Brighton defender and captain, Lewis Dunk has praised his team for showing “good character” in their 2-2 draw against Liverpool.
Simon Adingra put Brighton ahead in the 21st minute from a mistake involving ex player, Alexis Mac Allister, only for a late first half brace from Mohamed Salah to put Liverpool ahead at the break.
Dunk eventually snatched a 78th minute equaliser as he volleyed in from Solly March’s free-kick in the eventual 2-2 draw.
Post-match, Dunk admitted that he conceded possession for Salah’s first goal “cheaply” but felt that there was a spell of “sloppiness” from the team overall, which allowd Liverpool to come from behind to lead at half-time.
Reflecting upon that defensive implosion with five minutes until half time, Dunk iterated that Brighton must learn from this as he said: “So we’ve got to keep improving, keep learning, keep working hard. But we’ve shown great character again.”
Dunk however applauded his teammates for staging another fightback in the space of three days after they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Marseille in UEFA Europa League.
Reflecting upon what those comebacks say about the team, Dunk added: “We’ve got character in the team, we just need to get that final bit to click. I think we were the better side throughout, especially the first 40 minutes. Then we had a funny five minutes.
“I gave the ball away, they scored and we’ve been cheap in our box where we’ve got to be better. Then we’ve shown great character to fight back into the game in the second half and get a draw.”
“We got in at half-time and said we had a good 40 minutes and a mad five minutes which hurt us,” commented Dunk on the half time team talk, as he continued. “We had to go out again and be the better team in the second half. I think we reacted well at that point.”
“Bit of a killer…”
March echoed Dunk’s feeling about their first half display which he believed was one of their best first half performances this season.
“I think the first 40 minutes was up there with one of our best spells of the season, but it comes down to managing the game,” said March who described Salah’s brace as “a bit of a killer to be honest,” before he provided the assist for Brighton’s second half equaliser.
March however warned that Brighton are only warming up despite sitting sixth in the Premier League, as he commented: “To be in the top six, in Europe and playing all these extra games… I don’t think we’ve even reached our full potential yet or even played as well as we did last year at times.
“So we’re just going to get better. We’ll keep training hard, managing the games and I think we’ll be even better for that.”
Explaining his assist for Dunk’s equaliser, March admitted that the captain had asked him or Pascal Gross to take the free-kick.
“He wanted an outswinger hit into that gap and luckily enough it went straight through and I think it hit his heel and went in the far corner – they all count!”
The game also saw March deployed as a left-back for the first time in nearly two years but he was excited for the challenge, as he explained: ” It’s a challenge and obviously you want to play against the best and (Mohamed) Salah is one of the best right wingers in the world,” to “challenge” against.