Six things we learned from Albion's defeat at Norwich

Albion captain Bruno in action at Norwich. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion captain Bruno in action at Norwich. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

When your luck's out, what Albion missed out on and a key minute. Here's six things we learned from Brighton's defeat to Norwich last night.

WHEN YOUR LUCK'S OUT

Two freak goals sent Albion to defeat and there was nothing Seagulls keeper David Stockdale could have done. He twice dived full stretch to try to keep out two Alex Pritchard shots but on both occasions the ball rebounded off the woodwork, hit Albion's stopper and rebounded into the goal.

Stockdale tweeted this morning (with a tick after each point): Walk under ladder; break mirror; new shoes on table; black cat crossed path; unlucky OGs and then finished by saying 'Carlsberg do bad days after all'.

WHAT ALBION MISSED OUT ON

Alex Pritchard chose Norwich over the Seagulls in the summer and showed Albion fans what they missed out on.

He was the key figure in the game, played a huge part in both goals, looked lively throughout and was a constant danger but Brighton fans were quick to point out to the attacking midfielder 'You could be in the Premier League'.

With Sam Baldock currently out injured, Pritchard would have provided an excellent option in the Albion squad right now had he joined. And imagine if he'd been linking up with Anthony Knockaert, Solly March, Glenn Murray, Hemed and Baldock this season, with his skill and eye for a pass.

However, Albion have had more than enough in their squad this season to earn promotion to the Premier League and Pritchard may regret his decision in years to come.

KEY MINUTE

In a 60-second period, Albion had a penalty appeal waved away and Norwich then went straight down the other end to go 2-0 ahead.

Jamie Murphy went down under a Graham Dorrans challenge and you've seen penalties given for less. Albion boss Chris Hughton said afterwards that the general consensus among most people was it should have been a spot-kick.

The fact Norwich broke and moved 2-0 ahead within a minute just added salt to the wounds.

PLAYED WORSE AND WON

Chris Hughton said Albion did not reach the standards they have set this season during the game. While the Seagulls were not at their best, they have found ways to win games when they haven't been on top form.

The Birmingham and Fulham away games immediately spring to mind. However, Hughton will be expecting a reponse when Brighton host Bristol City on Saturday.

ALL CHANGE

Albion made four changes from the 2-1 win at home to Wigan, which sealed promotion on Monday.

The Seagulls went with a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Jamie Murphy just behind Glenn Murray up front. Oliver Norwood and Steve Sidwell started central midfield, with Dale Stephens on the bench.

Brighton's win ratio when Stephens starts is much higher than when he doesn't and Albion appeared to miss his presence in midfield. The Seagulls fans chanted 'Dale Stephens, we want you to stay' as they realise how key the midfielder, out of contract in the summer, is to their side.

BOUNCEBACKABILITY

When Albion have lost this season, they've tended to respond well. That's why they're already promoted to the Premier League and champions-elect.

Chris Hughton and Steve Sidwell said so much in their post-match interviews. They'll want to put on a show in the final home game of the season, against Bristol City next week, and leave the Amex on a high for the summer.

After the scenes of celebration when Albion sealed promotion, there will be another rocking atmosphere and party if the Seagulls clinch the title against Bristol City - although the Championship could already be won by then if Newcastle lose against either Preston on Monday or at Cardiff on Friday.

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