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Brighton emerges as Europa League dark horse

Posted : 15 December 2023

Joao Pedro's sensational 88th-minute goal against Marseille secured Brighton's top spot in Group B and exemption from the knockout play-off round in the Europa League. The dramatic 1-0 win, marking their fourth consecutive victory in the competition, Brighton would be the team every opponent hopes to avoid in the last-16 draw.


Despite it being Brighton's inaugural appearance in the Europa League, their formidable form, led by Joao Pedro's six goals in as many games, makes them a daunting prospect for any team.


Reflecting on Brighton's journey in the competition, acknowledging their initial setback with a home loss to AEK Athens but highlighted the pivotal turning point with back-to-back 2-0 triumphs against Ajax. These victories, coupled with redemption against Athens and the recent win over Marseille, solidified Brighton's position as group winners.


 Joao Pedro's prolific goal-scoring, especially with four penalties, places him as the tournament's leading scorer, adding another dimension to Brighton's threat in the Europa League.


Looking ahead to the last-16 draw, the significance of skipping a round and avoiding big-hitters from the Champions League, envisioning Brighton's potential journey to the quarter-finals.


While acknowledging the benefits of having two fewer games than their rivals, qualification remains the primary objective for Roberto Di Zerbi's side. Brighton's momentum and newfound excitement set the stage for an eagerly anticipated last-16 clash, with the atmosphere expected to be electric when the time comes.


Brighton's attention now turns back to Premier League action, where they face Arsenal on Sunday. Riding the momentum of their Europa League success, the Seagulls aim for a third consecutive league win at Emirates Stadium as they continue their impressive campaign in both domestic and European competitions.


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