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Brighton & Hove Albion v Cardiff City Live Commentary, 16/04/2019

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N. Mendez-Laing (22)
S. Morrison (50)
The American Express Community Stadium


A weekend trip to Wolves won't be any easier for Hughton's men, while Cardiff will take anything they can get when Liverpool come to town on Sunday. That wraps up our coverage of today's game, thanks for reading along.
Two relegation spots may have been wrapped up early this season, but the occupier of the third and final one will go down to the wire. 18th placed Cardiff move to within two points of Brighton after an invaluable win on the south coast and, in truth, they always looked comfortable. Mendez-Laing’s curling finish was enough to give the Bluebirds a 1-0 lead, before Morrison’s header doubled their advantage in the second half. The home side clicked better up front once Andone arrived on the scene, but Brighton look ill-equipped to face three of the top four during their run-in.
90' + 3' Murray hits the post! The striker is denied after March's cross from the right flank. It probably would have been too little too late anyway.
90' + 2' March whips a cross in for Duffy at the far post but the two Cardiff centre-halves thwart the attack, like they have done all game.
90' + 1' Three minutes have been added on at the Amex.
90' + 1' March hits a free-kick over the crossbar for what is the final act of this game.
89' Murray shouts at his Brighton team-mates after a clipped pass in behind misses the mark.
87' Cardiff aren't relenting whenever Brighton are on the ball, even when the home side are deep in their own half. Stephens has just hit a pass straight out of play and that says it all.
K. Zohorè
O. Niasse
Cardiff City
85' Niasse has put in the hard yards for his side and expect Zohore to continue his good work.
84' You get the impression that Cardiff could seal it with a third if they take just a little bit more time on the break. Brighton are leaving plenty of space in behind as they push for a goal.
82' Murray fouls Ecuele Manga in the Cardiff half to relieve some pressure. Their battle has been an interesting one tonight, with each scrap normally ending with the referee's whistle.
K. Harris
N. Mendez-Laing
Cardiff City
80' Mendez-Laing has played a pivotal role tonight and popped up with the first half's only true piece of quality. Harris will play out the final 10 minutes and stoppage time.
J. Bennett
Yellow Card
Cardiff City
79' Bennett goes into the book for grappling March as Brighton tried to spring a counter. Amazingly, that's the first yellow of the match.
78' Brighton are currently peppering the Cardiff box with crosses from the right wing. The away side are dealing with everything, though.
76' More aerial dominance from Etheridge springs a Cardiff counter, prompting Stephens to foul Hoilett.
74' There have only been two shots on target to Brighton's name this evening and they're running out of time.
72' Cardiff have lost six of their last seven Premier League games, and five of their last six away from home. They're getting closer to a crucial victory in their battle to avoid relegation.
70' More good link-up play between the Brighton forwards sees Andone tee up Murray, before the number 17 lets fly from the edge of the box. It was always rising but that's much better from the Seagulls.
J. Izquierdo
A. Jahanbakhsh
Brighton & Hove Albion
69' Jahanbakhsh makes way for Izquierdo, a man capable of the spectacular. Brighton could do with with some of that.
67' Hoilett stops March in his tracks with a foul in Cardiff's half.
65' Bernardo goes for a raking pass from one full-back to another but puts too much on it for Bruno, who can't prevent the ball from trickling out for a goal kick.
63' Andone has given the home side a bit more unpredictability and Cardiff something else to think about.
61' Andone can't quite control Murray's knock-down as he runs in behind at the end of a route one attack.
60' Brighton are back on the front foot for the time being. March's corner is sent back across goal by Duffy, but Cardiff are alert once again.
58' After the corner, Bennett lashes a shot towards goal after Hoilett's pass, but Brighton get bodies in the way.
57' Ralls aims for the far corner with a low shot but can only find Duffy, who steers the ball away for a Cardiff corner.
L. Bacuna
A. Gunnarsson
Cardiff City
55' Cardiff make their own change as Bacuna comes on for the injured Gunnarsson.
F. Andone
P. Groß
Brighton & Hove Albion
54' Confirmation that Gross' race is run and, having only just returned from injury, he was never going to play the full 90. The lively Andone replaces him.
53' Gross aims for Duffy but nothing comes of it. The German is about to make way, too.
52' Ecuele Manga runs into Murray, who was waiting for contact, to set Brighton up with a free-kick from 30 yards or so. Gross, March and Stephens are all standing over it.
Cardiff City
50' Camarasa's delivery to the far post was absolutely spot on and meant that the direction from Morrison didn't need to be perfect. The power made it so difficult to stop there.
S. Morrison
Cardiff City
50' GOOOOAAAALL! Morrison doubles Cardiff’s lead from the free-kick! Nobody challenged the big defender in the box and there was nothing Ryan could do about it. 2-0 to Warnock’s men!
49' Gross barges into Bennett to gift a free-kick to Cardiff.
48' Jahanbakhsh registers the first attempt on goal of this second half, testing Etheridge from a tight angle.
46' The second half restarts with Cardiff.
Hughton’s men have now failed to score in four-and-a-half games, while Murray’s run of nine matches without a goal doesn’t look like ending here. Locadia, Andone, and Izquierdo await on the bench. Cardiff’s lead is precious for their fight, but banking on it might be a dangerous game. The Bluebirds invited too much unnecessary pressure as they dropped back after the opening goal.
Brighton have been worryingly flat at both ends of the pitch and have it all to do against Cardiff, who’ve worked hard and deserve their lead at the break. Mendez-Laing and Hoilett were allowed to charge towards the home penalty relatively unchallenged, before the former curled home from range for 1-0. Aside from two early sighters for March, there haven’t been many other clear-cut chances from either side. Brighton are now in danger of sleepwalking into a relegation dogfight.
45' + 1' Bernardo's ball is overhit towards Mendez-Laing, who might have reignited the threat with a sliced clearance, but he eventually composes himself to clear.
44' Brighton haven't put much of a late rally together so far here as we approach the interval.
42' Ralls thumps a cross in towards a dangerous area from the right wing, but a Brighton intervention allows Ryan to come off his line and gather.
41' Brighton don't know how to deal with Mendez-Laing at the moment. His powerful surge down the left brings a Cardiff corner, from which Gunnarsson can only head over the bar. Perhaps the Iceland international should have tested Ryan with that one.
39' Brighton keep looking for the ball in behind the Cardiff defence, but every time the home runners are either matched for pace or rudely interrupted by Etheridge performing the sweeper keeper role.
37' Cardiff may not have had much luck at Brighton over the years but half of their away wins in the Premier League have come on the south coast, having beaten Southampton in the 2013-14 campaign and this season.
35' Hoilett is feeling the effects of a foul from March. The Canadian is at least back on his feet now.
34' March spots Gross on the edge of the box but misses his team-mate with a cut-back, played behind the German.
32' Jahanbakhsh has just won Brighton's third corner of the half. Again, though, Hughton's men can't make it count.
30' Cardiff have dropped so, so deep after their goal and it's opening them up to a lot of pressure from the home side. Brighton are racking up the corners at the moment.
28' March tees up Stephens for a piledriver, expertly blocked away for a corner by the Cardiff defence. From the ensuing corner, Duffy heads the ball back across invitingly enough for Etheridge to catch.
26' Bruno is providing plenty of energy from right-back. He earns a throw-in which goes to Propper, who turns before looping in a cross for the offside Murray. Brighton started very quickly but don't have many ideas at the moment.
25' If the game ends like this, Cardiff will be just two points behind Brighton in the table. Can the Seagulls fight back?
24' That was Mendez-Laing's second goal in the Premier League this season. His first came against Arsenal at the end of January.
J. Hoilett
Cardiff City
22' Hoilett will get the assist for his one-two during the attack but that was all Mendez-Laing, brought in tonight by Warnock and not disappointing.
N. Mendez-Laing
Cardiff City
22' GOOOOAAALLL! What a brilliant strike from Mendez-Laing and how vital could that be for the away side? The winger shapes up to shoot from 25 yards and bends the ball into the top-right corner. 1-0 Cardiff!
20' Bruno delivers a promising-looking ball into the box from the right, Etheridge spots the danger and makes it his. That was the first sign of what Brighton's veteran defender can do going forward tonight.
18' March chases a long ball all the way towards the corner flag on the right flank. Gunnarsson arrives to put his body in the way and, after an extended tussle, earns a free-kick for Cardiff to ease the pressure.
16' Etheridge comes a long way to punch unconvincingly from Gross' delivery and eventually Cardiff clear the danger.
15' Strong hold-up play from Murray wide on the right earns Brighton a free-kick and a chance to aim for their big centre-halves.
13' History favours the home side on their patch. Brighton have only lost one of their last nine home league games against Cardiff, last suffering defeat to the Bluebirds in 2005.
11' Hoilett cuts inside from the left on his favoured right foot with only one thing in mind, only for Stephens to step in front of the Canadian's attempt.
9' Brighton scream for a penalty after Ecuele Manga appears to drag Dunk to the ground during a set-piece. Cardiff have been bitterly disappointed with officiating in recent weeks, but got away with one there.
8' A loose ball meets Gunnarsson 30-plus yards from goal and the Cardiff captain tries an ambitious shot from that range. It ends up in the stands...
6' March launches his second effort of the game. This one falls to him more centrally but with a similar outcome, as the winger slices the ball out for a goal kick.
5' Ralls' corner isn't dealt with properly by the Brighton defence. The midfielder has a second go at delivering with a wicked, curling cross, which has just too much power for anyone to make contact at the back post.
3' Etheridge has to be alert to come out and dispossess Murray, after Jahanbakhsh played the striker in. Moments later, the Brighton number 17 drags a shot wide on his left from range.
2' March goes close to marking his return to the side with a goal. The wide man lets fly from the edge of the box but can only find the side netting.
1' We're underway at the Amex.
Warnock opts for three changes from Saturday at Turf Moor, with Niasse, Mendez-Laing and Ralls coming in. Harry Arter isn’t fit enough to make the squad, while Callum Paterson and Sol Bamba continue to watch on from the sidelines after season-ending injuries.
March and Gross go straight back into the starting XI following their respective calf and hamstring problems. Knockaert begins a three-match ban following his red card against Bournemouth. Hughton opts for five alterations in all.
CARDIFF CITY SUBS: Brian Murphy, Kadeem Harris, Kenneth Zohore, Josh Murphy, Bobby Reid, Rhys Healey, Leandro Bacuna.
CARDIFF CITY (4-2-3-1): Neil Etheridge; Lee Peltier, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Sean Morrison, Joe Bennett; Joe Ralls, Aron Gunnarsson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Víctor Camarasa, Junior Hoilett; Oumar Niasse.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION SUBS: David Button, Beram Kayal, Dan Burn, Jurgen Locadia, Jose Izquierdo, Florin Andone, Gaetan Bong.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION (4-3-3): Mat Ryan; Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Bernardo; Pascal Gross, Dale Stephens, Davy Propper; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Glenn Murray, Solly March.
Cardiff have been unlucky with big decisions in recent weeks, but their efforts to beat the drop are quickly fading following a controversial defeat at Burnley. Lose again tonight and that may be all she wrote for the Bluebirds, even with winnable matches against Fulham and Crystal Palace still to come. Neil Warnock can at least use triumph in November’s reverse fixture as motivation here on the south coast.
It could be a very nervy end to the season for Brighton if they don’t get a result tonight. The Seagulls are just one place and five points above the final relegation spot occupied by their visitors, albeit with a game to spare. Last weekend’s drubbing here at the hands of Bournemouth suggests things could spiral out of control for Chris Hughton’s side, having only tallied up eight points since the turn of the year. Failure to score in four consecutive losses also raises alarms, but that will all be forgotten with a win.
Hello and welcome to coverage of the Premier League clash between Brighton and Hove Albion and Cardiff City at the Amex Stadium.