Brighton 4, Swansea 1: Magic Murray's brace helps Albion up to 11th in Premier League standings

A Glenn Murray double helped Brighton & Hove Albion to a crucial three points against relegation rivals Swansea City at the Amex this afternoon.

Saturday, 24th February 2018, 5:15 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:34 am
Glenn Murray celebrates his second goal against Swansea. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The striker netted a goal in each half to take his tally to 12 for the season with Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia also on target in the second half to secure the 4-1 success.

It was a fluent display from the home side as they completed a Premier League double over their visitors for the first time and climbed up to 11th in the table, four points clear of the bottom three, despite Tammy Abraham coming off the bench to pull a goal back with five minutes left.

Both sides has decent form going into the clash; Albion unbeaten in five games in all competitions, whilst Swansea hadn't lost in ten.

Anthony Knockaert fires home Brighton & Hove Albion's third goal against Swansea. Pictures by PW Sporting Photography

At the start of the day, the hosts were 12th in the table with a point more than their Welsh visitors in 16th. But it was Albion that shined and gave their safety credentials a huge shot in the process.

Chris Hughton made one change from the team that drew 1-1 at Stoke City in their last Premier League outing with Anthony Knockaert coming in for Solly March. Locadia and Leonardo Ulloa had to settle for places on the bench. Carlos Carvalhal named an unchanged side from their 1-0 win over Burnley last time out.

The first opening fell Albion's way as Pascal Gross twist and turned at the back post after industrious work from Knockaert saw his delivery pushed away by Lukasz Fabianski, and Gross' follow-up was blocked.

From the resulting short corner, Jose Izquierdo eventually blazed over the bar from the edge of the box, before Glenn Murray and Davy Propper both put tame efforts towards the Swansea goal.

Glenn Murray goes down under Mike van der Hoorn's challenge to win Brighton & Hove Albion a penalty. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

But Albion's exploratory start was rewarded on 17 minutes when Murray latched onto a long Dunk ball forwards and a clumsy challenge from Mike van der Hoorn on the Albion striker, who had got goalside, ended in Mike Dean pointing to the penalty spot.

Murray picked himself up and smashed high down the middle past a diving Fabianski to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Maty Ryan did well just before the half-hour mark to keep his side ahead as he tipped up and then collect a twice-deflected van der Hoorn shot that lastly flew off Shane Duffy.

Two minutes before the break it was almost 2-0 as Duffy rose highest to nod Gross' corner towards goal, but his effort came off the top of the bar.

Glenn Murray celebrates having put Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 ahead against Swansea with his first-half penalty. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

But the last chance of the half went Swansea's way as Jordan Ayew broke forwards and carved out a great chance to level before the break. His effort came back off the bottom off the post with Ryan beaten and the follow-up was put wide.

Ryan pulled off a diving save just six minutes into the second half as the ball was shifted central to Ki Sung-yueng and his effort from the edge of the box was put behind by the Albion stopper.

The crowd and Albion bench begun to get disgruntled with a number of Dean decisions they felt were going against them. One a shove by half-time substitute Luciano Narsing on Gaetan Bong on the edge of the box.

Albion had the ball in the net again on 60 minutes with Murray getting a slight touch at the back post to turn home Knockaert's cross, but the assistant correctly had his flag up for offside.

Another pacy run from Izquierdo then produced a low cross which flashed across the box, but it was blocked away, before a low Murray effort crept just wide.

City turned to another attacking option bringing Tammy Abraham off the bench, but it was his opposite number who would net the next goal.

A lovely one two between Gross and Izquierdo saw the latter again deliver across the area and Murray swept home unchallenged to double Albion's advantage.

Just four minutes later it was 3-0 as Knockaert was picked out by Gross and he showed a nice first touch before poking past Fabianski with his left foot.

Abraham did give Swansea a consolation with five minutes left. Winning the ball just inside the Albion half, he rode challenges and fired past Ryan from the edge of the box via a big deflection.

But Albion were to have the last say as Dale Stephens goalbound shot was turned home by the home side's record signing Locadia on 90 minutes to seal the points.

Albion: Ryan, Bong, Dunk, Duffy, Schelotto, Stephens, Propper, Knockaert (March 77), Izquierdo, Gross (Kayal 90), Murray (Locadia 82). Unused subs: Krul, Bruno, Ulloa, Goldson.

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Van der Hoorn (Narsingh 46), Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Dyer (A.Ayew 36), Clucas, Carroll (Abraham 64), Ki Sung-yueng, J.Ayew. Unused subs: Nordfeldt, Routledge, King, Bartley.

Attendance: 30, 523.

Referee: Mike Dean.