Brighton ruin Luton's PL return with 4-1 thrashing

This was Luton's first appearance in the top division in 31 years.
Last Updated : 12 August 2023, 16:48 IST

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Brighton & Hove Albion spoiled any hopes of a successful start to Luton Town's return to top-flight football with a comprehensive 4-1 home win over the Hatters in their Premier League clash on Saturday.

Luton, making their first appearance in the top division for 31 years, spent much of the game on the back foot, visibly tiring near the end and being punished by their hosts.

Solly March scored to ensure a 1-0 halftime lead before new signing Joao Pedro converted a second-half penalty and doubled the home team's advantage.

Carlton Morris pulled one back for Luton, also from the spot, before late goals from substitutes Simon Adingra and Evan Ferguson reflected the home side's dominance.

March rose above three Luton defenders to expertly head home Kaoru Mitoma’s cross in the 36th minute of a game that the home side dominated.

Joao Pedro, signed from Watford in the pre-season, then doubled the lead from the spot in the 71st minute after winning what looked like a soft penalty after falling down in a challenge with Luton captain Tom Lockyer.

That was evened up by another debatable decision which allowed Carlton Morris to scored Luton’s first ever Premier League goal from the spot in the 80th minute, but Adingra latched onto a defensive slip to restore the Seagulls' two-goal advantage five minutes later.

It might have been a more successful afternoon for Joao Pedro, who fluffed an easy tap-in from right in front of goal in the fifth minute. The 21-year-old scuffed his shot after Pascal Gross had cut the ball back into his path.

Danny Welbeck was full of attacking intent and came close in the 38th minute with a dipping effort that came off the woodwork and into the arms of the visiting goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski.

Lockyer, making his return after cardiac surgery, did make contact with Joao Pedro but it looked innocuous as Brighton were awarded a fortuitous penalty just past the 70-minute mark.

No mistake

Luton then won a penalty of their own as Brighton defender Lewis Dunk was struck on the underside of his elbow, trying to block substitute Jason Brown’s cross. Morris made no mistake to continue his goal scoring form from last season’s promotion campaign.

But Mpanzu botched an attempted clearance in front of his own goal and Adingra, making his appearance after moving from Belgium, did not hesitate to thrash home the ball.

Ferguson then completed a sobering return for Luton, adding Brighton’s fourth five minutes into time added on at the end.

Published 12 August 2023, 16:48 IST

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