Brighton 1-1 Newcastle: Pascal Gross rescues vital point to boost Seagulls’ survival bid

Brighton took a step towards Premier League safety after Pascal Gross rescued a point against Newcastle at the Amex.

The German netted the Seagulls’ first league goal in more than 12 hours to move the club four points clear of Cardiff with two games to play.

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Gross nets the equaliser

Cardiff’s survival hopes were dealt a humongous blow with a 1-0 defeat at Fulham earlier in the day, but Chris Hughton’s men did not look like capitalising after a hopeless first-half.

Ayoze Perez gave Newcastle the lead with a thunderous volley as the hosts saw just 38% of the ball in the opening 45 minutes.

However, Brighton were reinvigorated after the break, thanks largely to the introduction of Solly March.

And a prolonged spell was rewarded when Gross latched onto Glenn Murray’s header to nod past Martin Dubravka in the 75th minute.

The Seagulls then pushed for a winner which would’ve all-but relegated Cardiff – and Murray should’ve found it when he headed over from a yard out late on.

Nonetheless, one more win will be enough to secure Brighton’s top-flight status, and Cardiff need to win their final two games to have any chance.

Newcastle – without ill captain Jamaal Lascelles and injured record signing Miguel Almiron – were in no mood to roll over and dampened the optimism with 18 minutes played.

Paul Dummett’s deep cross from the left was superbly chested down by Salomon Rondon for Perez to expertly smash his fifth goal in three games into the top right corner from close to the penalty spot.

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Perez put Newcastle ahead

Venezuela international Rondon was then denied a penalty by referee Mike Dean after his heels appeared to be clipped by Brighton captain Bruno.

Spanish forward Perez, whose goal was the only effort on target at either end in the opening 45 minutes, had earlier taken an inadvertent whack from Seagulls defender Shane Duffy and reluctantly had to be replaced by Kenedy 12 minutes before the break.

The Magpies had another spot-kick claim turned down early in the second half when Dale Stephens handled Isaac Hayden’s goal-bound effort from a Matt Ritchie corner.

Albion continued to offer little in attack, although centre-back Duffy rippled the side-netting from a Gross corner.

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The hosts then claimed for a penalty six minutes later when Glenn Murray received a nudge from Ritchie following Bernardo’s cross.

Time appeared to be ticking away from Brighton before a leveller duly arrived with 75 minutes on the clock.

Bruno’s hopeful cross from the right was headed on by veteran striker Murray, allowing the onrushing Gross to beat Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to the ball and nod home.

Murray had a golden chance to grab a dramatic winner and virtually ensure survival but he headed over from Knockaert’s cross in the final minute, leaving Hughton’s men to wait a little longer to secure their Premier League status.

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