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Stoke City 2-4 Brighton: Joao Pedro strikes twice to ease Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls into the fourth round… after initially falling behind to Championship opposition

Stoke City 2-4 Brighton: Joao Pedro strikes twice to ease Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls into the fourth round… after initially falling behind to Championship opposition
Stoke City 2-4 Brighton: Joao Pedro strikes twice to ease Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls into the fourth round… after initially falling behind to Championship opposition


  • Premier League Brighton edge back-and-forth tie at Championship side Stoke 
  • Joao Pedro scored twice in the second half to swing it in the Seagulls’ favour
  • IAN LADYMAN: Premier League clubs are wrapped up in their own self-interest. They want what suits them and that’s not FA Cup replays – It’s All Kicking Off

Joao Pedro scored twice as last season’s FA Cup finalists Brighton came from behind to win an entertaining six-goal thriller at The Bet365 Stadium.

Championship Stoke took a shock lead when Seagulls defender Paul van Hecke turned into his own net but a stunner from Pervis Estupinan on the stroke of half-time allowed the visitors to go into the interval level.

Lewis Dunk put Brighton ahead early in the second half and though Lewis Baker’s penalty evened things up again, in-form Pedro produced two good finishes in the final 20 minutes to take his season’s tally to 15.

Brighton, beaten by Manchester United on penalties in last year’s semi-final, started brightly.

Evan Ferguson was denied a tap-in by Ben Wilmot and Facundo Buanotte collided with the post as he tried to get the finishing touch to Pedro’s spinning shot.

Joao Pedro scored twice as Brighton came from behind to beat Stoke City 4-2 in the FA Cup

Lewis Potter had pulled Stoke City level with Premier League opposition from the penalty spot

Lewis Potter had pulled Stoke City level with Premier League opposition from the penalty spot

Jan Paul van Hecke's own goal gave the Potters an early lead against the Premier League team

Jan Paul van Hecke’s own goal gave the Potters an early lead against the Premier League team

As can happen in cup football, Stoke then took the lead against the run of play after 16 minutes.

MATCH FACTS

Stoke: Iversen: Hoever, Wilmot, Rose (Vidigal 45), Haksabanovic (Mmaee 58), Leris (McNally 45), Burger, Baker (Sidibe 85), Johnson (McCarron 74), Jun-Ho, Wesley (Lowe 74) 

Goals: van Hecke og 16, Baker pen 63

Brighton: Verbruggen, Hinshelwood, Dunk (Baleba 83), van Hecke, Estupinan, Gilmour (Hinchy 90), Buonanotte (Welbeck 57), Moder (Webster 58), Gross, Pedro (Lallana 83), Ferguson (Peupion 90) 

Goals: Estupinan 45, Dunk 52, Pedro 71 & 80 

Referee: Paul Tierney 

K–Jana Hoever and Bae Jun-Ho cut open Brighton’s defence and when Seagulls goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen missed the cross, van Hecke facing his own goal couldn’t make his mind up what to do and allowed the ball to hit him and trickle over the line.

Even with parts of the ground closed because of the half-full attendance, the goal was greeted loudly enough.

Mehdi Leris and Wesley had chances to make it 2-0 but Brighton finally got going towards the end of the first half after Leris had been substituted after a heavy collision with Estupinan. The Stoke player had just returned from concussion and the club medics instructed him to come off.

Dunk registered their first effort on target and in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage time, Estupinan levelled with another worldie.

The Ecuadorian celebrated his comeback from injury with a stunning strike against Tottenham on December 28 and he matched it yesterday.

As the ball bounced invitingly to the left-back a few yards outside the penalty area from Billy Gilmour’s pass, he connected brilliantly with the outside of his left foot so it swerved away from Iversen and into the top corner.

There was a sense it could be a game-changer and Brighton, who had won at the Bet365 in last year’s fifth round, went ahead for the first time after 52 minutes.

Pascal Gross got to the byline on the left and hung up a cross where Dunk powered in a header at the far post.

Andre Vidigal prevented the score from becoming 3-1 with a great interception to deny Moder.

And the importance became clear after 61 minutes. Wouter Burger forced a corner through Verbruggen’s save and from the resulting corner Luke McNally’s header hit Dunk on the arm with referee Paul Tierney pointing to the spot.

Whether VAR would have overturned it given Dunk’s proximity to the ball was immaterial as the technology isn’t used in the cup at Championship grounds.

Instead, the spot-kick went ahead quickly and Lews Baker drilled a low finish to the bottom left-hand corner.

This time, Brighton responded more quickly than they had done with Stoke’s first goal.

Brighton's Lewis Dunk scored their second goal to move 2-1 up after 52 minutes of action

Brighton’s Lewis Dunk scored their second goal to move 2-1 up after 52 minutes of action

Baker's penalty levelled it at 2-2, before the Premier League side pulled away from the Potters

Baker’s penalty levelled it at 2-2, before the Premier League side pulled away from the Potters

Pedro scored twice in nine minutes to secure Brighton's passage to the FA Cup fourth round

Pedro scored twice in nine minutes to secure Brighton’s passage to the FA Cup fourth round

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, with a show every Monday and Thursday this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

After 71 minutes, Gross’ first opportunity to cross was blocked but when the German floated an excellent delivery towards the penalty spot at the second attempt, Pedro climbed highest to head past Iversen.

It was the Brazilian’s 14th goal of an impressive debut season with his south coast club following a £30million move from Watford.

The next then arrived after 80 minutes. A swift break allowed van Hecke to pick out the striker who slid into the six-yard box to convert.

Pedro is only 22 and he continues this rate of progress, De Zerbi will feel another FA Cup run is more than possible.

Written by bourbiza mohamed

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