If I told you before the game Brighton would lose to Sheffield United in this way, you would have believed me - opinion

Albion gave away a silly goal in the first half and were unable to climb out of the hole they had dug themselves

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 9:59 pm
Updated Saturday, 24th April 2021, 10:04 pm
Bissouma

Brighton are a very Jekyll and Hyde team, you see some excellence in patches but it's always shadowed by the absolutely horrendous, the shock horror, the silly mistakes.

Tonight was no different. For the second time this season Brighton were left frustrated after playing The Blades.

If I said to you before the game Neal Maupay would miss a sitter early on, another stone cold sitter later on, David McGoldrick would pass into an open net after a series of Brighton errors, which would mean Albion were always fighting to get back into the game against the Premier League's basement boys, I think you would have believed me.

This is exactly what happened.

A tale of two halves again. Similar to the United game but in reverse. At Bramall Lane tonight, the cold north, Brighton instead started slow and finished with an intensity to try and spare their blushes, but it was too little too late. Their hole had been dug in the first half and it was an uphill battle from there on out.

Formation

Potter started with Welbeck and Maupay high and wide and Trossard as a false nine in the middle. This did not work. All three were non-existent in the first half, the ball could have had glue spread around it and it would still not have stuck. There was no one breaking the lines other than Bissouma.

So, maybe an over thinking move from Potter there to play the front three in that way. Quite similar to what Pep Guardiola does, being too cute.

However, the Brighton boss tinkered it back to a more familiar set up at half time with Welbeck and Maupay as a central strike pairing and Trossard moving out on the left wing.

This changed the whole dynamic of the game. Wave after attacking wave came from the Seagulls but again there was no end product to finish off these moves. "It was a bit like the alamo in the second half," one Sheffield United workers said in the stands after full time.

Granted, Moder had the ball in the back of the net but VAR called it offside moments later.

For all the excellent play, the one touch moves from Lalllana to Welbeck, the cruyff turns from Gross, the effective cameo from Jahabakhsh, not one of them could fire past Ramsdale, who did make a few good saves to be fair to him.

Injuries

The caveat you'd have to mention are the injuries to the wing-backs, March and Lamptey, who were the best players at the start of the season. Their loss has been huge and has meant the team is now playing out of focus and rhythm.

Pascal Gross, played well, but is not a wing-back. Same goes for Moder. These two players are much more effective down the middle, but that's not possible at the moment.

The lack of pacey wing-backs has meant there is a little threat from the wings, no one is breaking the lines and getting in behind.

This is vital to Potter's 3-5-2. And can maybe explain why they are hard to beat but also not good enough to kill games off. The formation is off. Square pegs are going in round holes.

Takeaways

A confident, pacey striker is needed.

Whoever that player might be, if he can score in this Brighton team, he has the opportunity to become a star in a very good side.

He has a chance to propel this squad of players into the top 10 of the Premier League, I think. That's how I would sell it to him if I was Tony Bloom, Paul Barber and Graham Potter.

But, without this magic striker, Brighton will continue to suffer defeats like this. 1-0 away to bottom of the league after numerous squandered chances.

Back up wing backs are also needed so Gross' talents are kept in the middle of the park and used to full effect.