Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Southampton 1
A largely lacklustre Albion lost to resurgent Southampton as Pierre Emile Hojbjerg scored the winner after 53 minutes.
The first half was a non-event with the only real sight of goal falling to Saints striker Danny Ings which he flashed wide.
Shane Duffy had a half chance from a corner for Albion but couldn’t direct his header goal-wards.
Martin Montoya rattled the crossbar for Albion not long after Southampton had scored.
The referee Michael Oliver waved away penalty appeals when Hojbjerg and Davy Propper tangled after Angus Gunn had dropped a cross from Anthony Knockaert.
Albion pressed hard for an equaliser although it was not until 84 minutes of play that Jurgen Locadia had the Seagulls’ first official shot on target. Gunn saved it well.
Glenn Murray had been so isolated at times that there wasn’t a team-mate within 30 yards of him.
Late on in the game, Murray – in an advanced position – had to pass the ball at least 40 yards back to find another Albion player.
The week before Brighton’s last FA cup semi final, in April 1983, Albion lost a vital home match – just as winnable – against Everton.
Let’s hope that this result is a good omen for next Saturday’s much-anticipated Wembley showdown with Manchester City at least, although this time around the Seagulls play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening (3 April).
The showdown with Man City takes place next Saturday (6 April) at Wembley, with a 5.30pm kick-off.
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