Neal Maupay’s missed penalty summed up Brighton’s frustration as they were held to a goalless draw at home by Norwich, the Premier League’s bottom side.
For all the chances they created, Graham Potter’s side couldn’t find the net – although they did end a run of six straight league defeats. Norwich, meanwhile, remains eight points adrift of safety after a passive display.
Maupay’s big chance came just shy of the half-hour mark after Sam Byram’s handball was spotted by referee Simon Hooper.
The French striker, though, shot high over the bar to mock cheers from the travelling supporters.
Brighton had created chances before that, with good play down the left from Leandro Trossard leading to a mishit shot from Maupay, before Danny Welbeck saw a close-range effort blocked.
The hosts’ lack of cutting edge continued to frustrate them after Maupay’s spot-kick miss. Solly March and Alexis Mac Allister failed to hit the target numerous times, and the final ball was badly lacking.
Trossard’s attempts to spark the hosts into the life led to a glorious chance for Joel Veltman 10 minutes after the restart. His quick feet won a corner, which the Dutchman headed goalwards, only to be denied by fellow countryman Tim Krul at point-blank range.
Maupay and Veltman were denied by a Norwich rearguard marshalled superbly by Grant Hanley, in the face of relentless second-half pressure from the hosts.
In the end, the Seagulls could find no way through and remain goalless at home since mid-January. Indeed, Norwich almost stole victory when Milot Rashica blazed Teemu Pukki’s cross over the bar inside the area.
Brighton had 29 shots and more than 60% possession but crucially only hit the target four times. That has been a long-running issue for Potter’s side, who again showcased their quality in the build-up, but were let down in front of the goal.
It simply wasn’t Maupay’s day, from the moment he miscued his effort with the goal gaping in the first half. Goalkeeper Krul’s mind-games before his spot-kick clearly paid off before it sailed over the bar.
There were bright moments from Trossard and Mac Allister, while Tariq Lamptey clearly thrives in a more advanced role on the right, but this was not the way Brighton will have wanted to end their losing run.
There was plenty of commitment on show from Norwich; they battled well and remained strong in defence
Krul and Hanley in particular were superb in keeping Brighton at bay, as the Canaries ended their own run of six successive league defeats.
But they remain far from safety and although there were a couple of chances to win it, they couldn’t sustain an attacking threat as Brighton put them under intense pressure.
While they will make a point, their long-term prospects look ominous – and it increasingly looks as if they will see a third successive Premier League stint ended after just one season.
source – BBC Sport