EPL

Brighton hit Sheff Utd for five after Mason Holgate sees red for horror tackle

By Sports Desk February 18, 2024

Brighton strengthened their top-six Premier League hopes as they inflicted a second successive 5-0 home defeat on 10-man Sheffield United.

Goals from Facundo Buonanotte and Danny Welbeck, Simon Adingra’s double and a Jack Robinson own goal gave the Seagulls their second victory at Bramall Lane in three weeks after a 5-2 fourth-round FA Cup romp last month.

Their task was made easier by Mason Holgate’s 13th-minute red card for the Blades, who also lost 5-0 to Aston Villa a fortnight ago and have now conceded five goals in three successive home games including that cup loss to the Seagulls.

Roberto De Zerbi’s side kept the pressure on sixth-placed Manchester United by putting the 10 men to the sword and they look in good shape as their European campaign soon resumes.

After winning at Luton last weekend, United briefly raised hopes of launching a great escape but they are dented and, sitting seven points adrift of safety, a return to the Championship looks almost certain.

They battled hard for much of the game but three goals in the last 15 minutes put a damaging slant on the scoreline.

Just 22 days ago the Seagulls came to South Yorkshire and made hay in the FA Cup and they enjoyed themselves again.

It had been an open start until the game changed in the 13th minute when Holgate saw red for a wild thigh-high challenge on Kaoru Mitoma. Referee Stuart Atwell initially gave a yellow card but quickly upgraded when he was told to watch it again by VAR.

The Seagulls went ahead seven minutes later as Buonanotte turned in from close range after Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham was bullied on the goalline.

Gus Hamer almost brought the hosts immediately level as his jinking run which saw him beat three players ended with a deflected shot.

But that was as good as it got for the Blades as Brighton seized control with a second goal.

Mitoma forced Foderingham into a good save at the far post but Welbeck was on hand to slam home the rebound from eight yards.

It could have been three but Mitoma and Pascal Gross had shots blocked by Robinson in quick succession.

United thought they had got themselves back into the game on the stroke of half-time when Ben Osborn flicked in from close range.

Atwell immediately ruled it out for a foul but Blades hopes were raised when Atwell was advised by VAR to go to the monitor.

However, during replays it was ruled Osborn was actually in an offside decision and the goal did not stand.

The Blades were spirited in the second half but could not test Brighton, who eventually finished strongly with three goals in the final 15 minutes.

They had to wait until the 75th minute for their third when Blades defender Robinson diverted Mitoma’s cross into his own net.

And three minutes later Adingra swept home Gross’ centre to make it four before adding a second with an effort which deflected off Andre Brooks.

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