Danny Welbeck strike not enough for Brighton

Danny Welbeck strike not enough for Brighton

They lost 4-1 on aggregate to AS Roma

Brighton’s battling 1-0 win at home to Roma was not enough to stop Roberto De Zerbi’s side exiting the Europa League at the last-16 stage.

Danny Welbeck’s magnificent first-half strike saw the Seagulls to victory but they fell well short of completing the miracle comeback required to wipe away last week’s 4-0 first leg defeat in Rome, losing 4-1 on aggregate.

After playing ‘The Great Escape’ on the Amex Stadium PA system before kick-off, Brighton signalled their intent right from the start with left-back Pervis Estupinan sending a dangerous cross into the gloves of goalkeeper Mile Svilar after only 31 seconds.

Captain Lewis Dunk headed across the face of goal from Pascal Gross’ corner before later smashing a free-kick into the Roma wall.

Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour also sent a volley over the crossbar after the Italians had only half cleared a Gross free-kick.

Roma’s first chance to get on the scoresheet came in the 15th minute as Sardar Azmoun dragged his shot wide after latching onto a loose Simon Adingra pass across his own penalty area.

The visitors looked to have opened the scoring eight minutes later through Azmoun’s overhead kick only for referee Felix Zwayer to harshly disallow the goal for a high boot.

That decision prompted an angry reaction from Roma boss Daniele De Rossi, who was shown a yellow card for his protests.

Brighton took the lead eight minutes before half-time courtesy of Welbeck’s spectacular strike.

The experienced former Arsenal and Manchester United striker picked up the ball midway inside the Roma half before playing a one-two with Estupinan and curling an unstoppable right-foot shot into the far corner from 20 yards out.

A fiery first half ended with eight yellow cards, including De Zerbi joining counterpart De Rossi in the referee’s notebook.

Another Brighton goal soon after the re-start would have set Roma nerves jangling and Julio Enciso tried to find it with a long-range shot that ended up well wide of the target.

Substitute Ansu Fati forced Svilar into a save when his cross-shot from wide on the left bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper.

Leonardo Spinazzola came within inches of putting Roma level on the night when he fired against the angle of post and crossbar following a mazy run.

Adingra should have done better in the 64th minute when heading straight at Svilar from point-blank range from an inviting Gross cross.

Jan Paul Van Hecke put a header wide from Welbeck’s looping cross and, while the home side dominated possession, they could not find any more goals as their first ever European campaign ended.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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