Brighton and Hove Albion have made a strong start in the FA Cup. The Seagulls bounced back from a 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth in the Premier League in December to beat them 3-1 in the FA 3rd Round. The team will be looking to improve on their quarter final finish last season and go even further.
Confidence is high at the club as they are now on a four-game unbeaten run. After holding Arsenal to a draw, Albion beat Everton at home 1-0. The goal came from Jürgen Locadia, who had been described by The Guardian as struggling prior to Albion’s resurgence. Locadia, purchased last year from PSV Eindhoven for £14m, is finally showing signs of living up to his transfer fee.
Match highlights, Albion vs. Everton
The Seagulls almost followed up their win over Everton with another victory, as they were well on their way to beating West Ham. Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy put the visiting Albion on top, with goals in the 57th and 59th minute respectively. But West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic pulled one back in the 66th minute, before substitute Michail Antonio equalised three minutes later.
Match highlights, Albion vs. West Ham
Albion were impressive in the Bournemouth rematch, dominating the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium. Anthony Knockaert opened the scoring just a few minutes after the match’s half-hour mark. Yves Bissouma added another goal three minutes later to give the Seagulls a 2-0 lead. The hosts’ Marc Pugh struck back after half time, but Florin Andone put the game beyond doubt in the 64th minute securing a 4th round spot.
Match highlights, Albion vs. Bournemouth (rematch)
Their next match is against Liverpool, who are this season’s favourites to win the title and currently top of the table. Their recent loss to Manchester City was their first Premier League defeat of the season. Albion, in contrast, have only won one of their past six Premier League games and are 13th in the league. It is for this reason that bwin has Liverpool clear favourites to win with odds of 1.30 to Albion’s 9.75. There is hope for the Seagulls, though, as this season they have held Arsenal to a draw and have beaten Manchester United. Their recent unbeaten form also suggests that the club may be turning a corner, and that they may be ready to pull off a shock win against Liverpool.
Even more, Albion’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth broke a long streak of infamy. In the Independent’s analysis of the Bournemouth rematch, it was pointed out that the win was the Seagulls’ first against the Cherries in a decade. Albion played Bournemouth 10 times during that span and lost 6, including that 2-0 home defeat a couple of weeks ago (the other 4 ended in draws). But Albion finally got their payback, and it was a convincing one. Now, all that’s left is for them to carry that momentum into the FA Cup 4th Round where they play West Bromwich Albion at the Falmer Stadium.
Seth is an amateur footballer, who also regularly blogs about the Premier League and grassroots football. He is a keen Brighton & Hove Albion fan as well as a Miami Heat supporter.