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“Britos deserved two red cards” – Three things learnt from Watford 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

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Watford

Brighton secured their first ever point in the Premier League against Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday but it was a game that will be remembered for Miguel Britos’ horrific first-half sending-off.

With the ball played to the right-wing the Uruguayan rashly lunged in on Anthony Knockaert, completely leaving the ground, jumping in at him and catching his shin with a two-footed challenge.

There was little complaint from the player or the Watford fans and it left the door wide open for Brighton to claim a first ever victory in the Premier League. However, despite striking the woodwork on two separate occasions, through Knockaert and Tomer Hemed, the hosts held firm to claim a point.

Brighton will know they missed an opportunity

From the moment that Britos was sent off just before the half-hour mark there was a sense that Brighton could finally arrive in the Premier League and get a victory – but it didn’t work out like that.

Despite having nearly 60% of possession, having 16 shots on goal and having an extra man for the best part of 65 minutes they simply couldn’t grind out a goal against a well-drilled and extremely well-disciplined Watford side, and boss Chris Hughton will know that it was a massive missed opportunity.

The Brighton boss admitted that frustrations are growing after a third Premier League match without a goal, and speaking post-match he said:

“It is a concern [that Brighton are yet to score], yes, because on the balance of play and getting in areas we are, we should do better. We need to find a way to win these games, we hit the post twice and feel it is coming.”

It is certainly not all doom and gloom as far as the Seagulls are concerned, with a first point now on the board and the performances Knockaert and debutant Jose Izquierdo showing signs of promise.

Watford’s defence stands frim despite Britos madness

As much as Brighton will feel aggrieved at leaving London with just a solitary point, Marco Silva’s side put in an exemplary performance and showed that they have a lot of potential this campaign.

Considering the fact that first-team defenders Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat were already out of contention for Saturday, with Christian Kabasele coming into the side, their defensive resources were already being tested before the dismissal of Britos so to keep a clean sheet was a great effort.

On Saturday the Hornets’ make-shift back-line made 11 interceptions, 34 clearances and 14 blocks between them, putting in a monumental effort to ensure their unbeaten start to the year continued.

After a disappointing season last time out Silva has come in over the summer and already shown that this Watford side are capable of a top-half finish, being a much improved team 12 months on.

Knockaert’s return is critical for the Seagulls

Even the truest Brighton supporter would admit that their team struggled to get going in their opening two matches, only creating four chances across 180 minutes of football and failing to score.

There was far more of a cutting edge to their play at Vicarage Road – even if they didn’t manage to break down 10-man Watford – and it doesn’t take a genius to work out why they seemed livelier.

The return of talisman Anthony Knockaert provided a huge boost to Chris Hughton’s side, all of a sudden giving a sense of urgency and big attacking impetus in the final third, and he came the closest that either side came to scoring all match when his curling effort cannoned back off the post.

The 25-year-old had four shots, created three chances, put four crosses into the area and also attempted three take-ons in a promising display, and he can be the catalyst to push Brighton on.

He made a name for himself in the Championship by being a nuisance for defenders and, thankfully as far as Brighton are concerned, he looks like he is poised to continue his rich form in the top-flight.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Connor Goldson desperate for trophies at Rangers in near future

The new Rangers man is keen to bring the glory days back to Ibrox.

Jamie Watts

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Fans were jubilant last week after securing the signing of impressive defender Connor Goldson from Brighton & Hove Albion last week, and the 25-year-old is bringing the mentality required to bring “revolution” to Ibrox in the near future.

Goldson has revealed his desire to win trophies with the Scottish giants, in quotes via the official club website, and sees the new manager Steven Gerrard as a major turning point in the club’s fortunes.

The Gers have failed to win silverware since their return to the Scottish top-flight in 2016, and have chopped and changed managers regularly, with Gerrard now the third manager to take the reins following Mark Warburton’s dismissal in March of last year.

Photo: Getty Images

But Goldson is undeterred by previous seasons and believes the club will re-establish themselves as contenders on all fronts in Scotland next term.

“It is more team targets that interest me. I want to win things and I have always been in teams that have won things,” the Englishman revealed.

“That is a reason for coming here. I’ve said to the manager – I don’t want to come here and just play good football and not win things. I want to come here and win trophies, and I think that’s what the fans are craving. They’re craving success and we need to build a team is able to give them that.”

The Wolverhampton-born defender claims the arrival of Gerrard was a major factor in his decision to join Rangers, and believes he will instil a winning mentality at Ibrox that players will buy into, while revealing he is also keen to become a leader on that front.

Photo: Getty Images

“He [Gerrard] wants to bring a winning mentality to the football club, and I am all for that. I have been lucky to have been in winning teams, being promoted a couple of times, and that is what I want to do here.”

Gerrard is coming into an extremely demanding job and will need to have the courage to well and truly shake things up at the club, because bitter rivals Celtic are showing no signs of faltering in recent times – having won the unprecedented ‘double-treble’ this term.

The Hoops have dominated everyone in the Scottish Premiership since Gerrard’s former boss Brendan Rodgers took over at Parkhead two-years back, and if Rangers can secure silverware in their first season under new management it would indicate a very successful year, and the club could build on it in the near future.

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Brighton and Hove Albion

After explosive U-23 form can Viktor Gyokeres have a breakout Brighton season?

Brighton signed the Swede in January and he has looked worth the investment.

Mathew Nash

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It was a deal that probably slipped by many a Brighton and Hove Albion fan, but in September last year, the Seagulls agreed on a deal to sign Swedish talent Viktor Gyokeres.

One reason why it might have slipped Brighton fans by is that he did not join the club immediately. The young forward stayed with Brommapojkarna until the end of the Swedish second division season. At the time of the deal going through he had already scored 10 goals for the club. He ended the campaign with 13 league goals, helping his side win promotion back to the Swedish top-flight.

In January he finally arrived at Brighton and, judging by his form for the under-23 side, the Seagulls have an absolute talent on their hands.

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Gyokeres ended up playing nine times for Brighton’s youngsters, scoring an impressive seven goals. It included a run of six goals in five games and the question must now be asked, could he be ready for the first-team?

Of course, it would be a massive gamble of Chris Hughton’s to throw Gyokeres into the Premier League starting XI from August.

But the Swede definitely deserves a chance to impress during pre-season. If he can do that, then seeing him in action during one of the cup competitions next season should feel like a foreign concept.

He is certainly a name for Brighton fans to remember. Because, next season, he might be their surprise package.

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Rangers should play the waiting game to seal Connor Goldson deal

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Photo: Getty Images.

The calendar hasn’t even turned over from May to June and already Rangers’ transfer business is beginning to look like a saga as reports indicate that the Ibrox club could make a third improved bid for Brighton & Hove Albion defender Connor Goldson.

According to the Daily Record, a third bid will be made this week to add incentives and other add-ons to the £2 million fee which was rejected by the Seagulls on Friday.

It’s undeniable that Goldson must be one of the first names on Steven Gerrard’s shortlist of players to add to his squad before he arrives in Glasgow and Rangers are clearly intent on getting their man, but patience could prove fruitful in this case.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

To date, Rangers are the only club to be seriously linked with the former Shrewsbury Town man and his future at the American Express Community Stadium is on the edge. Having this week signed defender Leon Balogun from Mainz as cover for Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy, Goldson could expect even less game time than the eight appearances he got in 2017/18.

With the Gers pushing so hard, you would expect that they know that the player is keen on the move too and there are still three months remaining in the transfer window for which the club can wait and negotiate.

A statement signing is important to go alongside the appointment of Gerrard and keep him happy right from the off, but those in charge of negotiations should be cautious not to rush into a deal which costs them more than it needs to when that money could be spent elsewhere.

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