

Brighton's Glenn Murray celebrates scoring with Gaetan Bong. Photo: Reuters
Brighton's Glenn Murray celebrates scoring with Gaetan Bong. Photo: Reuters

Ian Winrow

Glenn Murray has had to be patient but, having been forced into a supporting role until the suspension of Tomer Hemed, the Brighton striker has stepped forward impressively to help Chris Hughton's team consolidate their status in the Premier League.

Murray, the club's leading scorer during last season's promotion campaign with 23 goals, scored twice in the recent 3-0 victory at West Ham United - their first away from the Amex Stadium this season.

Brighton's Lewis Dunk challenges Southampton's Manolo Gabbiadini for the ball. Photo: PA
Brighton's Lewis Dunk challenges Southampton's Manolo Gabbiadini for the ball. Photo: PA

Back on home ground, he provided the response to Steve Davis's early opening goal, helping Brighton recover to claim a point that, in Hughton's eyes, pointed to their growing assurance.

"When you go 1-0 down so early against a side that has so much quality, it's credit to our lads for the way they responded," said the Brighton manager.

"We deserve to be mid-table but there is a lot more work to be done."

The performance may have provided few thrills, but it did point to Hughton's side's resilience at home, where they have not lost since the not unexpected opening-day defeat to Manchester City.

Southampton's Steven Davis puts his side ahead. Photo: Reuters
Southampton's Steven Davis puts his side ahead. Photo: Reuters

It also helps when that resilience can be capped by the kind of precise finish Murray provided in the 52nd minute when he rose above Cedric Soares to head home a Pascal Gross cross.

Gross's contribution was not unexpected. The German, signed for £3m from Ingolstadt in the summer, has now had a hand in seven of Brighton's 10 goals, including five assists, which puts him behind only Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva in the Premier League statistics.

Southampton had gone ahead after seven minutes when Davis was quickest to react after James Ward-Prowse struck a free-kick against an upright.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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