Six things we learned from Brighton's win against Swansea

Glenn Murray celebrates his second. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Glenn Murray celebrates his second. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton won for the third successive home match with a 4-1 victory at home to Swansea this afternoon. Here's six things we learned from the game.

Thriving under the competition

Anthony Knockaert scores the third. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Anthony Knockaert scores the third. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion striker Glenn Murray has scored five goals in his last five matches after his double today and is thriving under the competition for places up front.

Questions were raised by Albion fans pre-match about who would start - and whether Chris Hughton would stick with the 4-4-2 formation he used in the FA Cup against Coventry last week or revert to his favoured 4-4-1-1.

Club record signing Jurgen Locadia - who came off the bench to net again - and Leonardo Ulloa both scored in the cup victory and will have been pushing for a starting place but Murray is in outstanding form and deserved to keep his place in the starting 11.

He is the joint fourth highest-scoring English player in the Premier League with Wayne Rooney - behind only Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. He now has ten Premier League goals this season and 12 in total.

Swansea's revival ended

Swansea came into the game unbeaten in ten games after a resurgence under Carlos Carvalhal and many expected a tricky afternoon at the Amex.

In the match at the Liberty Stadium in November, Swansea were awful and Albion returned home with a comfortable 1-0 win.

Today, Albion collected their second double of the season - after doing the same against West Ham.

Although Swansea were more of a threat going forward than at the Liberty Stadium in November, Albion could have scored more than the three they did as the visitors' defence was at sixes and sevens at times.

Glenn Murray netted a brace, Anthony Knockaert scored with a cool finish and substitute Jurgen Locadia poked home a late fourth.

Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal admitted afterwards his attacking gambles did not pay off as the Seagulls moved four points clear of the relegation zone.

Ref watch

For the fourth time this season, referee Mike Dean took charge of an Albion game but it was his first appearance at the Amex.

Dean took charge of Brighton for the first time in 17 months in the reverse fixture between the sides in November. Seagulls supporters were quick to remind Dean at the Liberty Stadium of the previous Albion match he officiated - the promotion decider at Middlesbrough in May, 2016.

That day, Dean sent off Dale Stephens - after originally having a yellow card in his hand - and Albion ended up drawing 1-1 in a game they needed to win to pip Boro to the second automatic promotion spot.

Albion were 1-0 victors at Swansea and Dean then took charge of the Seagulls' 2-0 defeat at Chelsea without too much incident. He was then the man in the middle for Albion's 1-1 draw at Southampton - awarding the Seagulls a first-half penalty which Glenn Murray tucked away.

Dean pointed to the spot again today for Albion, after Murray went down under a clumsy Mike van der Hoorn challenge, and then got up to score from the spot.

His assistant ruled out Anthony Knockaert's effort for offside - when Murray attempted to turn the ball home - and Dean gave a free kick against the Seagulls shortly afterwards, leading to chants of 'You're not fit to referee'.

Ironic cheers then erupted around the ground after Dean gave Albion a free kick for handball - but the Seagulls doubled their lead just seconds later.

A penny for his thoughts

Swansea striker Tammy Abraham received a bit of stick from Albion fans as he warmed up in front of the North Stand in the first half.

The 20-year-old joined the Swans on a season-long loan from Chelsea in the summer, after starring at Bristol City .

Albion and Newcastle were also reportedly interested in the young forward, who earned his first England cap in November after a bright start to the season where he scored five goals in the Swans' opening ten matches.

He had scored just two goals since - both in a FA Cup win against Notts County - but will hope to claim his first Premier League goal since October as his late shot deflected in off Lewis Dunk.

Brighton fans subjected him to chants of 'You should have signed for a big club' and 'Tammy, what's the score' after Glenn Murray had given Albion the lead from the penalty spot. Those chants continued after he was introduced as second half substitute.

Home form key

Before the season started, Albion knew their form at the Amex would play a large role in whether they stay in the Premier League.

They have now won back-to-back home league matches and three in all competitions and have moved four points clear of the drop zone.

With three of their next four at home in the league, Albion could head into the tail end of the season and a tough finish in a relative comfortable position if they continue to pick up points at home.

Albion have won five and lost just three of their 14 home league games this season. Arsenal are next at the Amex a week on Sunday, before Huddersfield and Leicester are the visitors.

A lucky rebound

When Albion travelled to Norwich needing three points from three games to win the Championship title in April, they were undone by two unfortunate rebounds in a 2-0 defeat.

Twice Alex Pritchard shot from distance and twice the ball struck a post, rebounded against then Albion keeper David Stockdale and back into the goal.

Shortly after Shane Duffy's header hit the bar at the other end, Swansea almost equalised on the stroke of half-time when Jordan Ayew's shot crashed against a post and hit Albion keeper Mathew Ryan.

Fortunately for the Seagulls, the ball did not rebound back towards the goal and Swans' full-back Martin Olsson, under pressure, dragged the ball wide.

Ryan knew much more about his superb second-half save to keep out Ki's well-struck 20-yarder.

The popular Australian international came back out at the end of the game with a plastic bag and gave goalkeeper gloves to several young fans in the West Stand.

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