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Ricardo's report v Brighton

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I didn't see the team sheet until after I arrived at the ground today and my first thoughts were that it looked a bit safety first and Hughtonesque, but my spirits were raised when we won the toss and decided to kick what I always insist is the "Proper Way", ie River End second half. Historically I reckon it has always served us best.

It was rather disappointing once again to see the visitors dominating the opening exchanges with City barely able to get a touch of the ball and apart from one long ball up to Sargent the ball was rarely out of the home area in the first ten minutes. Unfortunately the Brighton defence was able to snuff out the danger before he could pull the trigger. Just before the quarter hour however there was a decent spell down the left and this time Sargent did get an effort infrom the edge of the box which was deflected for a corner.

The game became more even for a time with both sides trading corners which came to nothing. High balls into the box seemed a wasteful exercise with a couple of real giants in the visitors back line. After a lull Brighton again got on the front foot and a goal looked certain when City failed to clear their area and Krul had to make two exellent parries from close range before the ball was hoofed clear. Then minutes later and still under pressure, a deflected ball seemed to bouce nicely for Maupay as he got in front of Hanley. He went to take the ball wide of the advancing Krul and from my position above and to the right of goal it did look like he was clipped but he certainly dived theatrically. Now I haven't seen the VAR but I was relieved and a bit surprised that it wasn't a penalty.

From here on I was just hoping we could make it to halftime without conceeding because we were definitely second best for most of the first forty five. Right on the stroke of halftime however City should have gone in front. After exerting a little bit of pressure Brighton were looking to clear but good work by Sargent caused a mistake and he emerged with the ball between the goalkeeper and a defender and simply had to stroke the ball into any empty net. It was on target but with nowhere near enough power behind it and it was easily hooked away. It was a golden chance but on balance all square was a better reflection of the play than seemed likely earier.

From the whistle City began to get a bit more of the ball and a few minutes in they broke at speed down the centre. Pukki's ball inside to Sargent looked perfect and I was half out of my seat only to sit down sharply as Sargent's awful first touch ruined what should have been a great opening. From here on it was hard graft as play swung from end to end. Brighton still had plenty of the ball but City looked resolute at the back so chances were at a premium. Normann showed up with a couple of lovely long passes out to the wings but neither side could get anything clear cut on goal. Gibson banged a twenty-five yarder but Sanchez always looked favourite.

Rashica came on for Sargent with fifteen minutes left and as we moved into the last ten he latched on to Normanns pass and sent Pukki away on goal only for a Brighton defender to get in a fantastic block just as the City "Main Man" went to pull the trigger. City were certainly worth a point but they nearly lost it when Maupay finally got some space but somehow scooped the ball over the top.

In the end just a point and probably a fair result, however Sargent will likely be replaying that moment in his mind well into the early hours.

Pukki, very sharp today, just a shame the two best chances didn't fall his way. Lees-Malou, best game so far, Normann, exellent but I'm giving my MOM to Grant Hanley. Stuck Maupay on his **** a few times and generally was a rock in the middle.

Onward and upward.

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15 minutes ago, ricardo said:

I didn't see the team sheet until after I arrived at the ground today and my first thoughts were that it looked a bit safety first and Hughtonesque, but my spirits were raised when we won the toss and decided to kick what I always insist is the "Proper Way", ie River End second half. Historically I reckon it has always served us best.

It was rather disappointing once again to see the visitors dominating the opening exchanges with City barely able to get a touch of the ball and apart from one long ball up to Sargent the ball was rarely out of the home area in the first ten minutes. Unfortunately the Brighton defence was able to snuff out the danger before he could pull the trigger. Just before the quarter hour however there was a decent spell down the left and this time Sargent did get an effort infrom the edge of the box which was deflected for a corner.

The game became more even for a time with both sides trading corners which came to nothing. High balls into the box seemed a wasteful exercise with a couple of real giants in the visitors back line. After a lull Brighton again got on the front foot and a goal looked certain when City failed to clear their area and Krul had to make two exellent parries from close range before the ball was hoofed clear. Then minutes later and still under pressure, a deflected ball seemed to bouce nicely for Maupay as he got in front of Hanley. He went to take the ball wide of the advancing Krul and from my position above and to the right of goal it did look like he was clipped but he certainly dived theatrically. Now I haven't seen the VAR but I was relieved and a bit surprised that it wasn't a penalty.

From here on I was just hoping we could make it to halftime without conceeding because we were definitely second best for most of the first forty five. Right on the stroke of halftime however City should have gone in front. After exerting a little bit of pressure Brighton were looking to clear but good work by Sargent caused a mistake and he emerged with the ball between the goalkeeper and a defender and simply had to stroke the ball into any empty net. It was on target but with nowhere near enough power behind it and it was easily hooked away. It was a golden chance but on balance all square was a better reflection of the play than seemed likely earier.

From the whistle City began to get a bit more of the ball and a few minutes in they broke at speed down the centre. Pukki's ball inside to Sargent looked perfect and I was half out of my seat only to sit down sharply as Sargent's awful first touch ruined what should have been a great opening. From here on it was hard graft as play swung from end to end. Brighton still had plenty of the ball but City looked resolute at the back so chances were at a premium. Normann showed up with a couple of lovely long passes out to the wings but neither side could get anything clear cut on goal. Gibson banged a twenty-five yarder but Sanchez always looked favourite.

Rashica came on for Sargent with fifteen minutes left and as we moved into the last ten he latched on to Normanns pass and sent Pukki away on goal only for a Brighton defender to get in a fantastic block just as the City "Main Man" went to pull the trigger. City were certainly worth a point but they nearly lost it when Maupay finally got some space but somehow scooped the ball over the top.

In the end just a point and probably a fair result, however Sargent will likely be replaying that moment in his mind well into the early hours.

Pukki, very sharp today, just a shame the two best chances didn't fall his way. Lees-Malou, best game so far, Normann, exellent but I'm giving my MOM to Grant Hanley. Stuck Maupay on his **** a few times and generally was a rock in the middle.

Onward and upward.

Usual fair report Ricardo. Rashica's pass to Pukki was just a little too far ahead and he had to veer to his right rather than taking it in his stride. But it was a great covering tackle.

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Pukki took too long over a great chance in the second half allowed the defender to block it.

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From my seat right side of goal in the river end, the penalty call was correct. Thought maupay should have seen at least 2 yellows in the course of the game. Giannoulis' booking was they type of foul that Watford repeatedly committed against us without any punishment. Pukki getting pushed in the face by their left back totally ignored. Inconsistent refereeing again. Normann hands down motm, but Hanley definitely better than previous outings. 

Thought we played for 0-0 bringing Rupp on. It was an opportunity to bring on Tzolis and give it a go for 10mins.

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Under the old interpretation of var when we were last in this league that penalty gets given every time. He went down late but there was definite contact 

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Many thanks as usual ricardo. All I would say in addition is that Teemu looked increasingly knackered as the game wore on; I think the internationals took a lot out of him. Still, got a week off now, so hopefully can get some rest.

Edited by ron obvious

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16 minutes ago, Virtual reality said:

Under the old interpretation of var when we were last in this league that penalty gets given every time. He went down late but there was definite contact 

Just because there was contact, that's no excuse to give a penalty - it has to be a foul to get a penalty awarded. 

If penalties are given for "contact", then every corner would be rife with penalty claims!

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I'd argue that Sargent's second half chance was easier than the first half one. 

A striker without a premier League goal, surprisingly recieving the ball slightly wide but through, not even the keeper to beat and a lot of time to think about it. The miss almost seemed inevitable given our luck in front of goal this season,  but you have to score those at this level. You have to score both. 

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There wasn't enough contact for Maupay to go down. My guess is he got greedy and was looking for the penalty and the red card for krul. 

He should have just put it in the net but I'm glad he didn't. 

Edited by Chelm Canary

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19 minutes ago, ron obvious said:

Many thanks as usual ricardo. All I would say in addition is that Teemu looked increasingly knackered as the game wore on; I think the internationals took a lot out of him. Still, got a week off now, so hopefully can get some rest.

He put a lot of work in today and seemed well up for it. A split second of delay on that last chance but I would have put money on him had Sargent's two chances fallen to him.

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Just now, Chelm Canary said:

There wasn't enough contact for Maupay to go down. My guess is he got greedy and was looking for the penalty and the red card for krul. 

He should have just put it in the net but I'm glad he didn't. 

Ye, my view was that he was certainly looking for it.

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21 minutes ago, ABC (A Basingstoke Canary) said:

Just because there was contact, that's no excuse to give a penalty - it has to be a foul to get a penalty awarded. 

If penalties are given for "contact", then every corner would be rife with penalty claims!

Have you seen the incident on tv with replays from different angles? I’m not saying it’s a definite penalty but if the referee awards it there’s no way that var overturns it. Efan Ekoku who was co commentating on the stream thought it should have been given and my instinct when it went to var was that they would give it, fortunately the interpretation has changed. 
 

 

Edited by Virtual reality

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I think we are getting there - it’s important at this level to have a decent base and when we were playing 4-3-3 that certainly wasn’t present.  

For me, we generally looked the more likely to score and losing would have been a bigger kick in the balls than any of the other games this season. 

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1 hour ago, Branston Pickle said:

I think we are getting there - it’s important at this level to have a decent base and when we were playing 4-3-3 that certainly wasn’t present.  

For me, we generally looked the more likely to score and losing would have been a bigger kick in the balls than any of the other games this season. 

Yes, you have to begin with a strong spine in this league. We were never going to play through teams of this standard like we did in the level below.

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11 hours ago, ricardo said:

Yes, you have to begin with a strong spine in this league. We were never going to play through teams of this standard like we did in the level below.

Thanks for the report Ricardo - good stuff as ever!

There are signs that we are beginning to get a strong base, although we will have a better idea after next week. I agree with you that this is an absolute fundamental to any chance of survival. I said before the match started that I'd take a draw right now if I was offered it: it was crucial to get some degree of momentum and self-belief and another home defeat could have been disastrous. At some stage soon we are gong to have start winning some games - but not losing is a start!

 

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Thanks Ricardo,

I think these international breaks are killing us too. We have many involved, Gilmour gets 180+mins and so won't get on for us, Pukki gets knackered, and Rashica, Hanley, etc don't get any recuperation either.

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14 hours ago, Virtual reality said:

Under the old interpretation of var when we were last in this league that penalty gets given every time. He went down late but there was definite contact 

There was contact because Maupay hung out his leg. Not sure why he wasn't booked

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16 hours ago, Bluefloyd said:

Thought we played for 0-0 bringing Rupp on. It was an opportunity to bring on Tzolis and give it a go for 10mins.

The position Normann was playing was vital for the whole balance of the team. Taking that position away in favour of Tzolis (as much as I like him) would’ve been suicidal. The game was very very even and taking off the anchor (or closest we had to that) would’ve been handing the game, or at least strong initiative, to them

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15 minutes ago, Fiery Zac said:

The position Normann was playing was vital for the whole balance of the team. Taking that position away in favour of Tzolis (as much as I like him) would’ve been suicidal. The game was very very even and taking off the anchor (or closest we had to that) would’ve been handing the game, or at least strong initiative, to them

Exactly! Replacing Normann with Tzolis at that stage would have been verging on the suicidal in my book. 

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