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EPL week 31 review: Brighton in a “Proper Fight” after Cardiff loss

TAGs: Brighton, chris hughton, English Premier League

Brighton manager, Chris Hughton, believes his side have a “proper fight’ on their hands after losing to fellow relegation strugglers Cardiff in front of their home fans.

epl-week-31-review-brighton-in-a-proper-fight-after-cardiff-lossTypically, if you lock 11 starving bluebirds in an aviary with 11 equally famished seagulls, the gulls will rip the birds apart. On Wednesday night, when the last remnant of Week 31’s fixture list played out on the South Coast, the exact opposite happened.

I live in Cardiff, and until Monday night, the vibe has been the same all season – Cardiff City will soon be playing Championship football. Today, there’s a new belief.

Chris Hughton called Brighton’s relegation tussle with Cardiff City a “proper fight” after the Seagulls lost their fourth successive league game without scoring in a 2-0 defeat against visiting Cardiff.

Hughton was an 8/1 outsider in the betting for Next Premier League Manager to Leave his Position. He is now the 7/2 favourite. Cardiff was a 1/20 shot at remaining in the Premier League, and they are now 1/3. Brighton is a 9/4 shot to go down, dropping from 11/1.

Brighton began brightly and could have had a penalty after a Cardiff player hauled Lewis Dunk to the turf in the penalty area, but it was the visiting Welsh side that took the lead, and what a goal it was.

With 22-minutes on the clock, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing found Junior Hoilett on the left-hand side of the Brighton penalty area, moved into space, picked up the return, shimmied, shook, and then unleashed a peach of a right-foot curler that scorched the net.

Five minutes after the restart and City had cemented their third away win of the season after Man of the Match, Sean Morrison, towered above anyone else to convert from six yards.

Brighton had chances to steal a point, with the club’s top scorer Glenn Murray grazing the crossbar with a rifle, and heading against the post following a neat cross from the right, but it was Cardiff’s night.

The win sees Cardiff move within two points of Brighton, and although the South Coast club has a game in hand, they aren’t going to get much change from Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Newcastle and a tough away trip at Wolves.

Cardiff faces both Liverpool and Man Utd, but an away tie at relegated Fulham and a home game against Crystal Palace make Cardiff decent value for money.

“We’re alive and kicking,” said Neil Warnock after the win. “We’ve got a lot of guts and determination.’

The only blot on the copybook is the Cardiff midfielder, Harry Arter, picking up a calf injury that sees him miss the weekend clash with the league leaders.

Cardiff Remaining Fixtures

Liverpool (H) 21 April
Fulham (A) 27 April
Crystal Palace (H) 4 May
Man Utd (A) 12 May

Brighton Remaining Fixtures

Wolves (A) 20 April
Spurs (A) 23 April
Newcastle (H) 27 April
Arsenal (A) 5 May
Man City (H) 12 May

EPL Wk 31 Results

Brighton 0 v 2 Cardiff

EPL Standings

1. Liverpool – 82
2. Man City – 80
3. Spurs – 67
4. Arsenal – 66
5. Chelsea – 66
6. Man Utd – 64
7. Leicester – 47
8. Wolves – 47
9. Everton. – 46
10. Watford – 46
11. West Ham – 42
12. Bournemouth – 41
13. Crystal Palace – 39
14. Burnley – 39
15. Newcastle – 38
16. Southampton – 36
17. Brighton – 33
18. Cardiff – 31
19. Fulham – 20 (R)
20. Huddersfield – 14 (R)

EPL Odds

To Win

Man City 8/11
Liverpool 11/10

Relegation

Cardiff 1/20
Brighton 11/1

Top Four

Spurs 2/7
Arsenal 1/2
Chelsea 11/8
Man Utd 11/4

Top Goalscorer

Mohamed Salah 6/4
Sergio Aguero 13/8
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 11/2
Sadio Mane 6/1
Raheem Sterling 10/1

Current Top Scorers

1. Sergio Aguero – 19
2. Mohamed Salah – 19
3. Sadio Mané – 18
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 18
4. Harry Kane – 17
5. Raheem Sterling – 17

Next Manager to Leave

No Manager to Leave 1/3
Chris Hughton 7/2​

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