Mitoma Magic completes comeback
Brighton made 9 changes from their defeat to AEK Athens midweek with most notably, captain Lewis Dunk coming back into the side after an injury. Bournemouth made just one change from their 0-0 draw with Chelsea with winger Justin Kluivert coming in.
A frankly turgid first half saw Bournemouth go ahead in the 25th minute, Bart Verbruggen was dispossessed by Ryan Christie, who played the ball to Dominic Solanke. Solanke then chipped the stranded Verbruggen from the edge of the box into an empty net.
Both sides struggled to create anything for most of the first half but then in the 2nd minute of added time, Billy Gilmour’s whipped cross was put in the net by defender Milos Kerkez, a lovely glancing header unfortunately in the wrong goal. A goal scored at a perfect time for Brighton which set up the second half perfectly.
Roberto De Zerbi made two changes Evan Ferguson and Facundo Buonanotte for Ansu Fati and Kaoru Mitoma. Both subs combined within 15 seconds of the restart for a lovely goal. Fati’s pressure from the kick-off allowed Mitoma to win back possession and drive down the left flank, he played the ball wide to Ansu Fati, who played an intricate pass which was flicked on back to Mitoma by Mahmoud Dahoud. Mitoma’s close control then allowed him to slot the ball into the bottom corner with a right-footed finish into the bottom right corner past a helpless Neto.
A few minutes later Ansu Fati should’ve put the Seagulls 3-1 up, a lovely ball in by Simon Adingra was fluffed by the Spanish forward, who should’ve volleyed home from 8 yards out.
Carlos Baleba made his debut for Brighton in the 74th minute and was very impressive, a brilliant tackle in the 77th minute won possession for Brighton and Billy Gilmour, who then played the ball wide to Pervis Estupinan who planted a perfect cross onto an unmarked Mitoma’s head, who sent the ball into the back of the net, putting the game beyond doubt and sealing the 3 points for Brighton.
Bournemouth almost pulled one back shortly after, with Solanke’s header being cleared off the line by Lewis Dunk.
Brighton really responded well after a pretty awful first-half performance, Billy Gilmour was so impressive yet again and has become such an important player. The introduction of Mitoma obviously was a brilliant decision but I was also really impressed with Ansu Fati when he came on. Although he should have scored, he looked lively throughout and combined well with Mitoma and then also Joao Pedro when he came on.
I think Bournemouth will be fine overall this season, they played some nice football at points and created some chances but the times in which they conceded prevented them from putting any long periods of sustained pressure on Brighton. Worryingly, they are winless so far this season, having lost 3 and drawn 3 but as I said. I think once they completely click, they’ll be okay. There’s definitely 3 worse teams in the league.
Brighton have got Chelsea away in the league cup this coming Wednesday then a trip to the Midlands to play Aston Villa on Saturday at 12.30 pm. Winning whilst having rotated so heavily from midweek is a positive sign for Brighton and shows that they hopefully won’t be too affected by playing 3 games a week.
Overall a really impressive second half from Brighton and a good win to put them 3rd in the table.