Murray's brace helps Brighton bag third straight league win
Glenn Murray struck twice as Brighton secured a third straight Championship victory with a 2-0 home success over Barnsley this afternoon.
A goal in each half from Murray was enough to see Albion clinch a third successive league win without conceding a goal, while also being the first team to prevent Barnsley from scoring in the Championship this season.
After starting the day in seventh, victory helped Chris Hughton’s side back into play-off places and up to third in the table.
Brighton made one change from the team that secured a 1-0 victory at Burton in their last league outing, with Glenn Murray coming in for Jamie Murphy.
Albion made a bright start and had a decent opening inside two minutes, Beram Kayal’s ball found Glenn Murray whose strike on the angle was parried over by Adam Davies in Barnsley’s goal.
Murray then fired the home side ahead in fine fashion ten minutes later. Gaetan Bong’s diagonal pass found Anthony Knockaert who embarked on a run forward, before picking out Kayal whose square ball found Murray to fire home and round off a sweeping move.
Murray could well have doubled Albion’s advantage after 21 minutes, Knockaert’s pass picked out a rampaging Bong, he pulled back for Murray who slotted just wide from seven yards out.
Winnall somehow headed wide when well placed on 35 minutes after Adam Hammill’s dinked ball had picked him out but his effort would not have counted as the linesman flagged for offside.
Brighton were two ahead less than three minutes into the second period as Jiri Skalak saw his inswinging free-kick glanced home by the head of Murray.
The same pair combined on 53 minutes, with Murray so nearly completing his hat-trick. Skalak was sent racing away down the left and his cross found Murray, only for his side-foot volleyed effort to be stopped by Davies.
Adam Armstrong came close to giving Barnsley a lifeline nine minutes later. Marley Watkins’ cross was met by Armstrong, though, his glancing header went just wide of the far post.
Barnsley were continuing to push for a way back in with David Stockdale called into action 16 minutes from time.
Neat link-up on the edge of the area between Winall and Josh Scowen resulted in the latter firing a strike but Stockdale was on hand to parry away.
Knockaert was nearly rewarded with a goal his performance merited four minutes from the end. Murray waited for support to arrive, then picked out Knockaert on the edge but his strike was blocked by Marc Roberts as Albion secured a 2-0 victory.
Brighton make the trip to Ipswich in the league on Tuesday.
BRIGHTON: Stockdale; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Skalak; Hemed, Murray. Subs: Maenpaa, Baldock (Hemed, 75), Sidwell (Skalak, 84), Murphy, Goldson, Norwood (Kayal, 45)), Hunt.