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Season 2016-17
Brighton & Hove Albion (a)

In association 


Tuesday 28th February 2017, 7.45pm
Live on Sky Sports

 Amex Stadium

Conditions: Euphoric

Admission: £32 (£28 in 2012/13)


Brighton & HA

Newcastle United

1 - 2




14 mins The home side's free kick routine got the ball over the Newcastle wall but Karl Darlow helped Sam Baldock's mis-hit volley out for a corner. Before that was swung in, the inevitable grappling between the teams had begun, Ciaran Clark tussling with Glenn Murray.

That continued as the ball was played over and both ended on the floor, Clark first. Somehow the referee decreed that to be a penalty rather than a 50/50 skirmish
, with the astonishment of the Newcastle players echoed by their home counterparts, none of whom had made even the most cursory appeal
. TV replayed revealed that Jamaal Lascelles may have made minimal contact with Murray, but not enough to warrant any action.

Murray converted
the spot kick confidently as Darlow dived the other way.

Half time: Seagulls 1 Magpies 0

81 mins One of most bizarre - but important - Newcastle goals scored in living memory came from Matt Ritchie's corner kick, half-cleared by Stockdale to Atsu on the edge of the Albion box.

Atsu sliced his shot, but it ran over Murphy's toe before looping up off the heel of Diame and arcing under the Brighton crossbar and into the net, the goalkeeper stretching in a vain attempt to reach it while Fikayo Tomori headed the ball into the side of the goal after it had crossed the line

89 mins Having switched wings with Christian Atsu, Matt Ritchie produced a superb cross-field ball from inside his own half on the right to his Ghanaian colleague. Atsu tamed the ball before pinging it across the box for Ayoze Perez to hammer home clinically and magically from 12 yards. 2-1

Full time: Seagulls 1 Magpies 2

We Said


Rafa said:

"It was difficult. When you play against a good team, with the advantage of the goal from the penalty, which was not, it’s always more difficult. 

"A lot of things were against us, but the reaction of the team was good. There was a risk of being caught on the counter, but we created chances and we have to be pleased with the teamwork.

"Watching the replay, you cannot give a penalty in this kind of game from that kind of situation. We have had two penalties this season, as the division’s most offensive team.

"We created a lot of good situations before (Mo) Diame, who was lucky. The winning goal was
(due to the) calm and composure of Ayoze (Perez). 

"We had to change a bit to be more dangerous, but I’m really pleased with the players’ reaction, the way they understood how we had to be playing. 

"We had to take a risk, playing between the lines - it’s good to get three points, away, on this pitch against a very good team. Still I have the same feeling – April will be crucial.

"For us, the pressure will always be the same. We approach every game trying to win, and that is not going to change. It’s not that we don’t have any pressure now. People will think, ‘It’s Newcastle United, we have to give everything to beat them’, and we still have to be able to deal with that.

"This result means we have confidence, but we still know the next few games will be difficult and dangerous.”

On the decision to start with Yoan Gouffran up front:

"We needed to run behind them. They are strong defensively, the centre-backs, but they have some problems behind."

On acknowledging the away support at full time:

"I enjoyed the win with them and said thank you to them. Our fans are amazing. When you play away you can see how behind the team they are. 

"These type of games are more difficult because you are losing but they still pushed and helped the team. so it’s really good for us and them to come back with smiles on their faces."

On coming from behind to win:

"I don’t like being in that position. I prefer to score first. If you can guarantee me that we’ll win I can accept that but I am pleased we came from behind against a very good team."

Goal of the season candidate Mo Diame added:

"I got lucky with the goal, but we deserved it overall. I tried to hit it on the volley when the ball came towards me, but I have to admit it was luck. We’ll take it though, because it was a huge win and really important to our aims in getting us back to the top of the table.”

They Said

Brighton boss Chris Hughton said:


"Was it a sickener? Yes, and I don't think it was a result we deserved. I generally felt we would go on and win the game.

"I've seen the penalty and there is no doubt
(Clark) has his hands all over him. The referee was in a good position to see it and he has given it, so yes I think it was a penalty.

"But then it's one of those really unfortunate goals, they happen in the game. I wondered at the time how it had gone in. But that gives Newcastle momentum going into that last period.

"I didn't think we were at our best today but I still thought we would go on to win.

"Most know the fondness that I have for Newcastle. They’re a wonderful side and it’s testament to our players that we’ve stayed so close to them for so much of the season. We’ll need to keep doing that. The closer we are to Newcastle, the better the chance we’ve got of going up.

"There are very good sides at the top of this division, and they’re sides that don’t look like losing too many games. Huddersfield are on a tremendous run at the moment.

"But every time you look at the fixture list, there are tough games for everybody. When Bristol City go to Newcastle and get a draw, it shows what this division is all about.

"We have to take into account that before the game we were top of the division. It’s a defeat that sees us move one place down, and we must not take away the fact that it’s been a wonderful season so far.

"The team have done that because of the hard work they’ve put in all season. They know the league and know there’s going to be 12 tough games now. Where we end up at the end of the season is going to depend on how well we do in those 12 tough games.” 


Competitive visits to the Seagulls - all time:

2016/17 won 2-1 Diame, Perez
2012/13 lost 0-2 (FAC)
2011/12 lost 0-1 (FAC)
1991/92 drew 2-2 G.Peacock, Kelly
1990/91 lost 2-4 Quinn, Brock
1989/90 won 3-0 Quinn 3
1983/84 won 1-0 Waddle
1982/83 drew 1-1 McDermott (FAC)
1978/79 lost 0-2
1961/62 won 4-0 Allchurch, Thomas, Kerray, Suddick

(Games up to 1991/92 played at Goldstone Ground)

Total record against Brighton:

  P W D L F A
SJP 7 4 1 2 13 5
GG/AS 7 4 1 2 14 9
League 14 8 2 4 27 14
SJP(FA) 3 1 0 2 3 3
GG/AS 3 0 1 2 1 4
SJP(LC) 0 0 0 0 0 0
GG 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup 6 1 1 4 4 7
Tot 20 9 3 8 31 21

We've twice played here previously in the FA Cup, but tonight represented our league bow at the Amex Stadium - the third new one of the Championship season after Rotherham and Burton, and the third victory. Huddersfield will be the fourth new venue....

Newcastle completed their fourth league double of the season, Brighton joining Derby County, Brentford and Rotherham United as teams beaten home and away.

And the Seagulls became the twelfth side to concede maximum points to United on their own ground, after victories at Bristol City, Derby County, QPR, Rotherham United, Barnsley, Preston North End, Leeds United, Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion, Brentford and Wolves.

The club record in a season is thirteen,
set in
the 1992/93 promotion season.

This was the eighth time this season Newcastle have conceded the first goal in a Championship game - but the first time they've recovered to take all three points. 

Saturday's 2-2 home draw against Bristol City was the only time defeat was avoided, the other six seeing us end up empty-handed (Fulham away, Huddersfield Town home, Wolves home, Blackburn Rovers home, Sheffield Wednesday home and Blackburn Rovers away).

One has to go back to December 2015 and a 2-1 victory at Spurs for the last time United went 0-1 down but won the game. The winning goal that day came was Ayoze Perez, who also did so the previous time we'd managed that feat on the road - at White Hart Lane in October 2014.

NUFC in the Championship after 34 games:

2009/10 72 points (W21, D9, L4) F64 A24 +40 1st
2016/17 73 points (W23, D4, L7) F66 A28 +38 1st

2009/10 - 2016/17 Championship scorers after 34 games:

15 NUFC players at this point in 2009/10 versus 14 in 2016/17

Kevin Nolan 12
Andy Carroll 9 
Peter Lovenkrands 9
Shola Ameobi 7
Marlon Harewood 5
Danny Guthrie 4
Ryan Taylor 4
Fabricio Coloccini 2
Jonas Gutierrez 2
Nile Ranger 2
Damien Duff 1
Fabrice Pancrate 1
Wayne Routledge 1
Danny Simpson 1
Steven Taylor 1

Own Goals 3
Dwight Gayle 20
Matt Ritchie 8
Ayoze Perez 6
Yoan Gouffran 5
Aleksandar Mitrovic 4
Jonjo Shelvey 4
Christian Atsu 3
Ciaran Clark 3
Mohamed Diame 3
Jamaal Lascelles 2
Daryl Murphy 2
Grant Hanley 1
Isaac Hayden 1
DeAndre Yedlin 1

Own Goals 3





Newcastle's remarkable away record reached new heights on Tuesday night, as a sensational finish to the second versus first tussle saw the Magpies deservedly regain pole position in the table.

Trailing to an early penalty dubiously awarded, the visitors ultimately saw their hard work pay off when the home defence was breached twice late on - Mo Diame's freak equaliser followed by a massively significant and celebrated winner from Ayoze Perez.

United made their maiden league visit to the Amex Stadium - although they've twice trekked here for FA Cup ties - and unlike those woeful displays made a serious attempt to win here. That had been called into question by some when a team missing Dwight Gayle through injury included neither Daryl Murphy or Aleksandar Mitrovic - Yoan Gouffran shouldering the burden up front.

That cautious approach may have betrayed a desire to avoid defeat here above everything else, but looked to have handed the initiative to a Brighton side beaten just once in seventeen home games. 

Pre-game worries about the influence of referee Bobby Madley on the game would soon be justified when he somehow decided that some even-handed tussling between Ciaran Clark and Murray was worthy of a 14th minute penalty that was duly dispatched by the Albion forward.

At that point, there was
genuine apprehension that our promotion push was starting to falter, but going behind so early seemed to galvanise Newcastle and they began to show more attacking initiative against a Brighton side who seemed unsure of quite how to respond.

Karl Darlow made a couple of timely blocks but the visitors looked the more likely scorers and twice came close to a breakthrough at the end of the first half through Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie.

Paul Dummett made a vital goal-line clearance shortly after the resumption, but when Albion 'keeper David Stockdale presented the ball to Gouffran who couldn't finish, it began to look as if this wasn't our night and the first of a trio of season-defining away games within a week would be lost.

Rafa's response was to dispense with Jack Colback and
introduce Daryl Murphy (thankfully ignoring the Mitro chants from some away followers). The veteran forward soon had the home defence worried Stockdale twice with headers before we memorably broke our Amex scoring duck.

Nine minutes of normal time remained when a
corner was fisted clear by Stockdale and although Atsu sliced his shot, it clipped Murphy's toe before looping off the heel of Diame and arcing in.

If that was fortunate though then the 89th minute winner was simply majestic: a long-range pass from Matt Ritchie that has been compared to Terry Hibbitt's at Hillsborough in 1974, picked up by Atsu and delivered to substitute Ayoze Perez to crack his first time effort past Stockdale.

That sent thousands of home fans scurrying for the exits in disbelief, as 2,900 away supporters went collectively berserk at the other end of the ground. 

Added time was negotiated without incident before joyous scenes at full time saw some players tossing their shirts into the throng and unused substitutes including Mitrovic join the celebrations.

Rafa Benitez acknowledged the acclaim of the fans, while Darlow deservedly claimed the man of the match award for some crucial stops - a perfect tonic after some below-par displays recently. 

Turning one point into three against our nearest rivals on their own ground felt pivotal, but not a fluke. If other away victories this season were enjoyable, then this was the real deal, a genuine scalp and tangible reward for the effort of the players and those who made it down to Sussex to cheer the team on. These are the nights when a little bit of payback for all the other awful trips arrives to reward the persistent: De Kuip 2002, Stamford Bridge 2012, Old Trafford 2013. 

There were fine performances right across the pitch ahead of that immaculately timed killer blow;
United refusing to settle for a point and sticking to their allotted tasks. The discipline, patience and persistence they showed points to a message delivered and received on the training ground.   

Hopefully a signpost to better times, and a step towards realising the true potential of this club, none of the victories under Chris Hughton in the 2009/10 season quite brought this level of joy. 

Glorious though this was, there's every chance we'll kick off at the John Smiths Stadium on Saturday back in second - assuming that Brighton win at Forest that afternoon to go a point clear. 

And given that Huddersfield trail us by eight points with a game in hand before our visit, nothing has been decided yet; and the importance of avoiding defeat there remains paramount - regardless of the sizeable goal difference disparity. 

If ever a result made a season though it was this one, as the scoreline matched the performance to make for a genuinely memorable night. 


Page last updated 21 September, 2017