10-man Huddersfield slip to defeat as Shane Duffy and Florin Andone complete comeback for Seagulls
First things first, if Steve Mounie was in any sort of nick we would not be talking about Michael Oliver.
That it came to Mounie scraping the shin of Yves Bissouma and seeing red is a product of an easily controlled ball bouncing out of his realm and in desperation, the Huddersfield striker committing a foul that cost the strugglers dear after 32 minutes.
The loss of basic hold up play should serve as a greater worry to David Wagner than Oliver’s decision against a target man who has not scored since April. Wagner’s strikers have now amassed more red cards than goals this season.
It takes Mathias Jorgensen less than a minute to put the hosts ahead against Brighton at the John Smith’s Stadium
Striker Steve Mounie is sent from the field with just 32 minutes played after a high tackle on Jean-Yves Bissouma
MATCH FACTS, LIVE LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
Huddersfield Town (3-5-1-1): Lossl 7; Jorgensen 6, Schindler 6.5, Kongolo 6; Hadergjanaj 7.5, Billing 7, Hogg 6 (Williams 77), Mooy 7 (Smith 63), Durm 6; Pritchard 7 (Depoitre 49); Mounie 5
Subs not used: Hamer, Kachunga, Sobhi, Mbenza
Scorer: Jorgensen 1
Sent off: Mounie 32
Brighton (4-4-1-1): Ryan 7; Bruno 6.5 (Balogun 78), Duffy 7, Dunk 6, Bernardo 5.5; March 8, Propper 6.5, Bissouma 6.5 (Kayal 90), Izquierdo 6; Gross 6.5; Andone 7.5 (Murray 79)
Subs not used: Steele, Bong, Knockaert, Locadia
Scorers: Duffy 45+4; Andone 69
Booked: Bruno, Balogun
Referee: Michael Oliver 7
Season at a glance
- Premier League
- Premier League
- League One
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- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
Now, Wagner and all connected with Huddersfield maintain that Oliver was wrong, that Mounie’s contact with Bissouma was ultimately minimal and he appeared to pull out of the challenge.
Many others, including Chris Hughton, will point to the rulebook. The issue here is there still seem several shades of grey when it comes to serious foul play. This tackle did not particularly endanger safety, but was high nonetheless. Referees are asked to be masters of interpretation and that is thankless.
Wagner refused to speak with Oliver afterwards – ‘I’m not in the mood – what can I say?’ – although did have his say publicly. ‘This is why at the moment football is no fun,’ he fumed. ‘Absolutely no fun. The referee has a big part to play and I don’t think he did his best.’
There is no doubt that Huddersfield only spurned the opportunity to record consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since March because they were a man light.
Alex Pritchard takes a tumble in the box under attention but the referee does not award the hosts a penalty
On the stroke of half-time, Shane Duffy rises highest to draw Brighton back level at John Smith’s Stadium
Duffy enjoys his third goal of the season as Brighton’s intense pressure finally bears fruit and sees them level the game
Brighton, with goals from Shane Duffy on the stroke of half-time and a winner from Florin Andone – on his full debut – with 21 minutes remaining, took full advantage and are now halfway to survival.
‘I don’t like to be disrespectful but I don’t want to discuss anything else apart from the referee’s decisions,’ Wagner added. ‘If it was a red then [Leon Balogun’s] challenge on Erik Durm is a red card as well.’
Thousands stayed behind to barrack Oliver at full-time and until Mounie’s moment this game was only going one way.
Hughton wriggled with frustration. Huddersfield’s opener, clocked at 54 seconds and the fastest in the division this season, was all of Brighton’s doing.
Yves Bissouma takes flight as the Seagulls start to build up pressure on their depleted opponents
Philip Biling takes a tumble as 10-man Huddersfield try to stave off intense Brighton pressure in search of a winner
Philip Billing’s long throw was not dealt with, Bruno agriculturally hoisted back into his own box on the volley and Mat Ryan was stranded, allowing Mathias Jorgensen to simply head in off the post.
Brighton were shaken, failing to retain possession, and Mounie hooked over the bar from another Billing arrow. Duffy had a header saved by Jonas Lossl before Jonathan Hogg heroically blocked Andone’s follow up.
The landscape ought to have changed immediately on Mounie’s sending off but the hosts thought they should have been awarded a penalty.
Florin Andone’s goal on his first start for Brighton helped them complete the comeback against Huddersfield
Coach David Wagner does his best to urge his under-strength side on from the sidelines as they fall to a disappointing loss
Goalscorer Andone and centre-back Lewis Dunk show their delight at securing a hard-fought victory in the north-east
Referee Michael Oliver was the centre of attention over several key decisions that had a big impact on the game
Wagner was apoplectic, he and members of his backroom staff flying towards fourth official Jon Moss as one after Oliver had waved away Alex Pritchard’s appeals.
Pritchard argued he had been wrestled to the ground. ‘A clear penalty and a red card too,’ Wagner added. ‘Three of these big decisions went against us.’
They had been pegged back seconds before the break. Brighton finally got it right in the final third, Bruno taking a quick corner for Solly March, who timed his whipped delivery perfectly for Duffy, still making his way into the box, to power past Lossl unchallenged.
Brighton grew stronger and Wagner reacted, bringing off Aaron Mooy and switching to four at the back in a bid to stem the tide. They simply could not, however, and March was again the architect.
Afforded way too much room from the right, his cross was perfect for Andone – stealing a yard on Jorgensen – to nod past Lossl and seal only a second away win in 21 games.
‘I’m really pleased for Florin because he’s had to wait given Glenn Murray’s form,’ Hughton said. ‘He arrived with an injury and then some smaller issues but he’s been fit for a while now.’