Six things we learned from Albion's win against Blackburn
Walking in a Murray wonderland, Ronaldo-esque free kicks and winning ugly. Here's six things we learned from Brighton's win against Blackburn Rovers.
After two weeks without a game, Albion returned to action and, as expected against a Blackburn side fighting relegation, it was a tight and cagey affair.
The Seagulls had a few early openings and an early goal would certainly have opened up the game. The longer it went on, the more comfortable Blackburn - unbeaten in seven games since Tony Mowbray took over - looked.
However, that undefeated run came to an end thanks to Glenn Murray's strike midway through the second half. Although there were a few nervy moments towards the end, Albion held on for all three points to return to winning ways.
WALKING IN A MURRAY WONDERLAND
Albion's top-scorer netted another crucial goal. After taking a couple of knocks in the first half, he showed no ill effect in the second period to give Albion the lead.
The Seagulls worked the ball well out to the right and Liam Rosenior's cross was then nodded down by Anthony Knockaert to Glenn Murray, who took a touch and poked the ball home from close range.
It was the striker's 19th goal of the season, while he also picked up his 100th foul of the campaign as well. He's on course to break the 20-goal mark for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign, when he netted 31 times for Albion's arch rivals Crystal Palace.
While Murray took the headlines, it was a difficult day for strike-partner Chuba Akpom. The Arsenal loanee struggled to get into the game and there were a few boos when he was subbed just before the hour.
GETTING THE CROWD GOING
Seagulls substitute Tomer Hemed lifted the atmosphere just before going on, by waving his arms in the air to get the crowd going, which increase the noise inside the Amex.
While there was understandable nervousness for much of the game, the introduction of Hemed and Solly March lifted the volume and after the goal, the Albion fans in a 30,216 crowd certainly found their voice.
RONALDO-ESQUE FREE KICKS
Perhaps the most surprising sight of the day was Albion captain-for-the-game Lewis Dunk taking two Cristiano Ronaldo-style free kicks.
The central defender was behind the ball, with Anthony Knockaert, in the first half and saw his dipping and swerving effort saved by Rovers keeper Jason Steele. Dunk tried the same with another long-distance free kick in the second period but was again denied by Steele.
It's at the other end where Dunk is crucial for the Seagulls, though, and he was again excellent in central defence with Uwe Hunemeier.
NO MORE POST INTERNATIONAL BREAK BLUES
After the previous three international breaks this season, Albion had failed to win a game. They lost 2-0 at home to Brentford, before drawing 2-2 with Preston and 1-1 with Aston Villa.
Seagulls boss Chris Hughton called it a coincidence in his pre-match press conference and would no doubt have been pleased to bring the statistic to an end.
With the Albion players applauding the home fans after the game, quiet murmurings of a late Burton winner at Huddersfield gathered pace and that goal was almost celebrated like an Albion one inside the Amex.
Brighton are now nine points clear of the Terriers, who have a game in hand, but they have now lost back-to-back matches for the first time since November.
It leaves Albion needing 16 points (well, 15 because of the goal difference) to clinch promotion - and that's providing Huddersfield win all eight of their remaining games.
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