Roberto De Zerbi admitted Brighton dropped two points in the race for Europe after they were held to a goalless draw at Brentford.

The Seagulls failed to take advantage of their nearest rivals West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves all dropping points a day earlier after a drab encounter in west London.

“We have to make a difference between the performance and the result. I’m really pleased for the performance but we are disappointed for the result,” said Seagulls boss De Zerbi.

“We shot 24 times, we had six shots on target but we didn’t score and we are disappointed because in our head we lost two points.”

The main talking point came in first-half stoppage time when referee Andrew Madley was sent to take a look at the pitchside monitor by the VAR for a potential penalty for a foul by Yoane Wissa on Lewis Dunk.

That turn of events almost always ends with a spot-kick being awarded but, in something of a collector’s item, the on-field official stuck to his guns and ruled in favour of the Bees forward, much to Brighton skipper Dunk’s frustration.

“Fantastic decision,” smiled Bees boss Thomas Frank.

De Zerbi added: “I think the referee was correct, maybe the decision was correct. My assistant told me that at the beginning it was Dunk who made the foul.

“I’ve never seen the referee watch the screen and change the decision of the VAR. I learnt something new today.”

Ivan Toney saw his goal drought stretch to seven matches for Brentford.

The England striker turned inside Jan Paul van Hecke 12 yards out in the first half but lost his footing slightly and Bart Verbruggen saved his scuffed shot.

After the break Toney took aim from 25 yards with a free-kick but it sailed over the crossbar.

Substitute Danny Welbeck had two chances to win it for Brighton in stoppage time but he headed a corner wide and then fizzed a low drive the wrong side of the far post.

It was the first time since November that the Bees had picked up points in back-to-back games, following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

“An unbeaten run, finally!” said Frank.

“Yeah, I think it was a good point, a well deserved point, a point that we have missed a lot of times this season.

“If you can’t win, don’t lose, and we got a clean sheet on top of it. That’s going in the right direction so I’m really pleased with that.”

Gareth Southgate has plenty to mull over as he weighs up England’s options and issues ahead of selecting his European Championship squad.

The Euro 2020 runners-up will announce an expanded provisional group on May 21 and have until late on June 7 to submit their final 23-man squad to UEFA.

Following the final two friendlies before Southgate’s selection, the PA news agency takes a look at how the England boss likely sees his options.


On the plane: Jordan Pickford (Everton).

In the departure lounge: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace) and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Hoping for a late ticket: Jack Butland (Rangers), Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Nick Pope (Newcastle) and James Trafford (Burnley).

Pickford has been England’s number one for the last three major tournaments and that will continue in Germany. Ramsdale appeared his closest contender but is now clinging onto a squad spot having been usurped as Arsenal’s number one. Johnstone is the likely number three, especially with Pope injured.


On the plane: Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

In the departure lounge: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Hoping for a late ticket: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Eric Dier (Bayern Munich, loan), Rico Lewis (Manchester City), Tino Livramento (Newcastle), Reece James (Chelsea), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan).

Ignoring boarding calls: Ben White (Arsenal).

Maguire, Stones, Walker and Trippier have been to every major tournament under Southgate and are set to be on the plane once more, assuming they are fit.

Guehi missed March’s games with an issue of his own, but Southgate is confident his third-choice centre-back will be fit for the summer. Konsa and Dunk are pushing for the fourth spot. The latter impressed during his first England appearances this week, whereas Dunk’s stock dropped with a costly error in each friendly.

Branthwaite received his first call-up but did not feature, while Gomez and Colwill – who missed this camp through a toe complaint – would offer versatility to a 23-man squad.

James faces a race against time to be involved but left-back is a more pressing issue. Chilwell improved against Belgium after a poor performance against Brazil. Shaw is Southgate’s first choice but is a doubt for the Euros given he is not due to return to fitness until May.

White would likely be going to a third straight tournament had he not snubbed an England call-up this month.


On the plane: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Ajax), James Maddison (Tottenham) and Declan Rice (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United).

Hoping for a late ticket: Mason Mount (Manchester United) and Kalvin Phillips (West Ham, loan).

Real Madrid star Bellingham and Arsenal man Rice are shoo-ins. Barring injuries and a woeful end to the season, vice-captain Henderson will join them whatever onlookers think of that. Gallagher appears to have also rubberstamped his spot along with Maddison.

Beyond that, though, there is a lot up in the air. Injury denied Southgate the chance to see Alexander-Arnold in midfield against high-level opposition in a month when 18-year-old Mainoo impressively staked his claim, earning the man of the match award on his first start against Belgium.

Phillips, overlooked for this squad after a disastrous start to life on loan at West Ham, is running out of time to earn a recall. Southgate says Mount is an outside bet.


On the plane: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle) Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Ivan Toney (Brentford) and Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

Hoping for a late ticket: Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) and Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

In Kane, Saka and Foden, the England boss has three starters, never mind selections. It gets tougher after that due to the competition for spots.

Southgate warned at his squad unveiling that established Rashford and Grealish had a battle on their hands for a place at the Euros – a fight that increased after new boy Gordon impressed and Bowen put in his best performance yet against Belgium. Injury denied Palmer the chance to truly shine this month, but he is another knocking at the door. Chelsea team-mate Sterling looks set for a summer off.

Toney scored a penalty as he won his second cap on Tuesday and may have just edged ahead of Watkins in the race to be Kane’s back-up. Solanke is the next cab off the rank behind those two.

Gareth Southgate praised Jude Bellingham’s never-say-die attitude after saving England from defeat against Belgium at the end of an international break that provides plenty of food for thought ahead of the Euros.

Among the favourites for glory this summer, the side third in FIFA’s world rankings stepped up preparations with a pair of high-level friendlies against the nations directly behind them in those standings.

Brazil are fifth and struck late on Saturday to inflict a first defeat on England in 15 months, which fourth-placed Belgium looked set to compound at rainy Wembley three days later.

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after a Jordan Pickford error, with a Lewis Dunk mistake resulting in the Aston Villa midfielder scoring again after Ivan Toney had converted a penalty on his first senior start.

Fellow full debutants Ezri Konsa and, in particular, 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo also impressed in a friendly that ended 2-2 after Bellingham struck at the end of second half stoppage time.

“I liked it because I know the rubbish we would have got if we lost two games on the bounce,” the Real Madrid midfielder told Channel 4.

“These are two games that are going to stand us in good stead going into the Euros. I know people will be negative but you have to take these games for what they are.

“You’ve got to keep perspective. We had a lot of lads making debuts (this week) and a lot of lads I’ve never played with. We created a lot of chances. I should have scored (previously). I was happy I could make it up to the team.”

England boss Southgate told the post-match press conference: “Jude, of course, is the headline.

“That competitive spirit, that desire not to lose, desire to win in the end, was decisive in getting the late goal.

“But I thought the whole team showed that throughout the game and recovered from setbacks with a pretty inexperienced team, really, against a team that have got some very, very good players. Very pleased with a lot of what I saw tonight.”

Bellingham pulled the Euro 2024 hopefuls through at the end of a challenging international meet-up marred by injuries.

John Stones joined England’s eye-watering absentee list when limping off with an adductor issue within 10 minutes on Tuesday, when Mainoo’s man-of-the-match performance was among a number of impressive displays.

“The great thing is definitely some players have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had,” Southgate said reflecting on the Brazil and Belgium friendlies.

“We’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect, but the injuries are a concern. We’ve got so many players missing at the moment, and we’ve still got the real heat of the season to come, with the intensity of the games, what’s resting on the games.

“We’re not going to know what we’re left with until right until the end but we’ll just have to make the best decisions that we possibly can.”

Southgate praised Toney, Jarrod Bowen and James Maddison for their attacking impact against Belgium, while Anthony Gordon has also earned plaudits during the week.

Southgate has plenty to mull over ahead of announcing his provisional squad on May 21, which has to be whittled down to a 23-man group by June 8.

“In terms of knowing the 23, there’s so many unknowns at the moment in terms of who might be available,” Southgate said.

“So, yes, these performances were very important for players to be able to see whether or not they could play against high level opposition.

“But equally the way they play between now and the end of the season with their club, in big matches is going to have a high tariff as well so we will track all of that.”

Roberto De Zerbi acknowledged Brighton’s 4-0 hammering at Roma was a reality check for his Europa League novices.

The Seagulls’ adventure in Europe turned into a nightmare at Stadio Olimpico after they conceded twice in each half to lose heavily in the club’s first ever European knockout tie.

First-half goals by Paulo Dybala and Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku put the visitors on the ropes, but worse was to follow with Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante able to score in quick succession to essentially kill the last-16 tie ahead of next week’s second leg.

This defeat made it three in a row for injury-hit Brighton, who were without a number of key individuals, which has contributed towards their season derailing in recent weeks with poor Premier League form coupled with an FA Cup exit leaving the Europa League as the club’s main focus.

“We played our game. We gave our best. Maybe our best now is this performance,” De Zerbi admitted.

“I think Roma is much better in terms of experience to play this type of game and we suffer a lot. Too much I think. We are not used to playing this competition and today we paid everything.

“We paid (for) a squad not so long, we paid to play away in this stadium, we paid with too many injured players and for us, it is the first time so we have to improve.

“We have to progress and if we want to compete in this level, from the owner to the coach to the players we have to progress to reach one level higher.

“We are proud we reach this game. We know very well the situation. I know very well the situation.

“I spoke with the owner a lot of times before February on the transfer market and I told him the problems we are finding, but it is the first time Brighton plays this competition. Europa League final eight is a big level for us so we have to improve to progress.”

Roma broke the deadlock after 12 minutes when Leandro Paredes’ superb through ball found Dybala, who rounded Jason Steele and fired into the empty net with VAR subsequently awarding the goal.

Brighton did respond with Simon Adingra, who had an early cross deflected onto a post by Roma’s Evan Ndicka, able to pick out Danny Welbeck, but Mile Svilar denied the former England international’s header with his feet.

Welbeck would be thwarted again by Svilar before half-time, although by this point the hosts had extended their advantage.

A poor touch by Lewis Dunk from Paredes’ long ball allowed Lukaku the opportunity to dribble into the area where he slotted beyond Steele for his 18th goal of the campaign.

More Adingra magic created another opening early into the second period, but Welbeck scooped over and Roma hit Brighton with a double sucker-punch.


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First, a Stephan El Shaarawy cross was poked home by Mancini, who had looked marginally offside but VAR awarded the 64th-minute goal before four minutes later another El Shaarawy centre was headed home by Cristante to ensure De Zerbi endured a night to forget on his return to Italy.

He told TNT Sports: “Yes, we create a lot of chance and maybe the same in terms of numbers, but if you watch the game, you can understand Roma played with different power, with different speed and with different habits I think. Habits to play this game.

“We are not used to playing at this level and so we showed our problems, but I love this club, I love these players and I know we played 20 per cent of our potential.”

Meanwhile, Brighton supporters’ were alleged to have had objects thrown at them inside Stadio Olimpico.

“We are aware of the bottles, coins and lighters being thrown by home supporters into the away end. We have reported to UEFA and Italian police and requested immediate action be taken,” a Brighton statement read.

Roy Hodgson vowed to carry on fighting as Crystal Palace manager despite some of the club’s fans turning on him during the 4-1 Premier League defeat at Brighton.

Hodgson cut a forlorn figure on the touchline as goals from Lewis Dunk, Jack Hinshelwood, Facundo Buonanotte and Joao Pedro once again left his future under scrutiny.

Palace sacked their previous manager, Patrick Vieira, following a 1-0 defeat in this fixture last season so Hodgson, on a run of just four wins from 17 matches, could be on thin ice.

The 76-year-old knew it was not going to be his day when Michael Olise, on as a substitute, lasted just eight minutes before suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

That led to chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from the away end with the Brighton fans, never shy to revel in their rivals’ misfortune, responding with ‘Super Roy Hodgson’.

“Wonderful, wasn’t it?” quipped Hodgson. “Is it nice? No it isn’t. Yes, my years of management have given the me resilience me to cope with that, absolutely, and taunts from away supporters are part and parcel of our lives.

“At the moment our fans aren’t very happy with everything that is happening at the club and they are making their feelings known as well.

“But I signed up to be the manager and coach of this football club and I’ve got the strength, resilience and determination to see things through. I’m certainly not going to be cowed by that type of thing.”

Hodgson is hamstrung by the absence of Eberechi Eze through injury but his decision to risk his other star man, Olise, when his side were 3-0 down raised eyebrows.

“I was told he couldn’t start the game, everyone was quite comfortable with that,” added Hodgson.

“But they told me, and he told me, he was fine to be on the bench and to play in the second half. Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball and I wasn’t to know that would lead to a recurrence of his injury.”

A late goal from Jean-Philippe Mateta could not spark a Palace revival and the loss of captain Marc Guehi to a first-half knee injury just compounded a thoroughly rotten day.

Then goalkeeper Dean Henderson and defender Joachim Andersen had a heated exchange with some supporters at the final whistle.

“They are realistic enough to know the fans aren’t going to be happy to see their team lose 4-1 and I think the players did the right thing,” insisted Hodgson.

“No one is less happy than ourselves. At least they went over to thank the fans and let them know we are grateful for their support. If people react, so be it.”

It was Brighton’s biggest win over their fierce rivals since 1956 and the perfect response to the midweek 4-0 defeat at Luton.

Boss Roberto De Zerbi said: “We are very happy because in a derby we made our fans happy, but I’m not surprised with the reaction we showed.

“Our win started on Tuesday after the Luton game. I’m really pleased with the result, the reaction, the energy.”

Captain Lewis Dunk says Brighton are dreaming of Europa League glory after securing a spot in the knockout stages on a historic day for the club.

Albion guaranteed a top-two finish in Group B with a game to spare thanks to an unconvincing 1-0 victory away to 10-man AEK Athens.

Joao Pedro’s 55th-minute penalty proved the difference against the Greek champions as the Seagulls set aside a disjointed display to progress ahead of a final-round fixture at home to Marseille on December 14.

Defender Dunk is determined to finish in first place in the pool in order to advance directly to the last 16 and avoid a knockout round play-off against a team falling out of the Champions League.

“The next game, we’ve got to win, we’ve got to top the group,” he told Brighton’s website. “I think that’s massive, you miss a round out.

“That’s our next aim in this competition but who knows how far we can go?

“We want to win it and you’ve got to dream big to achieve it. We’re going to set our sights on reaching the final and winning it.”

Brighton, who are enjoying their maiden European adventure, were second best in the first half at AEK Arena and fortunate not to fall behind when Steven Zuber’s shot deflected off Dunk and struck a post.

The contest turned during a pivotal 10-minute second-half spell in which Pedro converted a VAR-awarded penalty after being fouled by AEK captain Damian Szymanski and Mijat Gacinovic was dismissed for a second booking.

Following back-to-back successes over four-time European champions Ajax, Albion jubilantly celebrated another famous win with the travelling fans.

England international Dunk, who made his senior debut when the Seagulls were a League One side, acknowledged the visitors were forced to dig deep.

“It’s massive,” the 32-year-old said of the result. “I think you can see in the celebration at the end what it means.

“It’s a historic day for the football club.

“We came into this tournament to qualify out of the group and we’ve done that tonight.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of our performances but sometimes you’ve got to win like that and it’s all credit to us.”

Pedro’s successful spot-kick was his fifth goal in the competition and backed up his match-winning brace as a substitute in Saturday’s 3-2 Premier League victory at Nottingham Forest.

Dunk, whose right shoulder was taped up at full-time, was sent off at the City Ground and will miss Sunday’s trip to Chelsea due to suspension.

“(I’m) just nursing a few injuries but you just get on with them,” he replied when asked about the strapping.

“Frustrating not to be out there (at Stamford Bridge), it’s my fault and I’ve got to deal with that myself.”

Ezri Konsa was always confident his England chance would come.

The Aston Villa defender, who won the Under-20 World Cup in 2017 and also played for England Under-21s, has been brought into the senior set-up for the first time at the age of 26 for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta on Friday and North Macedonia next Monday.

Konsa was a late call-up alongside Cole Palmer and Rico Lewis on Sunday, after James Maddison, Lewis Dunk and Callum Wilson withdrew due to injury.

He told a press conference on Tuesday: “I knew I had a lot to work on in my game. Only recently now, the last two seasons, we’ve excelled at Villa and that part of it has helped me become the player I am today.

“I knew my time would come, but it was just a matter of when. I was patient, and I’m proud and me and my family are really happy.

“I’ve always believed in myself, always backed myself. I’m really enjoying my football now at the moment and the rest is taking care of itself.”

Asked if he saw the Euros as a realistic target, Konsa said: “I think that’s every player’s target, to go to major tournaments and play for your country. So that’s definitely on my mind and definitely something I plan on doing.”

Konsa – who described talk in the past of him potentially switching allegiance to Portugal as “just rumours” – has been congratulated in a message on Instagram on his call-up by former England captain John Terry.

Terry, who worked with Konsa when a coach at Villa, wrote: “Congratulations @ezrikonsa. So happy for you mate, you have been excellent and so consistent over the last three years and fully deserve this. Enjoy it Ez…Just the start.”

And Konsa said: “It means a lot coming from a legend like John Terry.

“I worked with him for two years and he really helped my game. I used to ask him a lot of questions on how he was able to maintain playing at such a high level, and he gave me a lot of advice and I definitely took that on and it’s helped me become the player I am.

“He was in touch with me, sent me a nice little message. He just said congratulations, that I need to enjoy it and be myself.”

On the moment he received notification that Gareth Southgate had called him up, Konsa said: “I was driving home from the match on Sunday (Villa’s 3-1 win against Fulham) and me and the missus were talking about having a little break, going away – and then two minutes later I ended up getting the call!

“It was a weird feeling, it didn’t really sink in until I got home. I think my missus was crying a little bit, she was more excited that me. I’d rather be here anyway, so it’s fine.”

Midfielder Jude Bellingham and defender Levi Colwill are the latest pair to withdraw from the squad after they sat out games for Real Madrid and Chelsea respectively over the weekend with shoulder problems.

Southgate has resisted any temptation to bring in any other players to replace Bellingham and Colwill, leaving him with a 23-man squad for the home game against Malta and the trip to North Macedonia.

England are already assured on their place at next summer’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany but Southgate wants to be a top seed when the draw is made in Hamburg next month so victory in both games remains a key target.

Jude Bellingham and Levi Colwill are the latest pair to withdraw from England’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

Both Real Madrid midfielder Bellingham and Chelsea’s Colwill sat out their club games over the weekend with shoulder problems and have pulled out of the camp for the final two Group C fixtures.

“Jude Bellingham and Levi Colwill will play no part in England’s forthcoming UEFA EURO 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia,” an England squad update read.

“The pair arrived at St George’s Park for assessments on Monday but will now return to their clubs to continue their rehabilitation.

“Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips will meet up later this week owing to personal matters.”

Their withdrawals follow in the wake of James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk being replaced on Monday, with the trio all staying with their respective clubs for treatment.

Three newcomers were called into the England senior set-up by manager Gareth Southgate in light of Monday’s news with Ezri Konsa, Rico Lewis and Cole Palmer stepping in.

Southgate, though, has resisted any temptation to bring in any other players to replace Bellingham and Colwill, leaving him with a 23-man squad for the home game against Malta and the trip to North Macedonia.

England are already assured on their place at next summer’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany but Southgate wants to be a top seed when the draw is made in Hamburg next month so victory in both games remains a key target.

John Stones’ injury has given England manager Gareth Southgate the chance to explore his centre-back options in the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

The City defender was forced off with a problem in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Young Boys with boss Pep Guardiola admitting it is “deep bad news”.

Stones only returned to action in October after a two-month absence with hamstring and hip problems but Southgate had no hesitation in starting him in the important qualifying win over Italy.

But with qualification for the summer’s tournament in Germany already secured, Southgate – who names his squad on Thursday – can afford to look at his back-up options.

Brighton captain Lewis Dunk and AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori started together in last month’s friendly win over Australia but Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi was the man Southgate opted to replace Stones for the final 27 minutes against Italy and has the most caps of the trio.

Injuries to Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw meant Kieran Trippier filled in at left-back against Italy but Chelsea’s Levi Colwill started against Australia and could be another one to benefit from any experimentation.

Colwill’s club captain Reece James could be in for a recall having returned from injury while Chelsea team-mate Raheem Sterling will be hoping two goals and some improved form in his last five matches will earn him a call-up for the first time since the World Cup.

Those chances could be enhanced depending on the extent of the ankle injury sustained by James Maddison during Tottenham’s loss to Chelsea on Monday and how significant the hamstring problem which forced off Callum Wilson in Newcastle’s Champions League defeat against Borussia Dortmund.

But Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka should return after withdrawing from the squad in October.

Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips’ 49 minutes of action since his international start against Italy is unlikely to count against him, but James Ward-Prowse is knocking on the door of a first call-up in 14 months after a number of good performances for West Ham.

Jordan Henderson was booed by some England fans on a night when Ollie Watkins helped Gareth Southgate’s much-changed side secure an unconvincing 1-0 win against Australia.

A sold-out Wembley crowd watched a surprisingly hard-fought friendly between these great sporting rivals on Friday night as the hosts experimented with Euro 2024 in mind.

England can wrap up qualification against Italy on Tuesday night and Watkins boosted his chances of being on the plane to Germany with a goal and solid display.

The Socceroos can count themselves unlucky to leave Wembley without so much as a goal to celebrate.

Lewis Dunk’s brilliant block denied Ryan Strain ending a fine team move just before half-time and Connor Metcalfe headed off the outside of the post late in the second period.

But England rode their luck to emerge victorious as Watkins, winning his first cap since March 2022, turned in Jack Grealish’s cross-shot at the far post in the 57th minute having earlier hit a post.

The in-form Aston Villa striker will have boosted his chance of being regular back-up to captain Harry Kane, whose place on the bench meant Henderson wore the armband on Friday.

There were murmurs from the crowd when his named was read out before England’s first home game since his controversial move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq.

That reception turned to jeers when he was replaced in the second half of a match that began with the innocent victims of the conflict in Israel and Palestine being remembered.

The Football Association was criticised by the UK government and the Jewish community in the build-up to the match for its response to recent devastating events.

The Wembley arch was not lit up on a night when both sides wore black armbands and observed a period of silence before kick-off.

Southgate made 10 alterations from last month’s friendly win in Scotland, leading to a sloppiness and disorganisation that allowed Australia to settle and threaten.

A slight touch prevented Watkins sweeping home with the first noteworthy attack of the night and Sam Johnstone soon brilliantly stopped Keanu Baccus’ curling effort going in off Fikayo Tomori.

England remained in control of first-half possession, but Australia continued to offer the greater threat.

Mitch Duke connected brilliantly with a low cross, flashing a first-time strike under pressure narrowly wide before Kye Rowles hammered over following a set-piece scramble.

England’s carelessness was summed up by James Maddison’s slip and strike out for a throw-in, but the Tottenham man showed his quality when slipping through Watkins.

The Aston Villa frontman took the ball around Mat Ryan and got away a bobbling effort from an acute angle that came back off the far post in the 34th minute.

Debutant Levi Colwill and Conor Gallagher received bookings in quick succession as a frustrating half continued, although it would have been worse was it not for Dunk – the only survivor from the side that started in Scotland.

Graham Arnold’s outfit showed skill and confidence playing out from the back, with Martin Boyle following fine hold up play by playing in Strain to get away an attempt that was blocked brilliantly by the Brighton skipper.

It was a moment Australia were made to rue in the 57th minute.

England returned from the break with more urgency and Trent Alexander-Arnold swung a ball over to the back post after an initial free-kick was cleared.

Grealish controlled and hit an attempt across goal that Watkins slid to turn home on the line – his third goal in eight England appearances.

Southgate made a quadruple change as he turned to his talent-filled bench with around 30 minutes remaining.

Henderson was among those withdrawn and Friday’s captain was booed by sections of the Wembley crowd, which he made a point of applauding as Kieran Trippier took the armband.

Baccus dragged wide as Australia tried to claw back an equaliser and Metcalfe was free to meet a corner with a powerful header off the outside of the post in the 80th minute.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah came on for his England debut and the visitors failed in their attempt to grab a memorable late goal.

Lewis Dunk’s late equaliser earned Brighton a 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool at the Amex Stadium.

Winger Simon Adingra took advantage of an error from Alisson in the visitors’ goal to give the Seagulls the lead midway through the first half.

But the game turned on its head before the break, Mohamed Salah slotting home to level after being played in by Harvey Elliott, then firing Jurgen Klopp’s side in front with a penalty after Pascal Gross had hauled down Dominik Szoboszlai.

Ryan Gravenberch spurned a golden chance to seal the win when he struck the bar with the goal at his mercy, before the final word went to the home side, Dunk volleying in 12 minutes from the end to keep Brighton sixth.

Roberto De Zerbi made six changes from the side that drew 2-2 in Marseille on Thursday, in keeping with the trend in the early weeks of the club’s debut season in Europe. Yet in the first period they appeared to pick up where they left off in storming back from two down to draw in the Stade Velodrome.

Their first chance came after only four minutes. Dunk got free at the back post from a corner and nodded back across goal, the ball sitting up at a good height for Joao Pedro whose shot deflected wide.

The opening goal was a calamity of Liverpool’s own making. Alisson played a careless pass to the feet of Alexis Mac Allister, seemingly oblivious to the lurking Adingra. He stole in to nick the ball from the former Brighton player, and with quick thinking took the shot early and rolled it inside the post before goalkeeper Alisson could recover and set himself.

Liverpool were shaken and Brighton began to take a hold of the game. Carlos Baleba exposed the visitors’ porous midfield when he collected inside his own half and drove through the heart of Klopp’s side, carrying the ball to the edge of the box before checking back and dragging a left-footed effort inches wide.

Liverpool equalised against the run of play after 39 minutes. Dunk gave the ball away to Szoboszlai near halfway and the Hungarian fed it forward to Darwin Nunez. He moved it on to Luis Diaz, whose ball in to Elliott was perfectly weighted for him to set up Salah to slot home.

Salah gave Liverpool the lead from the penalty spot in the 44th minute after Bart Verbruggen playing an awkward pass to Gross that put the midfielder under pressure. He was dispossessed by Szoboszlai and in a desperate attempt to recover the ball he yanked down the Liverpool midfielder, allowing Salah to step up and bag his second from the spot.

The hosts almost restored parity in the first few minutes of the second half, Evan Ferguson finding Adingra with a reaching pass into the right channel. Adingra darted beyond Andy Robertson and feinted to shoot, instead cutting back inside and hitting a low effort that was well saved by Alisson.

Gravenberch, on as a half-time substitute, wasted a glorious chance to extend the lead when he struck the crossbar with the goal gaping from Szoboszlai’s cross, before the Hungarian turned provider for Diaz who burst into the box and blasted wide.

Karou Mitoma thought he had won Brighton a penalty after 69 minutes, cracking a shot at goal from six yards that appeared to ricochet onto the arm of Joel Matip. The award never came, and furious De Zerbi was booked for remonstrating with the fourth official.

Brighton’s equaliser was no more than their assured performance warranted.

Solly March’s whipped free-kick from the left had pace and bend, and as Andy Robertson missed it at the near post it was met first time by Dunk, who thumped home on the volley.

Pedro should have won it when he was left unmarked from 10 yards out, instead the striker leaned back and ballooned a glorious chance over as an entertaining game finished level.

Roberto De Zerbi praised an “incredible” reaction from Brighton after they recovered from two goals down at the Stade Velodrome to salvage a point against Marseille and keep alive their hopes of progressing in the Europa League.

Substitute Joao Pedro scored an 88th-minute penalty to earn a 2-2 draw that kept Brighton in contention in Group B following their defeat to AEK Athens two weeks ago, the striker slotting home coolly after Tariq Lamptey had been tripped.

A draw had looked an unlikely outcome when Marseille struck twice in the space two first-half minutes, the first a low finish from former Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba, then a strike by Jordan Veretout that went through the hands of goalkeeper Jason Steele after Lewis Dunk had given the ball away with a poor miss-kick.

Brighton weathered the Marseille storm, too often giving the ball away cheaply when in possession but surviving to go in only two down at the break, before launching a comeback early in the second period when Pascal Gross slotted home from Kaoru Mitoma’s cutback.

From there on De Zerbi’s team were on top, and it came as just rewards when Pedro was given the chance to level from the spot and salvage their hope of progressing to the knockout rounds.

The manager said he was concerned by the way his injury-hit side have played recently but praised their powers of recovery in the south of France, particularly coming off the back of Saturday’s 6-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

“I want to be honest more than other days, other games,” De Zerbi said. “I think we are not playing well, it’s a very tough period for us in this moment. It’s difficult to show our quality like last season, like a month ago.

“It’s a period where we have to work, but after that in football it’s important the quality of the play and the players, but it’s important playing with heart, passion and the right behaviour.

“I’m really proud of the performance today, of the players. After the defeat 6-1 at Villa Park and the second goal to close the first half at 2-0, this reaction is incredible. For it I am very happy.”

Brighton appeared stagestruck during the first half inside a stadium that rocked with the noise of a vociferous home support.

De Zerbi admitted the atmosphere had been a factor in knocking his players out of their usual rhythm that has seen them win five of their first seven Premier League games this season.

“I know we are not a big team yet,” he said. “We are a small club. We reached the European competition playing very well, showing the incredible qualities of the players, but it’s possible we suffered too much from the atmosphere. (It was) the first game (away) in Europe for Brighton, the players and the fans.

“I’m not a big coach, I’m not used to playing in this competition. We have to adapt, we have to get used to playing in this competition from this moment.

“We can lose the game but we can’t lose our DNA, our spirit, our bravery and passion. This season will be important to progress, to adapt to playing in different competitions, playing three games every week.

“Today we played not more than 30 per cent of our potential.”

Marseille manager Gennaro Gattuso acknowledged his team lost their way after a dominant opening and gave Brighton the encouragement they needed in order to recover.

“The pressure we applied in the first 65 minutes was (good),” he said. “Then we started to press in a different way, not the best way. We should have paid more attention to them.

“With Brighton, if you don’t press well and do the good things, they will punish you. I think the players gave 65 minutes where they were able to press high but it was still not enough.”

Brighton captain Lewis Dunk revealed he emerged from the “carnage” of Roberto De Zerbi’s first fortnight in charge to earn back his place among an England squad he now feels has the belief to win trophies.

The centre-back is hoping to pick up just his second senior England cap, five years after he made his debut in a 3-0 friendly win over the United States.

Dunk has fully deserved a recall after fine form at club-level saw Seagulls head coach De Zerbi describe the 31-year-old as one of the top five defenders in Europe.

Having represented Brighton from their time in the third tier all the way up to captaining the team to a sixth-place Premier League finish and qualification to the Europa League last year, Dunk has seen plenty in his time at his hometown club.

But he admits the change in approach brought about by De Zerbi’s appointment to replace Chelsea-bound Graham Potter last year was a challenge – albeit one that was ultimately rewarding for club and skipper alike.

“Football-wise, since the new manager at Brighton has come in I see football in a completely different way, I picture it in a different way and that is the biggest thing,” he said.

“Football is not what I thought it was. Just how we play now. The idea of what I did before, I thought it made sense. But when you learn something completely different, you believe in it and this makes sense. You think ‘why didn’t I know this?’ and ‘why didn’t I do this before?’ That is just what it is.

“If I am being honest, honest answer the first couple of weeks were horrendous… I wouldn’t say horrendous, they were baffling.

“He (De Zerbi) knows that, we have spoken about it and he knew that at the time, coming in, not speaking English, speaking through a translator.

“Training changed dramatically, we work on a lot of different stuff now and the first couple of weeks were a really hard transition, especially I think we were fourth in the league when Graham left and we were flying with him, and it was a strange time for him to go and then Roberto came in and (it was) carnage for two weeks.”

De Zerbi prefers a methodical, planned approach which requires all of his players – especially defenders – to be comfortable in possession of the ball.

“It’s rehearsed – don’t worry about that,” Dunk added when asked if such tactics – which have led to famous wins over Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – are risky.

“We rehearse it every day. That is our training. I couldn’t play his position, but now know every position on the pitch and where they should be. The time they should move and what angles they should give. So yes, we see it every day and it makes life simpler.”

Dunk earned his England recall in June, but injury forced him to pull out of the squad to face Malta and North Macedonia in Euro 2024 qualifiers.

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Manager Gareth Southgate has kept faith in Dunk, however, and he is back again at the first time of asking.

“I’m completely different person and a different player,” he said.

“I’m five years older, five years wiser and I’ve learnt a lot football-wise and life-wise in those five years, like you do.

“I’m a different person now and come here with a different confidence that I probably didn’t come with before.”

Asked what was the biggest difference he noticed between the last time he trained alongside Southgate and his players at St George’s Park to now, Dunk added: “We had a meeting the other day and he’s talking about winning the Euros and the whole squad is thinking about winning the Euros.

“So I would say that’s the big change in mentality. It’s not ‘how far can we get in a tournament’. It’s winning a tournament.

“So that is probably the biggest change I’ve seen coming back. It’s ‘we will win this tournament. We want to win this tournament’. That’s what we’re going there to do and being around these top players. I can see why he is saying that and why England can win.”

Brighton captain Lewis Dunk has signed a new three-year contract with the Premier League club.

Academy graduate Dunk went past the 400-appearance mark during the 2022-23 season and helped the Seagulls qualify for the Europa League with an excellent sixth-placed finish.

Dunk’s previous terms with Brighton were due to expire in two years’ time, but he has flourished under Roberto De Zerbi and will now be contracted to the club until 2026.

De Zerbi said: “Long live the captain!

“I’m really happy he has signed this new contract. It’s good news for Lewis and the club.”

Centre-back Dunk repeatedly received praise from his manager for his commitment during the final weeks of the last season, after playing through the pain to help Brighton qualify for Europe.

It subsequently meant the defender had to pull out of the England squad for their June qualifiers.

Dunk made his debut for Brighton in 2010 and has been a key figure in their journey from Sky Bet League One through to the Championship and eventually the Premier League.

The 31-year-old signed a five-year deal with the club in 2025, but these fresh terms will continue his association with his boyhood club.

He has previously stated his desire to finish his career as a one-club man.

Jude Bellingham and Lewis Dunk have been ruled out of England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

Real Madrid-bound Bellingham is still suffering with the hamstring injury that sidelined him for Borussia Dortmund’s heart-breaking season finale, when they let slip the Bundesliga title by drawing 2-2 at home to Mainz.

The 19-year-old midfielder will report to St George’s Park to receive further treatment, but will play no part in either match, a team statement confirmed.

Brighton defender Dunk has withdrawn from the squad through injury and will not travel to the national football centre – the only player from Gareth Southgate’s original 25-man squad who is not now due to join up.

England players began to gather at St George’s Park on Sunday, preparing for Friday’s trip to face Malta in Ta’ Qali and Monday’s fixture against North Macedonia at Old Trafford.

West Ham’s Declan Rice, who lifted the Europa Conference League trophy in midweek, will join in the coming days, as will the five players from Manchester City’s Champions League-winning squad.

Jack Grealish, John Stones, Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips are all expected to be part of City’s bus parade in Manchester on Monday before reporting for duty.

In a video posted on England’s social media accounts on Sunday, Southgate said: “We’ve a little less training than we would have liked but today was an important session in terms of players getting back into their football movements.

“They all keep themselves in good shape but you’re not training with the team in that period and you have to adapt your body back to the rhythm…

“We’ll get the players through today so they’re ready to go tomorrow and then we start the more tactical preparation for the game with Malta.

“I think what we’ve shown in the last few months is that we’re a team who now can take on some of the best teams in the world.

“We showed that in the World Cup and we definitely showed that by winning in Naples (the 2-1 win over Italy in March), which was a really important game for us not only in terms of qualification but in terms of our confidence and setting some markers for what we are as a team.

“If you’re a really big team you nail those big games and then you don’t slip up with the teams you are expected to beat and that’s the challenge for us now.

“We’re at the end of the season, we’ve had a lot of different distractions. There’s any number of reasons or excuses if you search for them but we can’t have a team looking for excuses.

“We want to consistently perform at a high level and we have to start that from the minute the players arrive.”

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