Post-Match Report

U-23s: Brighton 2-2 Arsenal - How it happened

Brighton & Hove Albion U23 -

Checkatrade.com Stadium
Premier League 2 - Division One
Premier League 2 - Division One
  Brighton & Hove Albion U23
      
              Dreyer (56
               73)
          
   crest
Brighton & Hove Albion U23
Dreyer (56 73)
2 2
  Arsenal U23
      
                  Amaechi (43)
                   G. Zelalem (86)
            
   crest
Arsenal U23
Amaechi (43)
G. Zelalem (86)

WHAT HAPPENED 

Xavier Amaechi scored on his return from injury as we were held to a 2-2 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League 2 on Monday night.

Robbie Burton also made his first start since returning from injury, while Bukayo Saka delivered yet another thrilling performance. 

After finishing 2018 struggling for form, Freddie Ljungberg would have been keen for a fast start from his youngsters - and that’s exactly what he received.

Former Gunner Hugo Keto made a fine save early on to deny Saka from the edge of the area, before tipping Tyreece John-Jules’ header behind for a corner.

Shortly after Saka raced to the byline and picked out John-Jules inside the box, but his low drive was blocked before it could cross the line.

Amaechi and Zech Medley then fired wide of the post in quick succession, before Keto made two fine saves to keep out Burton’s volley and Amaechi’s fierce strike.

We dominated the first-half from start to finish and with less than two minutes remaining on the clock, we finally broke the deadlock.

Saka received the ball on the halfway line and charged at the Brighton defence with speed, before eventually teeing up Amaechi, who rifled a first-time effort into the far right corner.

However, despite delivering such a dominant first-half performance, we slipped away in the opening exchanges of the second.

James Tilley called Deyan Iliev into action with a dangerous shot from the edge of the box, before the hosts equalised through Anders Dreyer. 

The Danish forward charged at our defence and cut in on his left foot to find the bottom corner from close range, and just over 10 minutes later he doubled his tally for the evening.

Julio Pleguezuelo left the pitch in the 51st minute through injury - and the hosts saw this as an invitation to attack.

Pressing from the front, Dreyer pounced on a mix up between Dominic Thompson and Medley on the halfway line, before racing through on goal and firing past Iliev.

However, as we continued to push forward in numbers, Brighton’s defence weakened - and with less than five minutes remaining, substitute Gedion Zelalem latched onto Amaechi’s delivery and fired home from close range. 

WHAT IT MEANS 

We remain in eighth place in the PL2 table

PL2 table

WHAT’S NEXT 

We must now turn our attention to our PL2 clash with Manchester City on Monday, January 14.

The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).