Alireza Jahanbakhsh reveals why he was so emotional after his goal for Brighton against Bournemouth
The long wait is finally over for Alireza Jahanbakhsh
A well-taken strike after just two minutes against Bournemouth saw Jahanbakhsh net his first ever goal in a Brighton and Hove Albion shirt.
It was the Iranian's first Premier League start of the season and it helped Albion to an impressive and much-needed 2-0 victory against Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium.
Jahanbakhsh, a £17m signing from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in 2018, was overcome with emotion following his early opener.
His teammates were delighted for him and tears were in his eyes as he fell to the floor and attempted to gather his thoughts as the home crowd were finally able to celebrate with him.
Jahanbakhsh did compose himself and went on to deliver a fine overall performance as an excellent second half goal from Aaron Mooy sealed victory for Albion who move up to 13th.
The 26-year-old joined Brighton 18 months ago and was the Dutch golden boot winner with AZ Alkmaar having notched 21 goals before playing at the World Cup for Iran.
The Premier League however proved much harder as Jahanbakhsh failed to score or claim as assist in 25 appearances last campaign. Against Bournemouth he was one of seven changes from Albion's Boxing Day loss at Tottenham.
“It took longer than I expected to get my chance this season and I was determined to grab it,” added Jahanbakhsh, who was told he would be starting for the first time under Graham Potter on Friday. “I’ve been training well day in day out and every time I get my chance I want to make an impact.
"It has been a very tough time for me and my family. Last season was not the best season for me. This time, half the season I did not play. But now I'm settling down, I like the city and I have a very good relationship with the boys.
"I had ups and downs last year, trying to settle," Jahanbakhsh said. "This season it felt good with the new manager. He wanted to use different players, but I've been doing well in training and was ready for my chance."
Jahanbakhsh's strike took the visitors by surprise. Mooy broke quickly from midfield and found Maupay in the box. Maupay held up the ball well and rolled it back for Jahanbakhsh who cracked a low right-footed drive beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
"Neal (Maupay) held the ball up," said the Iranian international. "I just tried to shoot as hard as I can. It was a good goal I think. The early goal helped the team get confident and for the rest of the game we almost dominated all of it.
“I always felt we had control of the game. We have had some good performances recently and been a bit unlucky. At home, with our fans behind us, I thought we did a great job as a team. Every individual helped each other, we created chances and defensively we were very good.”