English Premier League

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 – 0 Nottingham Forest

Andrew Omobamidele scored an own goal to gift Brighton victory and dent Nottingham Forest’s chances of Premier League survival.

The Forest defender turned Pascal Gross’ curling free-kick into his own goal in the 29th minute.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side pushed in search of an equaliser after the break but a lack of quality in the final third meant they failed to salvage a crucial point.

The defeat leaves them just three points above 18th-placed Luton in the relegation zone, although the Hatters have a game in hand.

Returning from a 4-0 thumping by Roma in the Europa League on Thursday, Brighton dominated both possession and chances in the first half.

Jakub Moder’s glancing header called Forest keeper Matz Sels into action, while Evan Ferguson came close to netting his first goal since November’s meeting with the same opponents, but he couldn’t squeeze in at the near post.

The Seagulls kept pushing forward and were eventually rewarded when Irishman Omobamidele, who was lucky to avoid a second yellow card for fouling Ansu Fati on the edge of the box, nodded the resulting free-kick into his own net.

Forest should have levelled straight away but Divock Origi couldn’t fire past Bart Verbruggen when one-on-one with the Brighton goalkeeper.

The visitors were stronger after the break and a fingertip save from Verbruggen denied Chris Wood in the only time they looked remotely like scoring.

Forest also may feel aggrieved Brighton were not reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute after a studs-up challenge by Moder on Neco Williams, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) deemed a yellow card sufficient after a two-minute review.

Brighton respond well after Roma rout

Brighton’s landmark trip to Rome may not have turned out as planned, but this hard-fought win will help boost morale among Roberto de Zerbi’s men.

It was an assured first-half performance from the home side and, while their chances were limited in the second half, they controlled the game in the dying moments to ensure they took all three points.

The Seagulls will play the return leg of their Europa League tie on Thursday, but after Roma’s dominant display, their chances of reaching the quarter-finals look unlikely.

That makes their remaining 10 Premier League games all the more important, with places for European competition still up for grabs.

Brighton move up to eighth, 11 points off fifth-placed Tottenham.

Forest lack clinical edge in front of goal
Forest were furious this time last weekend, incensed by referee Paul Tierney’s decision to controversially hand possession back to Liverpool via a drop-ball before Darwin Nunez snatched a dramatic 99th-minute winner.

While Moder’s challenge on Williams was a nasty one, it is difficult to see Michael Salisbury’s decision to show a yellow card as a clear and obvious error.

The club are still awaiting the outcome of their ongoing Premier League hearing for breaching financial rules, with news of a possible points deduction expected to come in the next few weeks.

With 10 games left, Forest also need to find a clinical edge in front of goal to help keep them out of trouble.

They will be boosted by Wood’s return from injury, but the New Zealand forward had few opportunities in his first start since suffering a hamstring injury in late January.

Luton play their game in hand at Bournemouth on Wednesday and have the chance to go level on points with Forest before the two meet in a crucial clash at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.


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