Six things we learned from Brighton's draw with Southampton

Glenn Murray heads home Albion's equaliser. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Glenn Murray heads home Albion's equaliser. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Character to fight back and a landmark goal for Murray. Here's six things we learned from Brighton's 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Albion made to pay for slow start

Albion fans cheer on their side. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion fans cheer on their side. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

The Seagulls went into the game full of confidence after a 3-0 win at West Ham last week but were slow out of the traps and Southampton made them pay.

A early mix-up between Albion keeper Mathew Ryan and Lewis Dunk went unpunished. They left a low right-wing cross for each other and luckily for Brighton, no Saints player was behind them to tap into an empty net.

Moments later, though, Southampton were ahead. Albion fans questioned the award of a free kick 25 yards out when Dale Stephens was adjudged to have fouled Sofiane Boufal. James Ward-Prowse curled a delicious free kick over the wall and against a post and Saints skipper Steven Davis was quickest to react to head the loose ball home.

The opening half-an-hour was arguably as poor as Albion have been since the 2-0 defeat at Leicester in August. However, they improved as the game went on and ended up with a deserved point.

Anthony Knockaert sends an effort across goal. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Anthony Knockaert sends an effort across goal. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

More of a threat as the game went on

Albion had plenty of possession in the first half after falling behind but did not look like doing anything with it.

Too many opportunities to break quickly were wasted by a poor final ball and the Saints central defensive partnership of Virgil van Dijk and Wesley Hoedt comfortably dealt with any crosses into the penalty area. Van Dijk, of course, could have been an Albion player four years ago when Dutch side FC Groningen reportedly turned down two bids and the centre-half ended up at Celtic, before joining the Saints.

As half-time approached, the Seagulls started to look more dangerous in the final third but it took took until the 41st minute for them to look like scoring. Anthony Knockaert sent Jose Izquierdo's delivery across goal and then Shane Duffy headed Knockaert's cross over from close range.

Albion were much better in the second half and drew level when Pascal Gross's excellent cross was headed home by Glenn Murray on 52 minutes.

Both sides had half-chances to win it but there was little to choose between the teams and a draw was the fair result.

50-up

Glenn Murray scored his 50th home goal for the Seagulls with his 52nd-minute equaliser - nine years after his first goal at home for the club.

Murray netted on his Brighton home debut when they beat Crewe 3-0 in February, 2008, at the Withdean Stadium.

He went on to score 56 goals in 136 appearances in his first spell at the club, before playing for Crystal Palace, Reading on loan and Bournemouth.

The 34-year-old rejoined the Seagulls last summer -initially on loan before making the move permanent in January - and top-scored with 23 goals as Albion were promoted into the Premier League.

He now has three goals this season, after his double at West Ham last week, and has a total of 82 goals in 190 matches for the club.

Assist king

Yet again, Pascal Gross set up a goal for the Seagulls. The summer signing from Ingolstadt is becoming increasingly influential with every game he plays.

The 26-year-old German had created the most chances in the Bundesliga in the past two seasons before joining the Seagulls.

Since scoring the club's first ever Premier League goal in the 3-1 win over West Brom in August, he has scored once more and assisted five goals, while also playing a part in one other Brighton goal.

Today, he sent in a right-wing cross which Glenn Murray headed home high inside the near post from six yards for his third goal in two games.

Hard-fought point

Albion know home form will be crucial this season and they are now unbeaten in four matches at the Amex since the opening day defeat to Manchester City.

They weren't at their best at times today but got better the longer the match went on and a draw was the fair result come the final whistle.

It was an important point and shows Albion are of a equal level to a lot of sides in the top flight - Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino said afterwards that there's not much difference between teams from seventh downwards.

There were some negative fans pre-season who tipped the Seagulls to go down with a Premier League record-low points total. Derby set the record with just 11 in the 2007/08 season but after just ten games, Albion are already on 12 points and have made a solid start to life in the top flight.

Character to fight back

Today's draw was the first time Albion have fought back to take something from a game after falling behind in the Premier League.

Getting points when not at their best will be crucial to the team's hopes of staying in the top flight and the point moved Brighton up to 11th in the Premier League and four points clear of the relegation zone.

Games either side of the international break against Swansea and Stoke give Albion an opportunity to add more points to their total, before a trip to Manchester United at the end of November.

Click here for reaction from Brighton boss Chris Hughton.

Match report: Brighton 1, Southampton 1.