- Sheffield United won their first away point in the Premier League this season
- Mahmoud Dahoud’s red card changed the game for a Brighton side stuck in a rut
- Why Luton are the team that can stay up from promoted clubs: It’s All Coming Up
A rush of blood to the head from Mahmoud Dahoud left Brighton on their worst run under Roberto De Zerbi and helped lift Sheffield United off the foot of the table.
The Seagulls were cruising after Simon Adingra’s early goal but shot themselves in the foot when Dahoud was sent off in the 69th minute. Until then, the Blades were on course to lose for the 10th time in 12 matches, something no team has done without being relegated.
But Dahoud’s dismissal – for a stamp on Ben Osborn – changed everything and the visitors quickly levelled through an Adam Webster own goal to move off the bottom for the first time since September 24.
De Zerbi raged at the officials as he left the pitch. But his side are now winless in six league games, the first time that has happened since he took over, and a run only equalled by Luton.
The Italian, whose side were booed off by a small contingent of the 31,367 crowd, said: ‘The red card changed the game, I think. We are spending an unlucky period. We have to kill the game when we have the chance.
Sheffield United won their first away Premier League point of the season down at Brighton
Adam Webster’s second half own goal was enough to secure the Blades a point on Sunday
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MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Brighton (3-4-2-1): Steele 6; Webster 6, van Hecke 7, Julio 6; Adingra 7, Gilmour 6.5 (Veltman 71), Dahoud 2, Buonanotte 6.5 (Pedro 46, 7); Gross 6, Lallana 6 (Mitoma 46, 7); Fati 9 (Baleba 71).
Subs: Verbruggen, Moder, Mitkam, Hinshelwood, Baker-Boaitey, O’Mahoney
Goals: Adingra, 6
Booked: Buonanotte, Adingra, Baleba
Sent off: Dahoud
Sheffield United (3-4-2-1): Foderingham 8; Baldock 6, Trusty 6, Robinson 7; Bogle 8 (Osula 90), Souza 5 (Osborn 52, 6), Norwood 6, Thomas 6; McAtee 5 (Slimane 84), Hamer 6; Archer 7.
Subs: Amissah, Lowe, Fleck, Traore, Larouci, Brooks
Goals: Webster (OG), 74
Referee: John Brookes 6
‘If I see the new rules, it’s a red card, clear. But I was a player and the dynamic of the situation is not a red card. Dahoud knows the mistake. Am I angry with him? No. Why was I angry? I don’t like 80 per cent of referees in this country. I don’t like their behaviour on the pitch.’
Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom said: ‘We showed a lot more calmness as the game went on.
‘It was important we stayed in the game. It’s our first point away. We showed character and played well. Is it big psychologically to be off the bottom? I’m not bothered. Not yet.
‘We could have plenty more points. But this is the evidence now we’ve needed – in the last two games we’ve taken points and it’s been the other team holding on.’
Brighton sliced the Blades apart in the opening 15 minutes and Adingra’s opener was the result of some brilliant build-up play. The visitors were chasing shadows with Wes Foderingham quickly becoming a busy man in goal. But the longer it stayed at 1-0, the more you sensed some tension around the Amex.
And when Dahoud saw red he could have no complaints. He lost his head and raked his studs down Osborn’s leg. It looked malicious and John Brooks did not hesitate before sending him off.
Five minutes later, United were level. Jayden Bogle received the ball down the left and whipped in a low cross. With Cameron Archer at the far post, Webster slid in to block, but only ended up diverting it into his own net.
Suddenly it was anybody’s game. Brighton went close at one end, Bogle fired just wide at the other.
But there was controversy in stoppage time when Carlos Baleba went down on the edge of the box under a challenge from Luke Thomas.
Brighton wanted a penalty. Brooks gave a free-kick. VAR Chris Kavanagh checked it and backed his decision. It was a close call as Thomas did appear to get a touch on the ball, but the Blades defended the free-kick and hung on for a priceless point.
Brighton’s day got much more difficult when Mahmoud Dahoud was shown a straight red card
Dahoud tried to plead his innocence but referee John Brooks was not having his arguments
Things had started positively for Brighton when Simon Adingra fired them into an early lead
Adingra’s low dive left Wes Foderingham at full stretch, unable to keep out the opening goal
Brighton’s celebrations would not last long and it is now six league games without a win
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify
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