Albion fail to see off Burnley, again

Albion’s slim hopes of qualifying for European competition suffered another major blow at Turf Moor, where Burnley held the Seagulls to a 1-1 draw.

With Burnley scrapping for their lives in the Premier League dropzone, and Albion desperate for three points to stay in the hunt for European qualification, a single point was of little use to anyone, but that’s what both sides got.

The final result may have matched the two sides’ clash at the Amex in December, but the two games played out in differing fashions. When the Clarets visited Sussex, Roberto De Zerbi’s side pummelled the Burnley defence, but an inspired James Trafford secured a point for Vincent Kompany’s side.

In a disappointing game, largely devoid of quality, Burnley had the better of the opening exchanges and would have been disappointed to reach the break not a goal or two to the good. Albion looked a bit muddled at the back, which wasn’t helped by the early withdrawal of Pervis Estupinan through injury. The season’s curse on Albion wide players, front and back, had struck again.

You probably want to read about this match about as much as I want to write about it, so let’s cut straight to the chase…

It was the kind of game where neither side truly looked like scoring, but both goalkeepers decided to give fans something to cheer laugh about.

During a scrappy period of play, Carlos Baleba toed a ball back towards Bart Verbruggen who rushed to meet towards the edge of his area. Presumably fearing he would be penalised for handling the ball, he slid to play the ball with his feet, only to see it rebound into the goal off the closing Josh Brownhill. Calamitous.

Brighton Fan Discussion: Oh Bart!

Anything Albion could do, Burnley could do better/worse…

Five minutes later Burnley stopper Arijanet Muric found himself receiving regulation backless under absolutely no pressure at all. Inexplicably he allowed the ball to roll under his foot and into the goal. As the recipient of the own-goal award, he must have got some kind of contact on the ball.

And that, frankly, was that. Both sides huffed and puffed, but were unable to find the moment of quality required to settle the contest.

With Newcastle thumping Spurs at St James Park, Albion’s chances of European qualification are looking ever narrower, particularly if the Premier League fail to secure a bonus Champions League spot.

Brighton Fan Reaction: Not Good Enough

Albion have the weekend off, before champions Manchester City visit the Amex. The game is currently scheduled for Thursday 25th April, but could move to Wednesday if Manchester City progress in the Champions League and are drawn to play on Tuesday 30th April.

Regardless of when it is played, it’s bound to be an easy peasy three points…

Images courtesy of Reuters