Brighton 2-2 Stoke: Match Report

Goals from Pascal Gross and Jose Izquierdo saw Brighton & Hove Albion come back to draw 2-2 with Stoke on a crisp Monday night at the Amex.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton named an unchanged side from Swansea, where the Seagulls nicked a 1-0 victory thanks to a Glenn Murray’s fourth goal in three games.

Dale Stephens manufactured the first chance of the game in the 10th minute, executing a powerful half volley from 30 yards out. Lee Grant was rooted to the spot as the ball whistled past the upright.

Stoke then threatened three minutes later, crowding the six-yard box from a corner with Ryan Shawcross planting his forehead on the ball. The header looped ominously toward the back post, but Mathew Ryan reacted sharply to palm the ball over.

Although Albion dominated possession, it was Stoke who broke the deadlock in the 28th minute. Seemingly in a cul-de-sac, Xherdan Shaqiri suddenly played an exquisite, lofted through ball to Maxim Choupo-Moting, who took the ball down finely and slotted it instinctively in the bottom right corner with his next touch. Lewis Dunk was caught off-guard by the Cameroonian’s well-timed run and couldn’t find his footing as the ball was taken down.

Ten minutes later, Albion were incensed as a penalty call was waved away by Lee Mason. Murray muscled his way through on goal as Shawcross slid across the striker’s path. The contact was minimal, but Murray’s path was impeded, and he went down. The referee blew, but pointed towards Brighton’s half.

Brighton fans could rejoice just moments later, though. Davy Propper slalomed his way to the edge of the box and whipped in a low cross. The home side’s most productive player, Pascal Gross, was on hand to sweep the ball past Grant.

But Stoke’s response was imminent. They hounded Ryan at a corner once more and Choupo-Moting won the first ball, anchoring it toward the left post. Kurt Zouma attacked it like a steam train and powered home, appeasing Gross’s equaliser just moments earlier.

After a muted beginning to the second half, Brighton then struck in the 59th minute. Murray was found at the back post and, while the Stoke players expecting a chip into the box, the striker produced an acute, deft pass into the path of Jose Izquierdo, who notched at the second attempt.

For all of Albion’s attacking endeavor, they seemed uncharacteristically shaky in possession. The threat behind Stoke’s forays forward was only enhanced when Peter Crouch was introduced as a Premier League sub for a record-breaking 143rd time in his career.

He proved not be super, however, as the game petered out with neither side creating many chances in the closing stages. It is a third straight home draw for Brighton, who, despite coming back twice, will see it as two points dropped.

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