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Home   /   FA Cup: Stoke City 2 – 4 Brighton & Hove Albion – Red-hot Joao Pedro fires the Seagulls into the fourth round

A second half double from Joao Pedro gave Albion a 4-2 win over Stoke City in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup and knocked the home side out of the competition for the second consecutive year.

Pedro maintained his brilliant goal scoring form and added two to his impressive season tally, first in the 71st minute and again in the 80th minute, making it nine goals in 11 matches and 15 in all competitions this season. Jan Paul van Hecke found some redemption after his 15th minute own goal and provided the assist for Pedro’s second.

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Speaking to BBC MOTD, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said: “We knew before the game it could be a tough because there aren’t easy games in this level. I think we deserved to win and we played well for 90 minutes

“Before the game I asked them to play seriously like it’s in the Europa League of the Premier League and they did brilliantly.

“We love Joao. He can start games better, in the last period he needs 20 minutes to get in the game but he’s a great player and has great potential for this club.”

On the brink of half-time, Pervis Estupinan brought the Seagulls level after 45+6 with a fantastic shot from outside of the box and continued his strong run of performances since returning from injury.

Estupinan’s goal was Brighton’s first real chance, despite the early own goal they had dominated the match with 71% possession throughout the first half and won three corner kicks but struggled to create an opportunity good enough to challenge Stoke’s new loanee goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.

Lewis Dunk had given Brighton a 2-1 lead in the 52nd minute when he headed in Pascal Gross’s cross. This came after a lively start to the second half from both sides, with another Brighton corner in the build-up to the goal.

Lewis Baker had equalised for Stoke from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after a harsh Dunk handball was given, despite much protest from the visitors.

Stoke enjoyed a short spell of opportunities after the opening goal including two strong shots on target, the only ones from either side up to that point but were unable to put a second past Bart Verbruggen. However outside of this and their second half penalty, they were outplayed for much of the game and Brighton’s talent was too much for the Championship side to overcome.

The result marked Steven Schumacher’s first defeat since taking over the side before Christmas and the most goals conceded in his tenure so far.

Speaking to BBC MOTD Schumacher said: “Disappointed to lose it. For large parts we played well, caused Brighton a few problems.

“In the big moments they [Brighton] showed a bit more quality than us and got themselves to the next round”.

On Baker’s penalty he said: “It got us back in the game which we deserved at that stage. We were playing well.

“When we’re going for it at the 70th minute mark and give the ball away, they [Brighton] score and that was the deciding factor really.”

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May 2024