Six things we learned from Albion's draw with Stoke

Pascal Gross celebrates his goal with Gaetan Bong. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Pascal Gross celebrates his goal with Gaetan Bong. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion twice fought back from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Stoke and increase their unbeaten run to five Premier League matches tonight.

Goals from Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kurt Zouma twice gave Stoke the lead but Pascal Gross and Jose Izquierdo struck to earn the Seagulls a point. Here's six things we learned from the game.

Brighton celebrate Jose Izquierdo's equaliser. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton celebrate Jose Izquierdo's equaliser. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Sloppy at the back


It's not often you've said that about Albion this season.


In their opening 11 Premier League games, they had conceded just 11 goals and been hard to break down. The two goals Stoke scored in the first half came from defending which is very unlike the Seagulls this campaign.


Choupo-Moting gave Stoke the lead on 28 minutes when he got behind Lewis Dunk, who got back into position but the ball then came off the Albion defender and fell favourably for Choupo-Moting to side-foot home.

Glenn Murray on the ball. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Glenn Murray on the ball. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)


Then in injury-time at the end of the first half, moments after Brighton had equalised, Stoke went back ahead. A corner caused chaos in the six-yard area, came off Bruno and Kurt Zouma was unmarked to head home from a couple of yards.


Albion boss Chris Hughton no doubt had stern words at half-tme but Brighton were lucky not to fall 3-1 down early in the second half when Mathew Ryan denied Ramadan Sobhi from close range after the Seagulls carelessly gave the ball away.


However, Albion again showed their great to get a second equaliser and extend their unbeaten Premier League run to five games.

Mason's half to forget


Lee Mason waving away Albion's penalty appeals when Ryan Shawcross tackled Glenn Murray certainly woke the Seagulls faithful up.


The Amex had been fairly quiet up until that point but Albion fans were furious when referee Lee Mason waved away what looked a clear-cut spot-kick.


Shawcross afterwards admitted: "I think I clipped him. The referee didn't have the best angle. It probably was a penalty."


Murray had skipped past Stoke's captain, who then made contact with the Brighton striker and he went down. Only a goal kick was awarded and Murray let his frustration boil over when he clattered into Kevin Wimmer shortly afterwards. Some Stoke fans felt the striker was lucky to only see yellow as Mason had a half he'd probably like to forget.


The referee was booed off at the break and Albion fans became increasingly frustrated during the second period with what they perceived as time wasting by Stoke keeper Lee Grant.

Popular scorer


Pascal Gross continued his excellent start to life as a Albion player with his third goal of the season.


The German midfielder was the most-owned player for the match for Premier League fantasy football managers pre-game and he scored Brighton's equaliser just before the break with a deflected shot.


Gross also has five assists so far this season and will continue to be a key player for the club as the season progresses with his set-piece delivery and eye for a goal.

Constant danger


It took a little while for Jose Izquierdo to get in the Seagulls starting line-up but the Columbian winger has now started the past four games and is a constant danger.


Even when he's not at his best, he is a threat for opposition defences with his pace. He lost possession too easily on a couple of occasions in the first half but went close to scoring when his pace got him clear down the right and his curling effort went just past the far post.


The 25-year-old has had better games this season and looked to be coming off around the hour mark when Solly March was given instructions from the dug-out to step up his warm-up.


Within seconds, though, Izquierdo had equalised. His cross was blocked but fell favourably for him to net his first home goal from a tight angle.


He was replaced by March 17 minutes from time but the signs are clear why Albion spent a club record fee on the winger.

Record-breaker


Stoke striker Peter Crouch became a Premier League record-breaker when he was introduced as a 73rd-minute substitute.


It was the 143rd time he has been introduced off the bench in the top flight - a Premier League record.


The 6ft 7in forward was a handful for Albion centre-backs Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy in the time he was on the pitch but was unable to score a fourth Premier League goal coming off the bench this season.

That's entertainment


When Brighton versus Stoke was announced by Sky Sports as a choice for Monday Night Football, few neutrals would have been excited about the fixture.


However, it was entertaining from the off as both sides - perhaps surprisingly - went for it.


The Seagulls weren't as solid as they've been in other games this season but they looked dangerous going forward against a Stoke side who had conceded 22 goals in their opening 11 league games.


Both teams will be disappointed with the goals they conceded but there was plenty for pundits Craig Bellamy and Jamie Carragher to talk about in the Sky Sports studio.