Andone puts 10-man Huddersfield on the slide
FOR both managers as Christmas approaches it’s not so much the jingle bells, it’s the relegation chimes which rattle the eardrums.
The survival game is in full flow already for Huddersfield’s David Wagner and Brighton’s Chris Hughton.
Yesterday their collective nerves were shredded to bits in the frenzied roller-coaster battle to stave off the dreaded drop.
Hughton watched the Seagulls concede the quickest goal so far this season in the Premier League – after 55 seconds.
Then Wagner’s ecstasy turned to horror as striker Steve Mounie was shown a red card by top referee Michael Oliver after implanting his studs in Yves Bissouma’s ankle.
A ripped sock and specks of blood endorsed Oliver’s decision although after recovering it didn’t prevent the Mali international from being continually booed by the home crowd.
Hughton said: “A few years ago that’s not a sending off but the game has changed.”
Mounie later appeared in the directors’ box – hopefully feeling the guilt – watching on as Brighton took advantage of the extra man to stage a fine recovery job.
Shane Duffy struck in first-half injury time, finishing off a shortcorner routine, involving Solly March and Bruno to head home fiercely.
And Romanian striker Florin Andone justified Hughton’s faith in starting him ahead of goal machine Glenn Murray.
He headed in at the near post in the 68th minute for his first goal in English football since his summer move from Deportivo La Coruna enabling Brighton to make off with the three points. Hughton said: “It’s a classic No9’s goal, getting in ahead of the defender.
“I’m really pleased for him because he’s had to wait quite a while for his chance.”
Huddersfield 1 Brighton 2 John Richardson
RELIEF: Bernardo Silva celebrates the opener. Below, Raheem Sterling nabs the second ALERT: David de Gea’s brilliant reaction-save
HEADS UP: Florin Andone flicks in