Brentford 0-1 Brighton: Impressive Marc Cucurella but Leandro Trossard steals the show

Albion jump back into the Champions League spots after their 1-0 win over Brentford sees them record three wins out of four in the Premier League

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 7:53 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th September 2021, 12:16 am
Leandro Trossard celebrates his late winner at Brentford to put Brighton third in the Premier League

Brighton snatched a late winner against Premier League new boys Brentford thanks to a Leandro Trossard pearler from 25 yards out.

It was another late smash-and-grab away victory for Albion which sees them leapfrog back into the Champions League spots in third place, at the time of writing.

The blonde-headed Belgian winger's goal in the 89th minute was the end product of some fluid Brighton build-up play - something that was missing from last season.

Early evidence suggests Albion have added resolve and character to their play which, coupled with their obvious footballing ability, could continue to see them excel this year.

After the game Potter was asked about his team's "maturity", the boss said: "You've got to stay in the game. You've got to suffer at times, which is normal, especially with the crowds back.

"And then, I think, the longer the game goes on the more you can try to maybe control things a little bit better. In the end, the margins went in our favour with a bit of brilliance."

Marc Cucurella debut

The Spaniard looks like he possesses pace in abundance, sharp acceleration and a cultured left-foot. What's not to like?

There was one pass I saw of his that made me think of Thiago for Liverpool. He kind of sweeps it with a lot of zip and pin-point accuracy. To me, when you see that, you get a feel for the player's technical ability, which is of a high level.

Speaking after the game, Potter said of the left-wing-back: "He's a good player, good character. Not easy to come into, this atmosphere is hostile. Tight ground, tight pitch. I thought he acquitted himself well.

"Nice to have Solly as an option as well when he's [Cucurella] getting a bit tired."

March is coming back from a slight hamstring injury so it's no surprise he started on the bench. But now he knows he has competition. No more make-shift left-wing-backs of Pascal Gross and Jakub Moder.

Cucurella is here to start and March has a fight on his hands; healthy competition is good for any club, it will raise the bar.

It also means Moder can play in his natural centre-midfield position, where he seems to get better and better with each game.

This is a great opportunity for Cucurella to become a star at Brighton and in the Premier League - which I think he knows - as the wing-backs are the main men in a 3-5-2 system.

March and Lamptey were the stars last year before injuries cut their seasons short. Will we be saying the same about Cucurella in a few months? I think we might be.

Benham vs Bloom

This was also the ultimate data derby: Benham vs Bloom. Former friends who ended up going separate ways.

Bloom took over Brighton in 2009; Benham bought Brentford in 2012.

Both started in the lower divisions of English football and have now met for the first time in the top flight - the result of two similar decade-long projects.

Boyhood fans of their clubs, Bloom and Benham use numbers and science to run their ships as efficiently as possible.

Within their business models, a key factor is to buy players at low prices with the expectation of selling them for huge figures in the future - a way in which Liverpool have catapulted themselves back to the top of European football while still making profit.

For example, Brighton recruited Ben White from Southampton's Academy back in 2014 for free, seven years later he has been sold to Arsenal for £50million.

For Brentford, Ivan Toney was bought from Peterborough for £5million last year and is now valued at £25million, according to transfermarkt.com

The amount of talent and future talent on the pitch was clear: Toney, Cucurella, Bryan Mbeumo, Yves Bissouma, Kristoffer Ajer, Robert Sanchez to name a few.

Make no mistake about it, this is a great time to be supporting either club.