Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Burnley

2 Apr

Andre Gray celebrates his goal for Burnley against Brighton


The Championship’s leading scorer Andre Gray has now scored 23 goals this season

Michael Keane’s scored an injury-time equaliser as Championship leaders Burnley twice came from behind to stop Brighton from going second.

Moments after being denied when another effort appeared to cross the line, Keane headed in from a corner to ensure the Clarets went three points clear.

Dale Stephens put the Seagulls ahead before Andre Gray smashed in his 23rd goal of the season to level.

Anthony Knockaert’s shot restored the lead, but Keane earned a dramatic draw.

Staying Keane

Burnley's Michael Keane (left) is congratulated by Sam Vokes<!–

Michael Keane’s injury-time goal was his fourth of the season but his first since August

Keane’s powerful header ensured the Clarets stretched their unbeaten run to 16 games and at least went part way to stopping a burning sense of injustice following his ‘ghost goal’.

The centre-back’s first goal since August meant Burnley stay four points clear of Brighton in third place with seven games remaining.

It was an impressive response by the away side, having seen Keane’s header seemingly cross the line before substitute Steve Sidwell scrambled the ball away.

The controversy would have been avoided in the Premier League thanks to goalline technology, and although denied that luxury in Championship, the two teams could yet end up facing each other in the top flight next season.

Knockout Knockaert

Anthony Knockaert<!–

Anthony Knockaert has only lost twice in 13 games as a Brighton player since joining in January

The Seagulls had looked set to close to within a point of Burnley until the late drama, with Knockaert’s class and composure shining through on a gloriously sunny day in front of a record crowd of 29, 683 at the Amex Stadium.

Knockaert’s dangerous inswinging corner teed up the first goal for Stephens and, after Gray levelled, he scored the second with a deflected strike after tormenting the Clarets defence with countless dummies and feints in the opposition box.

He twice went close to adding to the lead while Tomer Hemed also hit the post with a header for the hosts in a pulsating first half.

But Burnley matched the Seagulls in a less eventful second period and grabbed a draw thanks to Keane.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton:

Chris Hughton<!–

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Chris Hughton: Brighton boss on draw with Burnley

“My biggest disappointment is that we needed to take our chances more. It is frustrating and it was a game we should have won.

“Burnley have a physicality up front and they can mix up their game, but we could have put the match miles out of sight.

“I never saw it as a must-win game but I was delighted with the performance against a top, top team. No-one can accuse us of not trying to win.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche:

“I will only imagine that the technology will drip-feed into the Championship. There is so much at stake in the division and this is a great example.

“That has got to be given as a goal. When it is that obvious, it has to be officiated properly.

“It wasn’t luck that we got the equaliser – we got it by design. We were in the ascendancy and Brighton were playing counter-attacking football in the last 30 minutes.”

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