63 min: Paul Dummett, chasing shadows most of the night, smashes into Gross and gets a deserved yellow card.
5.22pm EDT 17:22
62 min: On comes Murphy for Joe Willock who has looked a tad lost amid the block of nothingness that has been Newcastle’s midfield. It has been a void.
5.20pm EDT 17:20
60 min: Lewis Dunk has loads of time to step across and clear the ball. Not much urgency from Newcastle. Jacob Murphy will be coming on for Newcastle.
5.19pm EDT 17:19
58 min: Bill Jones on mispronounced names: “ I think the current manager of Spurs is called by more outlandish mispronounciations of his name than his parents dreamed possible.Some versions would seem to have only four letters in them.”
5.18pm EDT 17:18
57 min: Brighton’s turn to keep it as tight as possible which for them isn’t actually that tight. They’re still looking the team most likely to score the next.
5.16pm EDT 17:16
55 min: But somehow, that doesn’t seem like it will be happening.
5.15pm EDT 17:15
54 min: Now it’s time for Newcastle to play for their lives, throw off the shackles like Kevin Keegan is in charge and the forward line is (from left): Ginola, Beardsley, Shearer, Sir Les, Asprilla, Gillespie.
at 5.15pm EDT
5.12pm EDT 17:12
52 min: Oh dear, Newcastle. Just as they had started to look interested in actual attacking.
5.12pm EDT 17:12
Goal! Brighton 2-0 Newcastle (Welbeck, 51)
What a strike. In from the left, he cuts in, Manquillo gives him space and he beats Dubravka.
at 5.22pm EDT
5.10pm EDT 17:10
49 min: Newcastle go close, very close. Joelinton and Almiron switch the play and Fraser chips with his right foot but can only rattle the post. More ambition from Newcastle. And that has to the first time their three attackers link up.
5.08pm EDT 17:08
48 min: Andy Carroll sits in the stands, wiping his eyes. Yeah, me too.
5.06pm EDT 17:06
46 min: Back underway. In that first half, Brighton completed 200 more passes than Newcastle according to stats king Graeme Souness.
5.02pm EDT 17:02
Peter Oh gets in touch: “I feel for Joelinton because his name is arguably the most mispronounced in the Premier League. All of the commentators I’ve heard say Jo-el-IN-ton when in actuality it’s more like Zho-EL-in-tow. Ask any Brazilian.”
5.01pm EDT 17:01
Brian Robson gets in touch: “I have an upcoming colonoscopy and to save the over stretched resources of the Canadian health care system, the anaesthetic will be provided by the first half of this game, and as sadly I’m watching the substitution of Hayden, why is Jeff Hendricks the only answer to any tactical question?”
Leandro Trossard’s goal came as a surprise, but it was the opening Brighton had been looking for. Rotten luck for Newcastle to lose Isaac Hayden like that but they also paid for a total lack of ambition.
4.50pm EDT 16:50
45+4 min: Cannot help but think that the distraction of Hayden’s injury led to Newcastle losing concentration. Brighton – at last – found the space they had been looking for.
4.48pm EDT 16:48
Goal! Brighton 1-0 Newcastle (Trossard, 45+3)
Veltman’s pass, and Trossard spins and shoots, well beyond the wingspan of Dubravka. A great goal, but Newcastle sat off him.
at 5.16pm EDT
4.47pm EDT 16:47
45 min: Hayden goes off, shaking the hand of Bissouma as he goes off, head in hands. Five minutes are added on to the half, at least.
4.46pm EDT 16:46
44 min: Watching it again and Bissouma fell over Jonjo Shelvey and inadvertently took out Hayden, who was looking in the other direction with his knee planted.
4.44pm EDT 16:44
43 min: Jeff Hendrick will be coming on. That looks like it could be the end of Hayden’s season. The stretcher is on, and he’s barely moved aside from trying to dull the pain by waving his arms. It’s distressing to see. Bissouma looks traumatised himself. Awful. Sheesh.
at 4.46pm EDT
4.42pm EDT 16:42
42 min: Hayden sounds in real pain as he goes down. He’s smashing the turf in agony after he and Bissouma smash into each other. It looks like a knee injury. And a nasty one too.
4.41pm EDT 16:41
40 min: This is going exactly as expected. And one can take no pleasure in that, as iy’s not a very pleasurable game to watch. The immovable object against the totally resistible force.
4.39pm EDT 16:39
38 min: Brighton go close. It’s still blocked, as the wall of black and white sits deep again. Trossard gets to the touchline and Maupay can only hit Clark. He needs to do better than that.
4.37pm EDT 16:37
36 min: An actual Newcastle corner. It eventually comes back out to Shelvey but Isaac Hayden makes a right hash of it. Steve Bruce howls in anguish.
4.35pm EDT 16:35
33 min: Newcastle showing a serious lack of ambition but Steve Bruce is having words with Almiron – ‘Miggy” as Dubravka is down with an injury. He’s also trying to get Joelinton to do something different. It appeared there was a language barrier there. Lots of miming and talking loudly from Brucey. As any Englishman needs to do when talking to an actual foreigner. Joelinton looked bemused.
4.32pm EDT 16:32
31 min: Lovely pass from Gross to Welbeck in that wide position, he smashes the cross and it’s cleared. There was nobody chasing it in. Brighton are getting in loads of crossing positions but can’t get the ball to anyone running on to it.
4.29pm EDT 16:29
29 min: Welbeck gets to the byline and skips away from Willock, but the ball is cleared. There were too many men in the way.
4.28pm EDT 16:28
28 min: Brighton play nice stuff but not quick enough. And that’s their big problem. Because then the mistakes they make get punished.
4.27pm EDT 16:27
27 min: Newcastle essentially playing seven at the back. Lallana prods a nice pass through to Maupay who does OK to start with but is crowded by three defenders.
4.26pm EDT 16:26
25 min: A terrible ball from midfield evades Welbeck by miles. Twenty five minutes in and it’s awful, frankly.
4.23pm EDT 16:23
23 min: Lallana plays in Trossard whose shot is blocked. Any Brighton attack is defended deeply, very deeply.
4.21pm EDT 16:21
21 min: Brighton’s zest has abated, which is a worry. Newcastle’s Manquillo currently has a problem, caused by kicking the foot of an opponent. Painful one.
4.19pm EDT 16:19
19 min: This defence versus attack: a not especially good attack against a not especially good defence. Does something have to give? Not necessarily.
4.18pm EDT 16:18
17 min: Newcastle are digging in while Moder is all over the show. They have not yet been tempted out of their shape. Steve Bruce and trusted assistant Graeme Jones are in discussion after Jones came down from the stands to make a suggestion. Jones previously worked with defensive genius Roberto Martinez.
at 4.18pm EDT
4.15pm EDT 16:15
15 min: One of those delayed offside as Almiron seems to have scampered away from Brighton’s defence only to be hauled back.
4.13pm EDT 16:13
13 min: Newcastle finally get it forward to Joelinton, who is robbed by Veltman but that’s the way to server a player like the Brazilian. He’s also much more mobile than Andy Carroll. Mind you, so probably is Steve Bruce himself.
4.11pm EDT 16:11
11 min: Actual Newcastle possession is conceded by Fraser, the ball finds its way up Bissouma after Trossard’s pass. Three decent chances, three lacking in a decent connection.
4.10pm EDT 16:10
9 min: Joelinton on the flanks doesn’t look right. He is, as they used to say up in the Manchester area, a ‘centre crash’. He’s no winger, that’s for sure.
4.08pm EDT 16:08
8 min: Maupay seems to be playing off the right, drifting away so others can fill the space a centre-forward fills. The same seems to go for Welbeck. The aim appears to be drawing out Newcastle’s massed phalanx of defenders and letting runners from midfield do the damage. [/chalkboard]
Maupay actually has the ball in the net but Dubravka had clearly been fouled.
at 4.56pm EDT
4.06pm EDT 16:06
6 min: Another chance for Maupay to cross from the right wing, another clearance. Newcastle are sat deep, and that appears to be the plan of action. This does not come as a surprise to anyone, does it?
4.04pm EDT 16:04
4 min: Moder again, seemingly playing as an underlapping full-back, as he gets inside a flick from Welbeck. A better shot this time but Dubravka is equal to the task. Brighton already finding openings.
4.02pm EDT 16:02
2 min: Maupay gets to the touchline and dips in a cross, Welbeck leaves it for Moder, who has a chance to score on his first start. He whacks it over. He saw glory and delivered something rather less than glorious.
4.00pm EDT 16:00
1 min: Away we go. A feast of football surely awaits us all. Just before kick-off there was a moment shared between the two managers. That was nice, actually.
3.57pm EDT 15:57
The teams are on the field. Some nerves around, there has to be. This is massive.
at 4.08pm EDT
3.33pm EDT 15:33
Newcastle have won just two of their last 17 Premier League matches, while Brighton’s win at Southampton was their first win in six since beating the division’s whipping boys in Liverpool.
at 3.59pm EDT
3.11pm EDT 15:11
The big news for Newcastle is that Almiron is fit to play after recovering from his keen injury. He and Javi Manquillo replace Emil Krafth and Dwight Gayle.
Brighton make one change from the side that beat Southampton last weekend with Jakub Moder coming in for Dan Burn, to make a first Premier League start. Burn drops to the bench.
Fulham’s defeat to Leeds last night means the stakes aren’t quite so high as they might have looked in midweek but there’s certainly so much to play for on Saturday night. This will be a clash of styles: playing well and not getting what they deserve in Brighton’s case versus not playing well and somehow not being in the relegation zone in the case of Newcastle. Graham Potter is admired by Brighton fans, Steve Bruce isn’t by Newcastle fans, and yet there is a single point between them. Newcastle, with no Callum Wilson, no Miguel Almíron, and Allan Saint-Maximin, as is likely, look likely to try and dig in for a draw. Though they would probably have done that anyway. With Adam Lallana at last free from injury and the aftereffects of Covid, then Brighton have a player of class, and if Albion could just find someone to score goals for them then they can pull clear. But we should be prepared for this to be the type of game where staring down the abyss lowers the entertainment levels to reading the manual of a micrometer screwgauge. The kick-off is at 8pm UK time. Join me.
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