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Brighton 3-1 Bournemouth: Seagulls secure comeback win
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Andy Sims
Press Association
Kaoru Mitoma scored twice for Brighton (Steven Paston/PA)
Kaoru Mitoma scored twice for Brighton (Steven Paston/PA)

Roberto De Zerbi’s inspired double substitution helped Brighton come from behind to sink Bournemouth 3-1.

The Seagulls trailed to Dominic Solanke’s opportunist strike but went in level at half-time thanks to a Milos Kerkez own goal.

Boss De Zerbi, who had made nine changes to his starting line-up from Thursday’s Europe League defeat by AEK Athens, sent on Ansu Fati and Kaoru Mitoma at half-time.

And the pair had an instant impact, combining for an exquisite goal just 15 seconds into the second half, with Mitoma applying the finishing touch.

Japan winger Mitoma then wrapped up the victory with a late header to leave the Cherries still winless from their first six league matches.

De Zerbi also opted to rotate his goalkeepers, replacing Jason Steele with Bart Verbruggen, but that was a move which backfired after 25 minutes.

The Dutchman hesitated on the edge of the area as he attempted to play the ball out.

Ryan Christie charged down the clearance and the ball rolled to Solanke, who chipped the stranded keeper into an empty net from 20 yards.

Brighton offered precious little for the majority of an uncharacteristically lacklustre first half until three minutes of stoppage time.

A goalmouth scramble saw Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster have efforts cleared off the line before Billy Gilmour swung the ball back into the box.

Kerkez climbed at the near post in a bid to clear the danger, only to glance the ball past goalkeeper Neto and into his own net.

De Zerbi made his double change at the break, but not even the shrewd Italian could have foreseen quite the impact the pair would have.

Bournemouth lost possession from the kick-off and Mitoma played the ball out to Barcelona loanee Fati on the left before continuing his run into the area.

Fati’s ball back in was helped on by Mahmoud Dahoud into the path of Mitoma, who sidefooted it past Neto to cap a glorious Albion move.

With Brighton now in firmly the ascendancy, Dunk headed narrowly wide from a corner before Fati failed to convert a cross from Simon Adingra.

Bournemouth went in search of an equaliser and Antoine Semenyo had a low shot well kept out by Verbruggen.

But Mitoma put Brighton further ahead when he nodded in Pervis Estupinan’s cross with 13 minutes left.

Solanke almost scrambled one back for the Cherries from close range late on but his effort was cleared off the line by Albion skipper Dunk.


Premier LeagueAFC BournemouthBrighton & Hove AlbionKaoru Mitoma
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