Brighton and Hove Albion earned their second home win in a row on Sunday evening after beating Newcastle United 1-0.
Striker Tomer Hemed proved to be the match-winner for the Seagulls at the Amex Stadium with a clever effort in the second half. Despite being presented with numerous chances in the first half, the Magpies struggled to threaten after the break as their three-match winning run in the Premier League came to an abrupt halt.
Early openings come and go
On-loan Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino was presented with the first real chance of the game at the Amex Stadium. Seagulls goalkeeper Mathew Ryan did well to keep out the Spaniard’s long-range drive. Tomer Hemed also had an effort from distance but his shot was smothered by Rob Elliot.
Pascal Gross, who had scored two in the last home game against West Bromwich Albion, really should have opened the scoring soon after. Following quick build-up play, the ball fell to the German at the far post but his shot was deflected away via a combination of Isaac Hayden and Chancel Mbemba.
Magpies spurn chances to go ahead
Former Stoke City striker Joselu was gifted one of the best openings of the games but fluffed his lines. The ball fortuitously fell to the Spaniard only yards from goal but he pulled his low shot agonisingly wide. Ayoze Perez was then also guilty of not being clinical enough; he lashed a shot just after the bar.
Ex-Bournemouth midfielder Matt Ritchie then had the chance to test Ryan from a free-kick. His shot however did not possess the desired accuracy though and was comfortably caught by the Australian.
The two sides headed into half-time level but both enjoyed plenty of opportunities to break the deadlock.
Seagulls seize the advantage
It did not take long after the break for the home side to edge ahead though. Earning a dangerous free-kick on the left flank, Gross whipped in an excellent ball that was nodded down by Dale Stephens. Israeli striker Tomer Hemed reacted the quickest to spear home with an acrobatic effort.
Solly March then nearly doubled the lead in a matter of minutes with a shot at the back-post but Rob Elliot produced a wonderful stop to thwart the 23-year-old. Rafa Benitez then attempted to react to the home side’s opener by introducing Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle in place of Isaac Hayden and Joselu.
Substitutions look to make an impact
It was nearly the former Liverpool midfielder that drew the visitors level. Whipping a cross in from a corner, the Englishman saw the ball canon off of the upright and away from goal.
Newcastle were presented with one final chance in the last few seconds of the game when Gayle found space in the Brighton penalty area. He swivelled and shot but Ryan got down well to smother the ball and preserve the Seagulls’ second league win of the 2017/18 campaign.
Both teams seemed to toil throughout the afternoon at the Amex Stadium. Chances were created by Newcastle and Brighton but their lack of a clinical nature really did prove their downfall.
However, once the home side did eventually hit the front, Rafa Benitez’s men were not able to recover despite applying considerable pressure.
As a result, Chris Hughton’s Brighton rise to 13th in the league table whilst Newcastle drop to ninth.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Ryan (7); Bruno (7), Duffy (7), Dunk (6), Suttner (7); Knockaert (7) (Murphy (5), 81′), Stephens (7), Pröpper (7), March (8); Gross (7), Hemed (8).
Newcastle United: Elliot (7), Yedlin (6), Lascelles (6), Clark, Mbemba (6) (Gamez (5), 83′); Hayden (6) (Shelvey (7), 68′), Merino (7); Ritchie (7), Perez (6), Atsu; Joselu (5) (Gayle (5), 71′).
Goals: Hemed (1-0, 51′)
Referee: Andre Marriner
Yellow Cards: Knockaert (13′), Duffy (77′), Lascelles (90+3′)
Red Cards: N/A
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