Brighton came back from 2-0 down at halftime to earn a draw away to Marseille in the Europa League. The French side netted both of their goals within one minute of each other in the opening period. Nevertheless, the Seagulls stormed out of the halftime break to level the score in the Europa League fixture.
Both clubs came into the match desperately needing a victory to help right the ship. Marseille had suffered two consecutive domestic defeats prior to Thursday’s fixture. Brighton, on the other hand, was previously beaten by Chelsea and then endured a 6-1 thrashing from Aston Villa in Premier League play.
Marseille scores early against visiting Brighton in Europa League
The hosts started Thursday on the front foot and scored twice inside the first 20 minutes of the match. Jonathan Clauss first gained possession of the ball out on the right flank. The right-back then sent a low cross into the Brighton box toward fellow defender Chancel Mbemba. After the pass somehow avoided all of the visiting defenders, Mbemba slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Marseille scored another goal less than a minute later. Brighton center-back Lewis Dunk completely missed an attempted clearance deep inside his team’s half. Amine Harit pounced on the ball and played a cross into a dangerous area. The ball eventually went to Jordan Veretout and the midfielder was able to put a shot through Jason Steele in Brighton’s goal. Unfortunately for the goalscorer, he later had to be substituted due to an injury.
Brighton was nearly handed a lifeline just moments after the second Marseille goal. There initially appeared to be a handball inside of the box by Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier. However, after viewing the replay on the pitchside monitor, the referee disallowed the spot kick due to a foul on Rongier by Brighton center-back Jan Paul van Hecke.
Seagulls score two second-half goals to secure draw
The visitors did, however, grab a goal back in the 54th minute. Tariq Lamptey started the move with a clever run down the left side of the attack deep into Marseille’s territory. The defender then quickly passed to Kaoru Mitoma at the edge of the box. Mitoma found Pascal Groß free inside the area and the midfielder easily sent a shot by a helpless Pau Lopez in goal.
Brighton then received a penalty with just a few minutes left on the clock after Clauss tripped up Lamptey inside the box. Substitute Joao Pedro stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Lopez the wrong way to level the scoreline. It was the Brazilian’s third successful penalty goal in the last two Europa League matches for his club.
The frantic match would ultimately end level after a furious fight from the visitors. Despite picking up a point in France, Brighton is still bottom of Group B of the competition. Marseille, however, is now second in the group. The French side sits slightly above Ajax because of total goals scored in the competition so far.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images.
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