Graham Potter’s side managed to replicate the same 3-0 scoreline they achieved earlier in the season against the struggling Magpies and showed a ruthless side to their game that has been missing in recent weeks. Here we take a look at a contrasting evening from Brighton and Newcastle’s relegation six-pointer.
Victory for Brighton & Hove Albion Could Prove Pivotal
Newcastle’s Woes Continue
Only one side looked like they wanted to win on Saturday night. Brighton were full of purpose, Newcastle were flat. The home side were at their free-flowing best while the visitors really could not cope.
Brighton have been threatening a score-line like that for some time now and they finally produced the goods in front of goal at the perfect time. A bafflingly passive Newcastle performance did much to help the Seagulls’ cause, though. The away side racked up a measly 25% possession in the first half. Threatening attacks were few and far between. Without looking at the table, you would never have known that only one point separated the sides heading into the game. It was an awful performance, and one in a sea of many for Newcastle this year.
When analysed properly, the result should not come as a shock to many. Granted, neither side came into the game in much form. However, Brighton have been giving it a real go in recent weeks, and poor finishing has accounted for many of their sub-par results. In fact, in their last 20 games, Brighton have lost six – all of which have been by a single goal margin. In that time, Newcastle have lost 13 matches. Eight of those losses have been by more than one goal. Sadly, they look like a defeated side; relegation looming with each passing game.
Even more worrying for the Toon is that affairs off the pitch are mirroring the hopeless displays on it. Rarely has a Premier League fan-base appeared as disconnected with a club as they currently do at Newcastle. Cries from fans on social media to sack Steve Bruce have apparently fallen on deaf ears today as it was reported that Mike Ashley will look to stick with his man. Overall, it is an extremely worrying time for the club.
From minute one to the final whistle the game was one-way traffic. Brighton had been expected to dominate the ball. Yet, that they completed over 350 more passes than Newcastle told the story of a side in real trouble. It was not only that Brighton dictated possession, but the ease with which they were able to retain it. Newcastle allowed the opposition all the time in the world and it played right into Brighton’s hands.
The first two goals exemplified exactly where Newcastle went wrong. Leandro Trossard and Danny Welbeck were given all the space they would have wanted to cut inside and send strikes into the far bottom corner. Both goals were almost carbon copies of each other. Maupay grabbed his first goal since January 16 to compound their relegation rivals’ misery.
Newcastle are certainly missing important players like Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin. Even so, there can be no excuses for completing one shot on target against a side that has only won one game at home all season.
A Potentially Pivotal Moment Three Points For Brighton & Hove Albion
On the back of a crucial win at St Mary’s last weekend, Brighton came into the game knowing another victory would put them in a great position to keep them in the league for another season. Before last weekend’s win, Brighton were in similar form to Newcastle. Their performances, on the other hand, have been anything but similar. The Seagulls have looked far more likely to pick up points recently.
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 20, 2021
Games against West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace have had fans shaking their heads at how they managed to leave with nothing. However, the league table doesn’t lie, and while they create serious goalscoring opportunities in games, Brighton need to take those chances more often to ensure they survive.
This was also only Brighton’s second home win of the season – a poor home record that has followed Graham Potter throughout his Brighton reign. Their only other win at The Amex came against Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-0 win on January 31. Yet, Brighton have looked stronger in recent weeks. The key to a climb up the table next season – if they can stay up this year – seems to be a proven goal scorer. If they can do that and hold on to important players like Yves Bissouma, Leandro Trossard and Adam Webster then they could kick on to better things next season.