Brighton knocked out of Europe League after beating Roma 1-0

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Brighton knocked out of Europe League after gutsy performance against Roma.Brighton earned a 1-0 victory over Roma last night at the AMEX, however it wasn’t enough to take them through to the next round of the Europa League. Report by Joe Zelinger

Danny Welbeck scored the winner, with a brilliant curling effort from outside the box into the top corner. The goal was Welbeck’s first of the season in Europe, but he won’t be able to add to that after the Seagulls were eliminated. 

Brighton came into the game with a mountain to climb, having lost the first leg 4-0 in Rome a week earlier. They needed to start fast if they were to have any chance of overturning the aggregate score.

Roma were without a few key players from the first leg, with Stephan El Shaarawy, Leandro Paredes and Paulo Dybala all starting the game on the bench. Romelu Lukaku also missed out with an injury, meaning Roma were hoping a weakened side could do the job.

Early on, Lewis Dunk glanced his header across the face of the goal after a free-kick from Pascal Gross. Billy Gilmour also tried his luck, sending a volley over the bar.

However, there were warning signs for Roma to gain even more of a grip of the tie. On 15 mins, Sardar Azmoun struck an effort just wide of the target after Brighton lost the ball trying to play out from the back. 

Azmoun thought he had given his side the lead just a few minutes later, with a clever overhead kick. Instead, the referee ruled it out for a high foot.  

A cross in from the right-hand side bounced off Billy Gilmour. It fell to Azmoun, but the Iranian forward still had to hook the ball from behind him to score, but the Seagulls were given a lifeline by the referee.

On 37 minutes, Welbeck gave Brighton the break through. The English striker carried the ball up the pitch, before playing it to Pervis Estupinan. The Ecuadorian then laid it back off to Welbeck, who took a couple of touches to set himself, and then expertly curled his shot into the top corner, giving Mile Svilar no chance, and possibly giving his side a chance in the tie.

Heading into the second half, Brighton kept on searching for goals to give themselves any kind of hope. On 55 mins, Simon 

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Adingra had his dangerous cross parried away by Svilar when it looked to be heading towards goal. 

Just minutes after, Leonardo Spinazzola went on a run through the Brighton team, resulting in him striking the outside of the post. The full-back was allowed to roam forward after initially picking up the ball on the half-way line. 

Svilar then denied Adingra again. Gross found the Ivorian winger with a brilliant delivery from the left-hand side, and it seemed a certain goal. Adingra, however, could only direct his header straight at the keeper, who had been impressive throughout the tie. 

Later in the half, Ansu Fati and Igor both had long range efforts on target, but they were dealt with by Svilar. Fati, who had the better of the two efforts, sent a powerful, dipping shot towards goal, but it was more or less down the middle, meaning Svilar didn’t have to move a great deal in order to make the stop. 

Like they do in many of their games, Brighton dominated the ball, but were unable to find the goals they needed on the night. The damage was done in the first leg, and Roma eased through 4-1 on aggregate. 

Attention for Brighton now turns to qualifying for Europe for next season, which they are firmly in the race for. They are 8th in the Premier League, one point behind West Ham in seventh. 

Roma will be dreaming of another European journey after qualifying for the quarter-finals. The Italian side have reached the final of European competition in the past two seasons. They are also battling it out for a place in the Champions League next season in Serie A, where they currently sit fifth. 

Next up for Brighton is a trip to Anfield, but this isn’t for a couple of weeks due to the international break. Roma have one more game before heading into the break, hosting Sassuolo on Sunday evening. 

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