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Van drives into crowds in Barcelona

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    • Report by Dave Usher   Three more points towards the record. That’s what we’re playing for now and we’re almost there. Three wins from four will do it, four wins from four might set a record that will never be beaten.   I didn’t really know what to expect from this game as a lot depended on how Brighton approached it. They were terrific at Anfield earlier in the season and we needed two set-pieces headers from Virg to beat them. Recently though they’ve not been great and they’ve been a bit more defensive.   I suspected they’d sit back and defend in numbers, which would make it a tough game for us if we didn’t score early. They didn’t do that though, they picked an attacking line up and tried to play through us. It backfired spectacularly early on but overall they actually played very well I thought.   Brighton have been given stick for their ‘naive’ approach but I think that’s a bit unfair because this is how they want to play. They stayed true to their principles and were probably more adventurous than I expected. They’re virtually safe now though so the pressure was off them.   I get the argument that they should have adapted their game and not played out from the back because it plays to our strengths, and based on the result that’s an easy thing to say. I understand why Graham Potter did it though, because he did exactly the same at Anfield and I can remember writing after that game how impressed I was at the way they played through our press.    We couldn’t actually get near them that day, they just went bump bump bump and they’d bypassed our forwards and were in our half every single time.   Unfortunately for them the lack of quality in attack meant they didn’t pose much threat, but I can remember saying how well coached a team they were back then. So Potter knew his team could play through our press and he encouraged them to do so again. This time it didn’t work and they conceded two goals in the opening seven or eight minutes.   It could be that they just made mistakes or it might have been that we pressed differently than the last game which forced those mistakes. There’s usually a player who we target because he’s seen as the least comfortable on the ball. Presumably it will have been Adam Webster or Dale Stephens (who’s a dead ringer for Ricky Gervais by the way) because they never looked comfortable at all.    Souness was especially annoyed at Brighton’s approach. I can understand why they played like that but I do agree with Souness that Brighton should have eased their way into the game before trying to play so progressively. Knock it long early on or play it out wide early doors. That would have served them much better, but thankfully that’s not what they did.     This is just a teaser, click here to view the full report   Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 
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