The post-Graham Potter era at Brighton just cannot get going.
Make that just two points from four games under Potter’s replacement, Roberto De Zerbi, after a lackluster 0-0 draw at home with lowly Nottingham Forest that prompted some jeers from Brighton fans at the full-time whistle.
For a supposedly attack-minded manager, De Zerbi is struggling to make his team dangerous going forward.
Since the 3-3 draw in the Italian’s first match in charge – at Liverpool, no less – Brighton has played three games, had 54 shots and failed to score a goal.
The south-coast team was in fourth place when Potter left to join Chelsea. Now, it is in seventh and plays Manchester City and Chelsea over the next two weekends.
”It’s not the first time my team play like this and we can’t win,” said De Zerbi, who was widely praised for his work in turning around Sassuolo in Italy before a brief stint with Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk.
”I don’t want to speak about whether it’s unfair or unlucky … We shoot 20 times, we have a lot of chances. We have to work in the last 20 meters to choose the best solution. We have to attack the space better, to work in the last pass.”
Forest was more than happy with a draw that lifted Steve Cooper’s team off the bottom of the standings, a point above Leicester.
Forest’s players stood in front of the away end and took in the applause of their fans after holding out at the Amex Stadium, having restricted Brighton to mostly half-chances – one of which saw Leandro Trossard smash a fierce shot against the crossbar in the first half.
After a bad start to the season when Forest was too open and too naive, Cooper has set out his team to be more solid and pragmatic. Forest has drawn two of its last three games and only conceded two goals in that stretch.
”To be on the road we’re on, to show fight and passion to the game plan, is the main thing,” Cooper said.
Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Wolverhampton 2-1 in the other game, with Wilfried Zaha scoring the winner in the 70th minute for his fifth goal of the season.
Adama Traore’s 31st-minute header for Wolves was canceled out by another header, from Palace playmaker Eberechi Eze, barely a minute into the second half.
The win lifted Palace into 10th place and left Wolves one spot above the relegation zone.
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