Roberto De Zerbi’s fury shows how their manager’s Brighton prospects turned away from happy despite a 90th-minute equalizer in the 3-3 draw against Brentford
- Brighton drew 3-3 with Brantford in the Premier League on Saturday
- The Seagulls grabbed a point from the penalty spot as the match went into extra time
- Roberto De Zerbi frustrated despite a late equalizer
There’s a scene in Moneyball where Brad Pitt’s character Billy Bean takes a baseball bat to a stereo because his team, the Oakland A’s, lost a game and didn’t deserve any music.
Having seen what Roberto De Zerbi did to his mini-TV screen from before the dugout – sending it to the ground after watching Brighton goalkeeper Jason Still foul – you feared for the safety of any other electrics in the dressing room after this. He paints.
De Zerby did not want to see any of the Brighton players satisfied on this point. no music. Not flirting with each other. There was no celebration after Alexis McAllister’s 90th-minute VAR penalty made it 3-3.
Many other managers might have been tempted to celebrate the draw against the talented Brentford side. But not De Zerby, not Brighton, not when they strive for Europe.
Moneyball is apt because the 2011 movie details a data-driven way to win that is the Brighton model.
Roberto De Zerbi was left disappointed after Saturday’s dramatic draw with Brentford
They do it differently under the owner, Tony Bloom. They sign players like Kaoru Mitoma from Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale and Moises Caicedo from Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle and turn them into Premier League stars.
Brighton have kicked Brentford’s goal with 33 attempts – the most of any Premier League side in a game this season.
For their manager, I felt this was down two points more than gaining one, and for that matter, there was little reason to celebrate about McAllister’s late form.
“The players understand the game,” De Zerby said after Saturday’s draw at Amex. They understand when we deserve to win and when we don’t. I love my players. It was difficult to change the outcome of the match three times. I am proud of this.
But if you watch the game in general, we can’t say we didn’t deserve to win. We conceded three goals in an incredible way. If we compromise on goals like that, we will not be able to achieve our goal.
And this target is Europe? “Yes, I think so,” added De Zerbi.
When asked if he was open to European football with the Brighton players, he continued: “Yes. Absolutely. But when I talk to my players, I am stronger than I am in my press conference.”
Funny how times can change. If you offer Brighton fans the return of Graham Potter, they will quickly turn it down.
They now very much represent De Zerbi’s side and it was refreshing to hear the Premier League manager speak soberly about his ambitions when others might have underestimated such talk.
Brighton are now sixth, and Brentford seventh, having also adopted the Moneyball style under the guidance of their owner, Matthew Benham. They are also on the cusp of something special.
Manager Thomas Frank said: “We dream. We dream big. When you top three times, you want more, especially when you top in the 89th minute. But I will say that was a good point.
Pontus Jansson’s header gave Brentford the lead, then Brighton made it 1-1 thanks to a Mitoma ball. Evan Toney scored next, then Danny Welbeck headed home to make it 2-2.
Alexis McAllister equalized from the penalty spot in the last minute of the match
Ethan Pinnock hoped it would be the winning goal for Brentford, but McAllister’s penalty after a clear handball from Aaron Hickey completed the score 3-3 between these two European-chasing clubs.
As a poker player, Bloom is an expert at hiding his feelings. But like De Zerbi, he will struggle to hide his disappointment after this tie.
Bloom and Benham are former friends who become enemies after an acrimonious split saw them stop working together. In the end, they were each left with three of a kind at Amex.
(tags for translation) Email