Late penalty drama as Brighton & Brentford share the spoils in Premier League classic
Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford played out a Premier League classic, and fittingly there was nothing to separate the sides as a late Alexis Mac Allister penalty earned the Seagulls a hard-fought point.
When Kaoru Mitoma burst clear on goal inside the opening five minutes, a last-ditch Ethan Pinnock challenge could claim an indirect assist for Brentford’s opener that arrived shortly after. Brighton were caught napping from a corner, with Pontus Jansson left unmarked to head home Mathias Jensen’s wicked delivery as the Bees stung early to take the lead. One of football’s stranger sights then ensued, when Jason Steele picked up a Pervis Estupiñán backpass, but Jensen’s subsequent strike was blocked by an 11-strong Brighton wall.
From zero to hero, Steele was then involved in Brighton’s equaliser with another rare sight – an assist from a goalkeeper. Steele’s hopeful joist forward evaded the Brentford backline and Mitoma was onto it like a flash to lift a sumptuous effort over the stranded David Raya. But as the ancient footballing proverb goes, you’re most vulnerable when you’ve just scored and that rang true for Brighton when Ivan Toney fired Brentford back in front just 80 seconds later, as the England international clinically finished after the Seagulls were caught out from their own throw-in.
It wasn’t just Brighton who succumbed to that though, as it was Brentford’s turn to concede shortly after scoring next, with Danny Welbeck heading Brighton level on his 400th league appearance a little under six minutes later. That turned out to be the final goal of a frantic half of football, though that was largely down to the heroics of Raya who produced a super stop to deny Mac Allister. The basketball-like nature of this game continued after the break, and inside five minutes of the restart Brentford took the lead for the third time of the afternoon, with Pinnock powering in at the back post to slam home Bryan Mbeumo’s delivery.
In keeping with the pattern of the game, the game then swung back in Brighton’s favour, but the Seagulls were wasteful in front of goal, encapsulated perfectly by Lewis Dunk’s glaring miss with a free header from six-yards out. Roberto de Zerbi’s men continued to probe in the face of adversity, and eventually bore the fruits of their labour when Aaron Hickey blocked Deniz Undav’s shot with his hand, and Mac Allister stepped up to send Raya the wrong way from the subsequent penalty and secure a precious point to ensure it’s ‘as you were’ as far as Brighton and Brentford’s respective European pushes go.