Brighton 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday Player Ratings: wonderful Knockaert

brighton

Seagulls celebrate Knockaert’s winner

A dramatic encounter at the AMEX on Friday night saw Brighton go top of the league with a 2-1 win over play-off contenders Sheffield Wednesday. But which players stood out?

Brighton & Hove Albion

David Stockdale – his save from Forestieri’s rebound was more impressive than the one from the penalty itself. Untested for much of the game but could have produced a key moment in the season. 6

Connor Goldson – out of position and appeared to be targeted in the first half. Better after the break but could have done more to block Reach’s deliveries. 4
Shane Duffy – more aggressive than Dunk. Gave the ball away on the odd occasion, but was commanding in the air throughout. 8
Lewis Dunk – made a hash of the equalizer but otherwise dealt well with some awkward crosses. Composed in possession. 7
Sebastien Pocognoli – his distribution could have been better early on but grew in confidence. Produced one good bit of covering work to deny Murray and put in two or three good crosses, including the one for Knockaert’s winner. 6

Anthony Knockaert – two goals alone is worthy of a high score – that’s without his work rate and capacity to carry the ball up the pitch. 9
Dale Stephens – not as good in possession as Norwood, but had superior strengths in other areas. Battled superbly, if too much during off-field incidents. 7
Oliver Norwood – often slotted in between the centre-backs and sprayed some good passes to the flanks. Could have been more diligent defensively. 6
Jamie Murphy – tended to cut inside from the left but did not show much creativity and could have used his left foot more. Should have done better with a close-range header and had fewer than 40 touches in 79 minutes. 3

Tomer Hemed – played a part in both of Knockaert’s goals, held the ball up well and had one or two good shots himself. A hardworking display that will encourage Hughton in the absence of Baldock and now Murray. 8
Glenn Murray – touch could have been better, not the best finish from Knockaert’s early centre. Worked hard but his daft hand-ball in the box led to his sending off and could have been costly. 3

Steve Sidwell (on 79) – helped Brighton gain more control further up the pitch. Made a positive impact in a short space of time. 7
Solly March (on 79) – injected pace into the team and made some good runs, one of them resulting in a horrendous challenge from Hutchinson. 7
Jiri Skalak (on 90+2)

Sheffield Wednesday

Keiren Westwood – some decent saves early on, but his poorly-judged sprawl at Knockaert’s feet led to the first goal and looked indecisive for the second. 4

Jack Hunt – was not enjoying the best of evenings but only had 33 minutes. One hopes his injury is not too serious. 4
Tom Lees – composed in possession and by far Wednesday’s best defender. Refreshingly honest post-match. 7
Glenn Loovens – could have been more aggressive against Murray and Knockaert, then was slow to attack Pocognoli’s cross for the winner. 3
Daniel Pudil – his positioning was way off and part of the reason Knockaert waltzed down the right when he got the ball. Unsurprisingly taken off in the second half. 2

Ross Wallace – anonymous in an attacking sense and too easily lost his man when defending. At his most noticeable when arguing with officials over the precise position of the ball at corners. 2
Sam Hutchinson – limited with the ball and a touch rash without it, evidenced by his horrendous challenge on March that saw him sent off late on. 3
Barry Bannan – flashes of quality link-up play in the first half. Mishit the odd pass but always looked to move forward and be productive with the ball. 7
Adam Reach – one or two good runs in the first half and put in some pinpoint crosses after the break. Reach, Bannan and Lees left the AMAX with their reputation intact. 7

Fernando Forestieri – anonymous in the first half until his cross led to the equalizer, somewhat fortuitously. His failed penalty attempt only compounded an evening in which he looked sluggish and distant from the action. 2
Sam Winnall – thrives on quick, early balls to his head or chest, which he was not given in a crab-like Owls side. Work rate could have been better but poor service was the main problem. 4

Liam Palmer (on 33) – one of the few remnants of the Stuart Gray era – his technical limitations suggested as much. 4
Steven Fletcher (on 57) – made a brief impact in his willingness to make bold runs, but then waned in influence and was sent off in the dying moments. 5
Callum McManaman (on 67) – a loose cannon. Should not have got involved in the handbags and perhaps lucky to get his full 23 minutes on the pitch. 4