Roberto de Zerbi’s wait for his first win in charge of Brighton & Hove Albion went on as the south coast side were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Nottingham Forest at the AMEX Stadium.
It proved to be a predictable tale for most of the first period, as Brighton dominated possession and created the best chances, but the Seagulls were not able to find the breakthrough that their play merited and deserved.
Their best chance of the first-half fell to Leandro Trossard, but he saw his shot from inside the penalty area rattle against the crossbar.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Forest were unable to register a single shot on target for the duration of the 90 minutes.
Forest held on to secure an unlikely point, as Steve Cooper’s side moved off the bottom of the Premier League table.
TALKING POINT – BRIGHTON VERY UNLUCKY NOT TO WIN
For Brighton, it is a case of the same patterns emerging once again in front of goal despite having a different manager in charge, as the lack of conviction in the final third that happened regularly under Graham Potter is now also affecting the side with Roberto de Zerbi in charge.
This is understandable as the new manager does not want to drastically make overt changes to the set-up of the team just yet, but it highlights that Brighton lack real a focal point upfront, and it needs to be addressed.
The Seagulls completely dominated this match, and created enough chances to score a hatful of goals. Unfortunately for the south coast side, they could not put them away. They mustered up an expected goals (xG) value of 1.70 compared to 0.13 for Forest, which just shows the massive divergence in performance between the two teams.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – DEAN HENDERSON
The Nottingham Forest goalkeeper single-handedly kept his side in this game as he made a total of seven saves to deny Brighton, who had 19 efforts on goal.
The pick of the bunch came in the 13th minute, as he acrobatically tipped over a Leandro Trossard effort from inside the penalty area over the crossbar.
The 25-year-old has been Forest’s standout player this season – which some may argue could be damning on the team as a whole considering the sheer amount of shots he has faced. Nevertheless, he is really putting himself in contention to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Sanchez 6, Webster 7, Dunk 7, Veltman 7, Gross 7, Mac Allister 6, Caicedo 6, Trossard 7, March 7, Lallana 6, Welbeck 6. Subs: Lamptey 6, Undav 6.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson 9, Aurier 6, Cook 6, McKenna 6, Williams 7, Mangala 6, Freuler 6, Yates 6, Lingard 6, Johnson 6, Gibbs-White 6. Subs: Toffolo 6, Worrall 6, Kouyate 6, Awoniyi 6, Biancone 6.
32’ – OFF THE BAR! – Brighton have their best move of the game! They overload the centre of the pitch, but Welbeck’s eventual shot after picking up the give-and-go with Mac Allister is blocked. The ball then drops for Trossard on the left side of the penalty area, and once again he goes for goal, but his effort crashes back off the crossbar! Henderson was well beaten!
34’ – BRIGHTON KEEP COMING – The hosts are really picking up the tempo here. Once again, March attacks the space down the right, cutting outside to beat Williams and shift the ball onto his left foot, but his low shot is tipped away at the near post by Henderson.
35’ – SAVE! – Henderson is once again called into action! Trossard attacks the space down the left once more, and he cuts the ball back into the centre with a low cross, but Gross’ first-time effort on goal from inside the penalty area is straight at Henderson, who makes the save! Welbeck tries to get to the rebound, but it is smothered by the Forest goalkeeper.
45’ – OVER THE BAR! – Brighton come again down the right! March, who is on the edge of the penalty area on that side, waits for the overlapping Gross to get beside him, and the German manages to dig out a cut-back for Webster in the area, but the defender’s shot on the stretch sails over the bar!
81’ – GROSS GOES CLOSE – Henderson is called into action again! Gross’ effort from inside the penalty area on the left-hand side is tipped away at the near post by the Forest ‘keeper!