AEK Athens 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 1
The Seagulls are through to the next stage of the Europa League after a disputed Joao Pedro penalty – another given by VAR.
It was the Brazilian striker’s fifth goal of the competition, making him the current leading scorer.
The Albion’s position is almost surreal. On Tuesday 3 December 1996, the Seagulls lost 3-2 at home to Darlington sending the Albion plummeting to 92nd in the Football League.
Fast forward 27 years and Evan Ferguson almost scored after just a minute in Athens but Albion’s record-breaking Irish international saw his shot charged down by Ehsan Hajsafi.
Simon Adingra then found himself free on right but his shot narrowly whistled over the bar then, for most of the rest of the half, it was all Athens.
Albion were looking a bit sloppy or maybe fatigue was a factor as both Lewis Dunk and Pascal Gross made uncharacteristic mistakes.
Mijat Gacinovic had a good effort for Athens as did Steve Zuber who saw his shot pushed over by Albion keeper Bart Verbruggen.
Gacinovic had another good chance just before half time from a Zuber pass but headed over when well placed.
If Albion looked out of sorts in the first half, they started off a little better after the break. Ferguson and Gross tried their luck and a chance fell to Dunk but it came too quickly for the Albion captain and the ball flew over the bar.
Albion went in front after Joao Pedro wove his way through the Greek side’s defence and Damian Szymanski clumsily clattered into the back of him.
It was, though, a good two minutes before the Swiss referee was summoned to the VAR screen and, after a couple of looks, he gave a penalty to the Albion.
Joan Pedro calmly rolled the ball into the net for his fifth Europa League goal of the season – four of them penalties.
AEK were riled. Domagoj Vida clattered into first Billy Gilmour then Joao Pedro but it was Gacinovic who saw red for stamping on Joel Veltman’s foot.
Igor Julio strode forward and played a delightful ball for Ferguson who was denied by the sprawling Cican Stankovic.
Albion were under pressure even against 10 men. Substitute James Milner made a super headed clearance late on and Dunk was again immense.
Another substitute to impress was debutant Josh Duffus who had two chances to double Albion’s lead after being played through by Carlos Baleba late on.
Albion hung on for hugely notable win and are surely the only current all-time unbeaten English team in term of away matches in Europe.
The Seagulls face Marseille at the Amex in their final Europa League Group B match on Thursday 14 December, with Albion needing a win to end up top of the group.
But first Albion are due to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League at 2pm on Sunday (3 December).
Chelsea, in 10th place with 16 points from 13 games, lost 4-1 at Newcastle last Saturday (25 November).
Brighton sit in eighth place with 22 points from 13 games and ought to be favourites to win.
Since the Seagulls were thumped 6-1 by Aston Villa on Saturday 30 September, only Manchester City, the current Champions, have managed to beat Brighton.
We still insist, it’s not all a dream …