West Brom 1-0 Brighton: Bizarre defeat for Seagulls after free-kick confusion

Brighton players protest against referee Lee Mason after Lewis Dunk’s goal was barred in bizarre circumstances

Brighton lost 1-0 at West Brom – but the goal line doesn’t even tell the story of a game in which the visitors ruled out a goal after referee Lee Mason whistled twice and missed two penalties.

Lewis Dunk’s quick free kick in the first half sparked a few chaotic minutes as the goal was denied, then allowed and ultimately disqualified after Mason reported the incident on the pitchside monitor following intervention by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) had seen ).

West Brom defender Kyle Bartley had given his side an early lead and Brighton couldn’t react. Pascal Gross hit the bar and Danny Welbeck hit the left post from the penalty spot.

Brighton, once again dominating possession, had ample chances to hit both sides of the break – Neal Maupay’s shot wide and Aaron Connolly’s shot over the bar from close range.

But West Brom, who had a few chances of their own, stuck to three key points to avoid relegation.

Free kick confusion and whistle chaos …

Referee Lee Mason checks the pitchside monitorLee Mason spoke to Graham Potter and Sam Allardyce to explain what was going on during the VAR review

Looking for a first-half equalizer, Brighton believed they had found one – only so that, in remarkable and bizarre circumstances, it could be taken away almost instantly.

Dunk quickly shot a free kick into the lower right corner after Mason whistled while West Brom was still setting up the wall.

But almost as soon as he blew, Mason did it again – then Dunk and his teammates began to celebrate the goal.

It was ruled out by the referee – but Mason quickly overturned his decision when Brighton’s players vigorously protested, arguing that Dunk’s free kick had been taken after the first whistle.

VAR then intervened and asked Mason to run to the pitchside monitor to check for possible offside and also to check whether his second whistle had come before the ball had crossed the goal line.

The referee tried to communicate with the two managers what was going on. Sam Allardyce looked confused – the West Brom boss stood with his hands on his head in disbelief – while Graham Potter of Brighton replied with a blank expression.

Eventually, the goal was not allowed as it was believed that Mason’s second whistle had sounded before the ball crossed the line.

The flood of opportunities from both sides in the immediate aftermath was a fitting ending to a bizarre and exciting half of football – and to office.

Welcome home win for Baggies

Kyle Bartley celebratesKyle Bartley is West Brom’s second-highest scorer in the Premier League this season with three goals

Allardyce said ahead of the game that he felt West Brom needed two wins from his three consecutive home games, including this one against Brighton at The Hawthorns.

They started on the forefoot and forced two early turns that they couldn’t take advantage of.

But their bright opening caused them to move forward on the 11th minute when Bartley stepped away from his marker on the back post and nodded in Conor Gallagher’s perfect delivery.

The Baggies were eliminated after taking the lead, allowing Brighton to dominate possession, and could easily have conceded three or four goals another day.

The two missed penalties and some other clear chances that weren’t implemented were lucky for West Brom, but they defended resiliently nonetheless – Bartley’s final tackle against Jakub Moder in the 86th minute was a case in point.

The result means that after a first home win in three months, the hosts are now eight points ahead of security in the Premier League table.

Missed penalties and countless opportunities

Aaron Connolly missed a great opportunity for Brighton early in the second halfAaron Connolly shot over the bar from close range at the start of the second half

After this lost to Crystal Palace last week – When Brighton scored 25 shots on goal just for Christian Benteke to get a dramatic added-time winner with Palace’s second goal, it felt like a repeat nightmare for the Seagulls.

Okay, Yokuslu’s handball gave Brighton a penalty shortly after Bartley’s opener, but Gross stuttered in advance before hitting the ball against the crossbar.

Confusion over Dunk’s free kick ensued before Connolly forced a save from Sam Johnstone, skewed Maupay Gross’ setback and the Frenchman was challenged again by the Baggies keeper in minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game.

Connolly then missed again from a few yards when Johnstone Maupay’s shot parried after the restart and Joel Veltman nodded from an unmarked position.

Brighton appeared unable to score and when Conor Townsend received a second penalty for fouling Gross, Welbeck struck the post.

It was a frustrating afternoon.

Five home wins, five different bosses – the best stats

  • Brighton become the first team to miss two penalties by hitting the wood in a Premier League game.
  • West Brom have played in the Premier League for the first time since May 2018 without conceding a goal.
  • The Baggies’ last five home wins in the Premier League have been led by a different manager – Allardyce, Slaven Bilic, Darren Moore, Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis.
  • Brighton have lost their last two league games, as many as the last 12 combined. They had 40 shots in those two losses while they only had nine in return.
  • Five of the 10 league goals scored by West Brom under Allardyce were from set pieces (two corners, two penalties, one throw-in).
  • Johnstone became the first goalkeeper to score 100 or more saves in the Premier League that season.
  • Gross failed to implement two of his last four Premier League penalties, which were also missing against Fulham in September 2018.

What’s next?

West Brom will welcome Everton to the Hawthorns on Thursday March 4th (6:00 p.m. GMT kick-off), while Brighton will host Leicester City on Saturday March 6th (8:00 p.m. GMT).

Player of the game

BartleyKyle Bartley

West Bromwich Albion

  1. Cadre number5PlayernameBartley

  2. Cadre number30thPlayernameMaitland-Niles

  3. Cadre number18thPlayernameGallagher

  4. Cadre number35Playernamemorning

  5. Cadre number1PlayernameJohnstone

  6. Cadre number17thPlayernameDiagne

  7. Cadre number2PlayernameEighth mile

  8. Cadre number27PlayernameO’Shea

  9. Cadre number12PlayernameMatheus Pereira

  10. Cadre number14thPlayernameTownsend

  11. Cadre number10PlayernamePhillips

  12. Cadre number4thPlayernameRobson canoe

  13. Cadre number11PlayernameDiangana

  14. Cadre number20thPlayernameIvanovic

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Cadre number3PlayernameWhite

  2. Cadre number5PlayernameDunk

  3. Cadre number18thPlayernameWelbeck

  4. Cadre number34PlayernameVeltman

  5. Cadre number15thPlayernameModer

  6. Cadre number14thPlayernameLallana

  7. Cadre number26thPlayernameSánchez

  8. Cadre number8thPlayernameBissouma

  9. Cadre number33PlayernameBurn

  10. Cadre number10PlayernameMac Allister

  11. Cadre number13PlayernameLarge

  12. Cadre number11PlayernameTrossard

  13. Cadre number7thPlayernameConnolly

  14. Cadre number9PlayernameMaupay


West Brom

formation 4-1-4-1


2Eighth mile27O’Shea5Bartley14thTownsend


12Costa Pereira18thGallagher30thMaitland-Niles10Phillips


  • 1Johnstone
  • 2Eighth mile
  • 27O’Shea
  • 5Bartley
  • 14thTownsend
  • 35morning
  • 12Costa PereiraReplaced byIvanovicat the 79 ‘protocol
  • 18thGallagher
  • 30thMaitland-Niles
  • 10PhillipsReplaced byDianganaat the 72 ‘protocol
  • 17thDiagneReplaced byRobson canoeat the 83 ‘protocol


  • 4thRobson canoe
  • 7thRobinson
  • 8thLivermore
  • 11Diangana
  • 19thSawyers
  • 20thIvanovic
  • 22ndPeltier
  • 25thbutton
  • 29Grant


formation 4-2-3-1




11Trossard10Mac Allister7thConnolly


  • 26thSánchez
  • 34Veltman
  • 3WhiteReplaced byModerat the 84 ‘protocol
  • 5Dunk
  • 33Burn
  • 8thBissouma
  • 13Large
  • 11Trossard
  • 10Mac AllisterReplaced byLallanaat the 45 ‘protocol
  • 7thConnollyReplaced byWelbeckat the 61 ‘protocol
  • 9Maupay


  • 14thLallana
  • 15thModer
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 17thRaising
  • 18thWelbeck
  • 22ndYour
  • 23Steele
  • 24Pröpper
  • 29Zeqiri

Live text

  1. The game ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  2. The second half ends with West Bromwich Albion 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  3. Corner of West Bromwich Albion. The corner was created by Jakub Moder.

  4. Foul by Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  5. Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Attempt blocked. Jakub Moder (Brighton y Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Prepared by Yves Bissouma.

  7. Foul by Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  8. Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Handball of Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion).

  10. Foul by Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  11. Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Jakub Moder replaces Ben White.

  13. Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson canoe replaces Mbaye Diagne.

  14. Corner of West Bromwich Albion. The corner was caused by Joël Veltman.

  15. Foul by Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  16. Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Branislav Ivanovic replaces Matheus Pereira.

  18. Missed attempt. Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Prepared by Leandro Trossard.

  19. Attempt saved. Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved by the goalkeeper. Prepared by Pascal Groß.

  20. Leandro Trossard (Brighton & Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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