Boss Roberto de Zerbi hailed a “historic day” for his Brighton & Hove Albion club as they defeated AEK Athens to secure their place in the knockout matches of the Europa League.
Revenging a Defeat
In their inaugural European campaign, Brighton earned redemption for their prior 3-2 loss to AEK in the group stage’s opening match, ensuring their journey in Europe continues. Manager De Zerbi praised the team’s transformed mindset, hailing the victory as a historic milestone for the club, players, and fans alike.
A Momentous Triumph
Joao Pedro, consistent in crucial moments, replicated his penalty-scoring prowess from the previous encounter against AEK. His spot-kick, sending goalkeeper Cican Stankovic the wrong way, sealed Brighton’s victory in Greece, solidifying a significant milestone in the club’s European venture.
VAR Drama and AEK’s Disadvantage
The penalty decision underwent VAR scrutiny after referee Sandro Scharer initially disregarded Pedro’s fall under pressure from Damian Szymanski. Following the monitor review, the penalty was rightfully awarded, setting the stage for AEK’s challenges.
Reduced to Ten Men
AEK’s hopes of a comeback dwindled further as Mijat Gacinovic received a second yellow card for a late challenge on Joel Veltman, reducing their side to ten men. With an advantage in numbers, Brighton maintained control, securing their third clean sheet of the season.
Next Phase Anticipation
Brighton’s triumph secures their progression to the competition’s next phase. However, their quest for top spot in Group B hinges on their final fixture against Marseille. A victory at Amex Stadium on December 14th would ensure they avoid the knockout play-offs, marking a significant milestone in their maiden European campaign.
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