Six things we learned from Brighton's defeat to Nottingham Forest
A forgettable performance? Offside opener? A thorn in Albion's side! Here's six things we learned from Albion's 3-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
LOOK AT THE REPLAY
As Nottingham Forest celebrated their opening goal, Albion players were pointing at the replay of the goal on the main screen. The Seagulls players were claiming Britt Assombalonga was in an offside position when he turned home Zach Clough's shot and were attempting to point that out. The appeals fell on deaf ears, though, as referee Oliver Langford awarded the goal after a lengthy discussion with his assistant.
Albion boss Chris Hughton was philosophical after the defeat but was frustrated the goal was given, saying it changed the game.
NOT YOU AGAIN
Not for the first time, Zach Clough proved a thorn in Albion's side. The 21-year-old scored the winner for his previous club, Bolton, two years ago in a 1-0 win against Albion.
This time, he was again the difference between the sides. Introduced as a 59th-minute sub, he played a part in the opening goal less than 60 seconds later. The ball broke to him on the edge of the penalty area and his strike from 18 yards was turned home by Assombalonga.
Clough then added gloss to the scoreline in injury-time when he scored from the penalty spot but by then the game was already gone for Brighton.
TOUGH OUT THERE
The bobbly City Ground pitch proved tough for the Seagulls to get their passing game going. Too often in a disjointed, forgettable first half, Albion's touch or pass was not good enough.
The consensus was the second half could not be so bad and, although the final scoreline suggests things got worse, Albion looked more likely to score in the second 45 minutes.
But apart from a decent Solly March effort, Forest keeper Jordan Smith was hardly called into action as Lewis Dunk headed a few opportunities off target and Anthony Knockaert volleyed a decent chance to level over the bar from close range.
Liam Rosenior made his first appearance since August, after a lengthy absence with an ankle injury. With left-backs Gaetan Bong and Sebastien Pocognoli both ruled out, Rosenior's return was timely for the Seagulls.
The 32-year-old displayed few nerves but it was a difficult second half for the Seagulls.
TRYING TO BE TOO CLEVER
Forest were awarded a free kick on the left-wing early in the second half, with Jamie Ward and Ben Osborn standing over the ball. Osborn ran over it and Ward then looked to play the ball down the side of Albion's wall to his team-mate. However, he over-hit his pass and the ball ran out for a goal kick much to the home fans' frustrations. A sarcastic cry of 'it's just like watching Barcelona' came from one home supporter but the noise from the Forest crowd only got louder later in the game as they sensed a big three points for their side.
COOL LIKE CHRIS
Although disappointed, Albion boss Chris Hughton remained cool and calm in his post-match analysis. The Seagulls have had other set-backs this season and responded. Hughton felt his side did show enough energy in the first half and Forest's opening goal changed the game. After a second successive defeat, he will need to lift his squad for Tuesday's game with Rotherham.
One plus from the day was Huddersfield's defeat at home to Newcastle, which keeps Albion six points clear of the Terriers, who have a game in hand.
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