Premier League
Brighton2Stoke2

Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Stoke City

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored his first goal since a draw with Manchester United in September

Brighton stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five games as they and visitors Stoke drew a lively encounter at the Amex.

Jose Izquierdo secured a point for the Seagulls with a scrappy second-half goal that kept them ninth in the table.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had poked Stoke into the lead from a wonderful Xherdan Shaqiri pass in the first half.

Pascal Gross fired through Lee Grant's legs to level, but Kurt Zouma headed Stoke back in front 120 seconds later.

Those two goals came at the end of a frantic first half during which Brighton forward Glenn Murray was denied what looked a certain penalty when Ryan Shawcross brought him down.

A frustrated Murray was perhaps fortunate to be only booked moments later when he dived in on Stoke centre-back Kevin Wimmer.

Stoke had chances to take all three points, but were denied by several key saves from Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

The draw keeps Mark Hughes' Potters side 15th in the table, four points above the relegation zone.

Seagulls stutter but maintain solid start

Pascal Gross
Pascal Gross levelled for Brighton, exactly 120 seconds before Kurt Zouma restored Stoke's lead

Brighton have not lost in the Premier League since a visit to Arsenal on 1 October and, nearly a third of the way through the season, occupy a top-half spot.

Much of the Seagulls' impressive start has been built on a solid defence, with only five teams having conceded fewer than the 13 goals they have shipped this season.

Shaqiri's pass and Choupo-Moting's touch and finish for Stoke's opening goal was a moment of magic, but it was an uncharacteristically sloppy moment in Brighton's defence that saw their visitors lead at half-time.

Unmarked inside the six-yard box, Chelsea loanee Zouma was free to nod in after Brighton failed to clear a corner that ricocheted off captain Bruno's back.

The hosts put themselves under pressure with some slack passing in their own third too, notably giving the ball away in the second half and forcing goalkeeper Ryan into a smart save from Ramadan Sobhi.

Brighton did show resilience to equalise twice, with Gross helping in Davy Propper's cross and Izquierdo the quickest to react from close range after seeing his initial shot saved by Stoke goalkeeper Grant.

Shaqiri inspires Stoke

Crouch and Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri was replaced by Peter Crouch on 73 minutes

Stoke boss Hughes said his side were "in control of the game", but the Potters failed to to hold on for a victory that would have lifted them into the top half of the division.

While the Darren Fletcher-Joe Allen axis impressed for the visitors in central midfield, it was the unpredictability of Shaqiri in front that proved a constant threat until he was replaced by Peter Crouch with 17 minutes remaining.

BBC Radio 5 live's Steve Claridge called the Switzerland international "a little magician" and having delved into his box of tricks to create the first, Shaqiri nearly gave Stoke a second-half lead when he flashed a left-footed shot wide from long range.

But while Stoke impressed in spells going forward, they too were suspect at the back and Shawcross was lucky not to give away a penalty for a mistimed tackle on Murray.

Hughes said he was "disappointed" by the two goals Stoke conceded, and Izquierdo's second-half goal will be a particular concern, with the Colombia international allowed two attempts to score.

Festive frenzy a test for both?

This fixture begins a run of 11 games in 42 days for both sides, finishing on New Year's Day.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton says it will be "a period that will test us and give us an indication of where we are" with the Seagulls set to face Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham in that spell.

Brighton have used 19 players, not including unused substitutes, since their promotion to the top flight - only Burnley (17) and Leicester (18) have used fewer - and named an unchanged side for the fourth successive match.

Stoke, meanwhile, also face Spurs and Liverpool, as well as champions Chelsea, as the Potters look to move clear of the drop zone.

Man of the match - Darren Fletcher (Stoke City)

Darren Fletcher
Providing the base for which Shaqiri could build his brilliance, Fletcher made more passes (52) than anyone else on his side, four of which were key passes, and also had more touches (71) than any other Potters player.

'Video replays would clear penalty decision up'

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Hughton pleased despite Brighton 'naivety'

Brighton boss Chris Hughton: "We showed great character to come back twice. The draw was a fair result. Our levels weren't perhaps what they've been in other games.

"We are going to concede goals - the frustration with their second is we worked hard to get back into the game and showed some naivety."

On his side's penalty appeal: "It was a definite penalty. I was certain it would be given, if not by the referee then the linesman on that side.

"When video replays come in, it will clear up some of these instances. At the moment, you're relying on the referee making a judgement or getting into a position - and if that's not the case you have two assistants and a fourth official to help. I find it difficult to understand the assistant doesn't see it the same way I do."

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Hughes 'disappointed' not to hang on to lead

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes: "As an away side, I suppose we have to be happy but we got ourselves into a winning position twice and didn't see it out. Brighton didn't cause us too many problems. We're disappointed with the goals we conceded.

"One of our things tonight was we created good opportunities in good areas and then you have to produce the quality ball."

Crouch comes off the bench, for 143rd time - the stats

  • Peter Crouch became the most used substitute in the Premier League with his 143rd appearance off the bench putting him one ahead of Shola Ameobi.
  • Pascal Gross has been directly involved in 62% of Brighton's 13 Premier League goals this season, scoring three and assisting five.
  • Kurt Zouma's goal was Stoke's sixth from a corner this season, more than any other Premier League side.
  • Darren Fletcher made his 326th appearance in the Premier League, which is more than any other Scottish player in the competition.
  • Fletcher was also playing in his 103rd consecutive match in the top flight, giving him the fifth longest run for an outfield player.

What's next?

Brighton face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Stoke visit Crystal Palace at the same time.

Line-ups

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 2Saltor Grau
  • 22Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 3Bong
  • 11KnockaertSubstituted forSchelottoat 84'minutes
  • 6Stephens
  • 24Pröpper
  • 19IzquierdoSubstituted forMarchat 74'minutes
  • 13GroßSubstituted forBrownat 84'minutes
  • 17MurrayBooked at 42mins

Substitutes

  • 10Hemed
  • 18Goldson
  • 20March
  • 21Schelotto
  • 26Krul
  • 29Suttner
  • 37Brown

Stoke

  • 33Grant
  • 6Zouma
  • 17Shawcross
  • 5Wimmer
  • 18Diouf
  • 24Fletcher
  • 4Allen
  • 3Pieters
  • 22ShaqiriSubstituted forCrouchat 73'minutes
  • 32Sobhi
  • 10Choupo-Moting

Substitutes

  • 9Berahino
  • 11Rodríguez Ruiz
  • 14Afellay
  • 15Martins Indi
  • 16Adam
  • 25Crouch
  • 29Haugaard
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
29,676

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home9
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Stoke City 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Stoke City 2.

Attempt missed. Ezequiel Schelotto (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Mame Biram Diouf.

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Ezequiel Schelotto replaces Anthony Knockaert.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Isaiah Brown replaces Pascal Groß.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Peter Crouch.

Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Solly March.

Attempt saved. Kurt Zouma (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Gaëtan Bong.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kevin Wimmer (Stoke City).

Foul by Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Peter Crouch (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Solly March replaces José Izquierdo.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Peter Crouch replaces Xherdan Shaqiri.

Attempt missed. Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

Offside, Stoke City. Joe Allen tries a through ball, but Ryan Shawcross is caught offside.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Bruno.

Goal!

Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Stoke City 2. José Izquierdo (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal.

Foul by José Izquierdo (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bruno tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.

Foul by Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Darren Fletcher (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Kurt Zouma.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kurt Zouma (Stoke City) because of an injury.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Ramadan Sobhi.

Attempt saved. Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Allen.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Dale Stephens tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City1211104073334
2Man Utd128222762126
3Chelsea1281323101325
4Tottenham127232091123
5Liverpool126422417722
6Arsenal127142216622
7Burnley12642129322
8Watford125341921-218
9Brighton124441313016
10Huddersfield12435817-915
11Newcastle124261114-314
12Leicester123451618-213
13Bournemouth124171114-313
14Southampton12345914-513
15Stoke123451524-913
16Everton123361224-1212
17West Brom12246918-910
18West Ham122371125-149
19Swansea12228715-88
20Crystal Palace12129624-185
View full Premier League table

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