Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion slideshow

Chelsea arrange friendly to get Ross Barkley up to speed

Chelsea have arranged a friendly especially for Ross Barkley after Antonio Conte was forced to re-think his plans to give him his debut against Norwich City. Conte had pencilled Barkley in to make his first appearance of the season against Norwich in the FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday night. But the head coach was informed on Sunday that midfielder Barkley cannot face Norwich because he was not signed from Everton in time to play in the initial tie. Barkley’s £15 million transfer was completed after the midday cut-off point on the day before Chelsea’s third-round trip to Norwich, which they drew to force a replay at Stamford Bridge. Conte is so keen to have Barkley available that Chelsea will now play a training ground friendly this week to prepare the 24-year-old to make his first-team debut. Chelsea vs Arsenal player ratings Asked on Tuesday when he found out Barkley could not face Norwich, Conte said: “Two days ago. Carlo Cudicini [club ambassador and assistant to the manager] informed me about this new situation. Two days ago I was sure Ross Barkley could play against Norwich. To start? No. But, for sure, to play a part of the game. “Now we are preparing a friendly game for him during this week and then we will see his physical condition. But I'm very happy for his commitment and physical condition. He could be ready for the next game [against Brighton], or for the game after that.” Barkley’s switch to Chelsea prompted the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, to ask the police, Football Association and Premier League to investigate an alleged ‘fraud’. But Merseyside police have now informed Anderson, the FA and the Premier League that they have no evidence of any crime.

Arsene Wenger branded referee Mike Dean 'dishonest' and a 'disgrace' in heated row after West Brom match

Arsene Wenger accused referee Mike Dean of dishonesty and branded him “a disgrace” after Arsenal’s controversial draw at West Bromwich Albion, the Football Association has revealed. Wenger confronted Dean after West Brom were awarded a late penalty at the Hawthorns during the sides’ Premier League match on New Year’s Eve, with Jay Rodriguez converting the spot-kick to secure the Midland side a 1-1 draw. The Arsenal manager launched a withering attack on Dean after the game, with the penalty awarded after a contentious handball by Calum Chambers, in which he bemoaned the standard of refereeing. He said: “Many years ago [former Arsenal vice-chairman] David Dein and myself fought hard for referees to become professional and they do a good job, but don’t work enough. I believe we fought hard to win the game, but didn’t because of a bad decision.” Wenger was handed a three-match touchline ban and fined £40,000 by the FA and in the written reasons for that decision, published last night, they reveal the extent of his anger with Dean as the pair clashed in the referee’s room after the final whistle. This included: Wenger jabbing his finger at Dean as he accused him of “not being honest”. The manager calling Dean “a disgrace” and suggesting he was guilty of habitually giving poor decisions against Arsenal. Wenger having to be ushered away by a West Brom steward. Wenger’s questioning of Dean’s integrity, and his use of abusive and inappropriate language, ensured that he was handed a touchline ban rather than being given a fine, although he avoided a stadium ban. In his incident report, Dean wrote: “As we’ve entered the dressing room after the game Mr Wenger stood behind us in the doorway and told the West Brom steward to ‘let him in’. He was very aggressive leaning towards me, pointing aggressively at me saying, ‘You’re not honest’ on numerous occasions. I replied, ‘So you’re calling me a cheat’. He replied, ‘I maintain what I say, you’re not honest’. “He then said, ‘You’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace’. He was then ushered out of the room by the West Brom safety officer.” Arsene Wenger was furious with Mike Dean Credit: ACTION IMAGES Dean’s version of events was corroborated by his two assistant referees: Simon Long – who called Wenger’s behaviour “aggressive” and said he had spoken to Dean in a “raised voice” – and Ian Hussin, as well as the fourth official, Christopher Kavanagh, who were all present in the room. Wenger was absent from the touchline for Arsenal’s games against Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Bournemouth, none of which his side won. An independent panel, chaired by Gareth Farrelly, unanimously agreed on a three-match ban, after initially considering a four-match suspension. The commission stated: “There is no justification for this behaviour.” The panel considered a full stadium ban but “agreed it was not warranted in this case”. Wenger was also warned about his comments before and after the Chelsea game on January 3. He had described disputed refereeing decisions as “concerning coincidences”. It is the second time in 12 months that Wenger has been punished with a touchline ban. Last January, he was suspended for four matches and fined £25,000 for his behaviour in a victory over Burnley. That time, Wenger was charged with verbally abusing and pushing fourth official Anthony Taylor after being sent off. Meanwhile, it has emerged that Gaetan Bong, the Brighton defender, was interviewed by FA officials on Tuesday as the inquiry into the row with Jay Rodriguez gets under way. Bong has alleged he was racially abused by the West Bromwich forward during the game at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Rodriguez, who denies the allegations, will meet FA officials in London next week.

Arsene Wenger branded referee Mike Dean 'dishonest' and a 'disgrace' in heated row after West Brom match

Arsene Wenger accused referee Mike Dean of dishonesty and branded him “a disgrace” after Arsenal’s controversial draw at West Bromwich Albion, the Football Association has revealed. Wenger confronted Dean after West Brom were awarded a late penalty at the Hawthorns during the sides’ Premier League match on New Year’s Eve, with Jay Rodriguez converting the spot-kick to secure the Midland side a 1-1 draw. The Arsenal manager launched a withering attack on Dean after the game, with the penalty awarded after a contentious handball by Calum Chambers, in which he bemoaned the standard of refereeing. He said: “Many years ago [former Arsenal vice-chairman] David Dein and myself fought hard for referees to become professional and they do a good job, but don’t work enough. I believe we fought hard to win the game, but didn’t because of a bad decision.” Wenger was handed a three-match touchline ban and fined £40,000 by the FA and in the written reasons for that decision, published last night, they reveal the extent of his anger with Dean as the pair clashed in the referee’s room after the final whistle. This included: Wenger jabbing his finger at Dean as he accused him of “not being honest”. The manager calling Dean “a disgrace” and suggesting he was guilty of habitually giving poor decisions against Arsenal. Wenger having to be ushered away by a West Brom steward. Wenger’s questioning of Dean’s integrity, and his use of abusive and inappropriate language, ensured that he was handed a touchline ban rather than being given a fine, although he avoided a stadium ban. In his incident report, Dean wrote: “As we’ve entered the dressing room after the game Mr Wenger stood behind us in the doorway and told the West Brom steward to ‘let him in’. He was very aggressive leaning towards me, pointing aggressively at me saying, ‘You’re not honest’ on numerous occasions. I replied, ‘So you’re calling me a cheat’. He replied, ‘I maintain what I say, you’re not honest’. “He then said, ‘You’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace’. He was then ushered out of the room by the West Brom safety officer.” Arsene Wenger was furious with Mike Dean Credit: ACTION IMAGES Dean’s version of events was corroborated by his two assistant referees: Simon Long – who called Wenger’s behaviour “aggressive” and said he had spoken to Dean in a “raised voice” – and Ian Hussin, as well as the fourth official, Christopher Kavanagh, who were all present in the room. Wenger was absent from the touchline for Arsenal’s games against Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Bournemouth, none of which his side won. An independent panel, chaired by Gareth Farrelly, unanimously agreed on a three-match ban, after initially considering a four-match suspension. The commission stated: “There is no justification for this behaviour.” The panel considered a full stadium ban but “agreed it was not warranted in this case”. Wenger was also warned about his comments before and after the Chelsea game on January 3. He had described disputed refereeing decisions as “concerning coincidences”. It is the second time in 12 months that Wenger has been punished with a touchline ban. Last January, he was suspended for four matches and fined £25,000 for his behaviour in a victory over Burnley. That time, Wenger was charged with verbally abusing and pushing fourth official Anthony Taylor after being sent off. Meanwhile, it has emerged that Gaetan Bong, the Brighton defender, was interviewed by FA officials on Tuesday as the inquiry into the row with Jay Rodriguez gets under way. Bong has alleged he was racially abused by the West Bromwich forward during the game at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Rodriguez, who denies the allegations, will meet FA officials in London next week.

Brighton vs Chelsea: Premier League prediction, TV, live streaming, start time, team news, line-ups, head to head, betting tips and odds

Brighton vs Chelsea: Premier League prediction, TV, live streaming, start time, team news, line-ups, head to head, betting tips and odds

Brighton and Hove Albion’s Gaetan Bong wants Jay Rodriguez punished for alleged racist abuse

The Cameroon international has called on the FA to punish the Baggies forward for his comments in Saturday’s Premier League game

Steven Davis says VAR is helping hand game needs after Southampton are denied win

Steven Davis, the Northern Ireland and Southampton captain, says he is now a firm believer in the importance of video assistant referees after twice seeing crucial and controversial handball decisions go against him while representing club and country. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s last-minute equaliser for Watford, courtesy of his right hand, denied Southampton a hard-earned victory at Vicarage Road and would surely have been ruled out by referee Roger East had the VAR been in operation for this fixture. The incident came just days after Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan spoke of the “worst mistake of my life” which saw him award a penalty for Switzerland in the World Cup play-off with Northern Ireland last November even though a goal-bound shot had hit midfielder Corry Evans’s shoulder rather than his arm. “I was never a great advocate of it before but when it happened in a game of that magnitude, in an international game where a small nation like ourselves had a chance to go a World Cup, that was ultimately the decision that cost going there,” Davis said. “It makes you think differently about the situation. James Ward-Prowse scored Southampton's second against Watford Credit: Reuters “Clearly the Watford goal shouldn’t have stood; it’s a big decision to go against us in the position we’re in. It’s difficult to accept. You need decisions to go for you when you’re in the position that we are and I thought at the time it was handball and, having seen it again, it was definitely handball. They’re never going to be honest about it. Everybody is fighting for every point that they can get. “We all know referees have got a difficult job but in games of magnitude and importance you need those decisions to go for you. “It’ll even out, everyone says it does but I don’t think we’ve had too much luck this season in all honesty. But hopefully now and the remaining games we will get that bit of luck.” VAR was trialled during Brighton's FA Cup clash with Palace Credit: PA The Football Association has already trialled VAR in the FA Cup and will do so again this week in the third-round replays between Leicester and Fleetwood and Chelsea and Norwich. The Doucoure controversy and Swansea’s anger that they were denied a penalty in the first half at Newcastle on Saturday, also for handball, has only served to add to the clamour for the greater use of the technology. Andy Ambler, director of professional game relations at the FA, said: “We have always been open to trialling new innovations and were heavily involved in the advancement of goal-line technology before it was introduced.” However, the FA has no power to influence how the Premier League might use it. The afternoon had started well for Southampton who looked set to record their first victory since November after two strikes from James Ward-Prowse put them two up at half-time. But Watford were much improved after the break and heaped pressure on the visitors after Andre Gray had pulled a goal back, culminating in Doucoure’s late intervention, which prevented Marco Silva’s side from slipping to a seventh defeat in their last eight matches. Southampton complain about Watford's controversial equaliser Credit: Getty Images “There’s been a lot of talk about the VAR system this week and whether that is something that can help eradicate those sort of things – we’ll have to wait and see,” said Ward-Prowse. “At first it didn’t look like handball. From my position it’s hard to see his right arm but having seen it again in the changing room it’s clear,” added the midfielder. Southampton perhaps played a part in their own demise, sitting back in the second half after taking the game to Watford had proved so effective in the first. “I can’t give the ball away in that area for the first goal,” admitted Davis. “We seem to be getting punished for those errors we’re making. You know you’ll come under pressure for a period of the game. They went quite direct and picked up second balls and changed their style of play in the game. It was a difficult second half for us. “There are some positives to take – we played really well in the first half. The second half, we have to learn from that again. I’m sick of saying it all the time that we need to learn from it. We need to go out and show it. The lads dug in during the second half and you need those decisions to go for you.”

FA ready to investigate West Brom's Jay Rodriguez over 'unforgivable' alleged remark to Gaetan Bong 

The Football Association is poised to launch an investigation on Monday into the confrontation between West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez and Gaëtan Bong, the Brighton defender. Bong reported Rodriguez to referee Martin Atkinson during and after the game for an alleged remark in the second-half. Rodriguez clashed with the Cameroon international in the penalty area and then appeared to pinch his nose after the pair exchanged angry words.  Bong wrote on Twitter late on Saturday night: “Some words should not be said on a football field and especially not by players - Rodriguez words are unforgivable for the man I am!!” Sources close to Rodriguez have dismissed any suggestion that a racist comment was made and insist he vehemently denies any allegations. West Brom officials spoke to Rodriguez after the game and will wait for the FA’s next move but have promised to conduct a process in which club and player will co-operate fully. Some words should not be said on a football field and specially not by players Rodriguez words are unforgivable for the man I am!! pic.twitter.com/JsWUgndB3B— Gaëtan Bong (@GaetanBong) January 13, 2018 Chris Hughton, the Brighton manager, said: “It was reported to the referee straightaway from Bong. I wasn't sure at the time but the referee came over to the fourth official and wrote down what the allegations were.  “I have seen the referee afterwards, as has Gaëtan Bong, and that is the correct procedure and it will go through to the FA to deal with. There is an allegation that has been made and it has been through the correct protocol.” West Brom are hopeful the incident will be considered as a misunderstanding, with the storm taking some of the gloss away from their first victory in 21 Premier League games. West Brom 1 - 0 Brighton (Jonny Evans, 4 min) Jonny Evans set Alan Pardew on his way towards the first win since his November appointment with a fourth-minute header before Craig Dawson scored from a second set-piece early in the second half. Evans was taken off in the 84th minute to a standing ovation in what may have been his last appearance for the club. Arsenal and Manchester City are expected to move for the £20m-rated defender this week. With Pardew admitting Albion need to raise funds to bring in players, the future of Evans in January promises to have a huge bearing on their season. West Brom's Jay Rodriguez is going to be investigated by the FA after Brighton's Gaetan Bong reported an alleged remark made to him by the forward Credit: BBC SPORT Chris Brunt, the West Brom midfielder, said: “He has been really good for us since he came here and we all want to see him stay because he’s a top player but that’s out of our hands. “It’s got nothing to do with us, it will be down to the club and the gaffer. If the manager is talking about needing to generate money to bring people in maybe that’s the path he’ll go down, but until we’re told otherwise he’s our player and part of our team. “You can see what he brings to us from the way he played and if he stays that’s great for us.”

Steven Davis says VAR is helping hand game needs after Southampton are denied win

Steven Davis, the Northern Ireland and Southampton captain, says he is now a firm believer in the importance of video assistant referees after twice seeing crucial and controversial handball decisions go against him while representing club and country. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s last-minute equaliser for Watford, courtesy of his right hand, denied Southampton a hard-earned victory at Vicarage Road and would surely have been ruled out by referee Roger East had the VAR been in operation for this fixture. The incident came just days after Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan spoke of the “worst mistake of my life” which saw him award a penalty for Switzerland in the World Cup play-off with Northern Ireland last November even though a goal-bound shot had hit midfielder Corry Evans’s shoulder rather than his arm. “I was never a great advocate of it before but when it happened in a game of that magnitude, in an international game where a small nation like ourselves had a chance to go a World Cup, that was ultimately the decision that cost going there,” Davis said. “It makes you think differently about the situation. James Ward-Prowse scored Southampton's second against Watford Credit: Reuters “Clearly the Watford goal shouldn’t have stood; it’s a big decision to go against us in the position we’re in. It’s difficult to accept. You need decisions to go for you when you’re in the position that we are and I thought at the time it was handball and, having seen it again, it was definitely handball. They’re never going to be honest about it. Everybody is fighting for every point that they can get. “We all know referees have got a difficult job but in games of magnitude and importance you need those decisions to go for you. “It’ll even out, everyone says it does but I don’t think we’ve had too much luck this season in all honesty. But hopefully now and the remaining games we will get that bit of luck.” VAR was trialled during Brighton's FA Cup clash with Palace Credit: PA The Football Association has already trialled VAR in the FA Cup and will do so again this week in the third-round replays between Leicester and Fleetwood and Chelsea and Norwich. The Doucoure controversy and Swansea’s anger that they were denied a penalty in the first half at Newcastle on Saturday, also for handball, has only served to add to the clamour for the greater use of the technology. Andy Ambler, director of professional game relations at the FA, said: “We have always been open to trialling new innovations and were heavily involved in the advancement of goal-line technology before it was introduced.” However, the FA has no power to influence how the Premier League might use it. The afternoon had started well for Southampton who looked set to record their first victory since November after two strikes from James Ward-Prowse put them two up at half-time. But Watford were much improved after the break and heaped pressure on the visitors after Andre Gray had pulled a goal back, culminating in Doucoure’s late intervention, which prevented Marco Silva’s side from slipping to a seventh defeat in their last eight matches. Southampton complain about Watford's controversial equaliser Credit: Getty Images “There’s been a lot of talk about the VAR system this week and whether that is something that can help eradicate those sort of things – we’ll have to wait and see,” said Ward-Prowse. “At first it didn’t look like handball. From my position it’s hard to see his right arm but having seen it again in the changing room it’s clear,” added the midfielder. Southampton perhaps played a part in their own demise, sitting back in the second half after taking the game to Watford had proved so effective in the first. “I can’t give the ball away in that area for the first goal,” admitted Davis. “We seem to be getting punished for those errors we’re making. You know you’ll come under pressure for a period of the game. They went quite direct and picked up second balls and changed their style of play in the game. It was a difficult second half for us. “There are some positives to take – we played really well in the first half. The second half, we have to learn from that again. I’m sick of saying it all the time that we need to learn from it. We need to go out and show it. The lads dug in during the second half and you need those decisions to go for you.”

Steven Davis says VAR is helping hand game needs after Southampton are denied win

Steven Davis, the Northern Ireland and Southampton captain, says he is now a firm believer in the importance of video assistant referees after twice seeing crucial and controversial handball decisions go against him while representing club and country. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s last-minute equaliser for Watford, courtesy of his right hand, denied Southampton a hard-earned victory at Vicarage Road and would surely have been ruled out by referee Roger East had the VAR been in operation for this fixture. The incident came just days after Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan spoke of the “worst mistake of my life” which saw him award a penalty for Switzerland in the World Cup play-off with Northern Ireland last November even though a goal-bound shot had hit midfielder Corry Evans’s shoulder rather than his arm. “I was never a great advocate of it before but when it happened in a game of that magnitude, in an international game where a small nation like ourselves had a chance to go a World Cup, that was ultimately the decision that cost going there,” Davis said. “It makes you think differently about the situation. James Ward-Prowse scored Southampton's second against Watford Credit: Reuters “Clearly the Watford goal shouldn’t have stood; it’s a big decision to go against us in the position we’re in. It’s difficult to accept. You need decisions to go for you when you’re in the position that we are and I thought at the time it was handball and, having seen it again, it was definitely handball. They’re never going to be honest about it. Everybody is fighting for every point that they can get. “We all know referees have got a difficult job but in games of magnitude and importance you need those decisions to go for you. “It’ll even out, everyone says it does but I don’t think we’ve had too much luck this season in all honesty. But hopefully now and the remaining games we will get that bit of luck.” VAR was trialled during Brighton's FA Cup clash with Palace Credit: PA The Football Association has already trialled VAR in the FA Cup and will do so again this week in the third-round replays between Leicester and Fleetwood and Chelsea and Norwich. The Doucoure controversy and Swansea’s anger that they were denied a penalty in the first half at Newcastle on Saturday, also for handball, has only served to add to the clamour for the greater use of the technology. Andy Ambler, director of professional game relations at the FA, said: “We have always been open to trialling new innovations and were heavily involved in the advancement of goal-line technology before it was introduced.” However, the FA has no power to influence how the Premier League might use it. The afternoon had started well for Southampton who looked set to record their first victory since November after two strikes from James Ward-Prowse put them two up at half-time. But Watford were much improved after the break and heaped pressure on the visitors after Andre Gray had pulled a goal back, culminating in Doucoure’s late intervention, which prevented Marco Silva’s side from slipping to a seventh defeat in their last eight matches. Southampton complain about Watford's controversial equaliser Credit: Getty Images “There’s been a lot of talk about the VAR system this week and whether that is something that can help eradicate those sort of things – we’ll have to wait and see,” said Ward-Prowse. “At first it didn’t look like handball. From my position it’s hard to see his right arm but having seen it again in the changing room it’s clear,” added the midfielder. Southampton perhaps played a part in their own demise, sitting back in the second half after taking the game to Watford had proved so effective in the first. “I can’t give the ball away in that area for the first goal,” admitted Davis. “We seem to be getting punished for those errors we’re making. You know you’ll come under pressure for a period of the game. They went quite direct and picked up second balls and changed their style of play in the game. It was a difficult second half for us. “There are some positives to take – we played really well in the first half. The second half, we have to learn from that again. I’m sick of saying it all the time that we need to learn from it. We need to go out and show it. The lads dug in during the second half and you need those decisions to go for you.”

FA ready to investigate West Brom's Jay Rodriguez over 'unforgivable' alleged remark to Gaetan Bong 

The Football Association is poised to launch an investigation on Monday into the confrontation between West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez and Gaëtan Bong, the Brighton defender. Bong reported Rodriguez to referee Martin Atkinson during and after the game for an alleged remark in the second-half. Rodriguez clashed with the Cameroon international in the penalty area and then appeared to pinch his nose after the pair exchanged angry words.  Bong wrote on Twitter late on Saturday night: “Some words should not be said on a football field and especially not by players - Rodriguez words are unforgivable for the man I am!!” Sources close to Rodriguez have dismissed any suggestion that a racist comment was made and insist he vehemently denies any allegations. West Brom officials spoke to Rodriguez after the game and will wait for the FA’s next move but have promised to conduct a process in which club and player will co-operate fully. Some words should not be said on a football field and specially not by players Rodriguez words are unforgivable for the man I am!! pic.twitter.com/JsWUgndB3B— Gaëtan Bong (@GaetanBong) January 13, 2018 Chris Hughton, the Brighton manager, said: “It was reported to the referee straightaway from Bong. I wasn't sure at the time but the referee came over to the fourth official and wrote down what the allegations were.  “I have seen the referee afterwards, as has Gaëtan Bong, and that is the correct procedure and it will go through to the FA to deal with. There is an allegation that has been made and it has been through the correct protocol.” West Brom are hopeful the incident will be considered as a misunderstanding, with the storm taking some of the gloss away from their first victory in 21 Premier League games. West Brom 1 - 0 Brighton (Jonny Evans, 4 min) Jonny Evans set Alan Pardew on his way towards the first win since his November appointment with a fourth-minute header before Craig Dawson scored from a second set-piece early in the second half. Evans was taken off in the 84th minute to a standing ovation in what may have been his last appearance for the club. Arsenal and Manchester City are expected to move for the £20m-rated defender this week. With Pardew admitting Albion need to raise funds to bring in players, the future of Evans in January promises to have a huge bearing on their season. West Brom's Jay Rodriguez is going to be investigated by the FA after Brighton's Gaetan Bong reported an alleged remark made to him by the forward Credit: BBC SPORT Chris Brunt, the West Brom midfielder, said: “He has been really good for us since he came here and we all want to see him stay because he’s a top player but that’s out of our hands. “It’s got nothing to do with us, it will be down to the club and the gaffer. If the manager is talking about needing to generate money to bring people in maybe that’s the path he’ll go down, but until we’re told otherwise he’s our player and part of our team. “You can see what he brings to us from the way he played and if he stays that’s great for us.”

Steven Davis says VAR is helping hand game needs after Southampton are denied win

Steven Davis, the Northern Ireland and Southampton captain, says he is now a firm believer in the importance of video assistant referees after twice seeing crucial and controversial handball decisions go against him while representing club and country. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s last-minute equaliser for Watford, courtesy of his right hand, denied Southampton a hard-earned victory at Vicarage Road and would surely have been ruled out by referee Roger East had the VAR been in operation for this fixture. The incident came just days after Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan spoke of the “worst mistake of my life” which saw him award a penalty for Switzerland in the World Cup play-off with Northern Ireland last November even though a goal-bound shot had hit midfielder Corry Evans’s shoulder rather than his arm. “I was never a great advocate of it before but when it happened in a game of that magnitude, in an international game where a small nation like ourselves had a chance to go a World Cup, that was ultimately the decision that cost going there,” Davis said. “It makes you think differently about the situation. James Ward-Prowse scored Southampton's second against Watford Credit: Reuters “Clearly the Watford goal shouldn’t have stood; it’s a big decision to go against us in the position we’re in. It’s difficult to accept. You need decisions to go for you when you’re in the position that we are and I thought at the time it was handball and, having seen it again, it was definitely handball. They’re never going to be honest about it. Everybody is fighting for every point that they can get. “We all know referees have got a difficult job but in games of magnitude and importance you need those decisions to go for you. “It’ll even out, everyone says it does but I don’t think we’ve had too much luck this season in all honesty. But hopefully now and the remaining games we will get that bit of luck.” VAR was trialled during Brighton's FA Cup clash with Palace Credit: PA The Football Association has already trialled VAR in the FA Cup and will do so again this week in the third-round replays between Leicester and Fleetwood and Chelsea and Norwich. The Doucoure controversy and Swansea’s anger that they were denied a penalty in the first half at Newcastle on Saturday, also for handball, has only served to add to the clamour for the greater use of the technology. Andy Ambler, director of professional game relations at the FA, said: “We have always been open to trialling new innovations and were heavily involved in the advancement of goal-line technology before it was introduced.” However, the FA has no power to influence how the Premier League might use it. The afternoon had started well for Southampton who looked set to record their first victory since November after two strikes from James Ward-Prowse put them two up at half-time. But Watford were much improved after the break and heaped pressure on the visitors after Andre Gray had pulled a goal back, culminating in Doucoure’s late intervention, which prevented Marco Silva’s side from slipping to a seventh defeat in their last eight matches. Southampton complain about Watford's controversial equaliser Credit: Getty Images “There’s been a lot of talk about the VAR system this week and whether that is something that can help eradicate those sort of things – we’ll have to wait and see,” said Ward-Prowse. “At first it didn’t look like handball. From my position it’s hard to see his right arm but having seen it again in the changing room it’s clear,” added the midfielder. Southampton perhaps played a part in their own demise, sitting back in the second half after taking the game to Watford had proved so effective in the first. “I can’t give the ball away in that area for the first goal,” admitted Davis. “We seem to be getting punished for those errors we’re making. You know you’ll come under pressure for a period of the game. They went quite direct and picked up second balls and changed their style of play in the game. It was a difficult second half for us. “There are some positives to take – we played really well in the first half. The second half, we have to learn from that again. I’m sick of saying it all the time that we need to learn from it. We need to go out and show it. The lads dug in during the second half and you need those decisions to go for you.”

FA to make enquiries into Bong's Rodriguez allegation

The Football Association will be looking into an allegation made by the Brighton defender against West Brom's striker during a Premier League fixture

FA to make enquiries into West Brom-Brighton allegation

The Football Association will make enquiries into an allegation made by Brighton defender Gaetan Bong against West Brom's Jay Rodriguez.

FA to investigate Jay Rodriguez over allegations from Bong

The Brighton defender complained to the referee after clashing with the West Brom forward and the governing body will assess the situation

Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - January 13, 2018 Brighton's Mathew Ryan gathers the ball from West Bromwich Albion's Jay Rodriguez REUTERS/Darren Staples

Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - January 13, 2018 West Bromwich Albion's Jay Rodriguez in action with Brighton's Bruno Saltor Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

FA to assess allegation against West Brom's Rodriguez from Brighton's Bong

The Football Association will assess an allegation of abuse made by Brighton defender Gaetan Bong against West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez.

West Brom 2 Brighton 0: Jonny Evans provides probable farewell gift as Baggies finally end dreadful run

West Brom 2 Brighton 0: Jonny Evans provides probable farewell gift as Baggies finally end dreadful run

This could prove a farewell gift from Jonny Evans, as West Bromwich Albion finally ended their dreadful Premier League run. Evans’ header set West Brom on their way to a first victory in 21 league games to breathe fresh hope into Alan Pardew’s survival mission, in what may be the Northern Ireland international’s last appearance for the club. With Arsenal and Manchester City poised to move for the £20m-rated defender this week, it was a goal which felt significant to Albion’s hopes of avoiding the drop. West Brom had not secured three points in the league since August 22, a torrid sequence which has raised the spectre of relegation, but this was a deserved victory which eases the tension around the Hawthorns to give Pardew lift-off. Yet the result is threatening to be tarnished by an incident  involving Jay Rodriguez and Brighton defender Gaetan Bong early in the second half, which is likely to prompt a Football Association investigation. Rodriguez was reported to referee Martin Atkinson by the Cameroon international for an alleged remark, while the West Brom striker also appeared to pinch his nose. Both managers, Pardew and Chris Hughton, declined to expand on whether the allegation was racist. West Brom have boosted their survival hopes Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Hughton said: “Bong has reported Jay Rodriguez for something that was said to him. It's being handled correctly by the referee. “He's aware of the allegation and that will go through to the FA. It was dealt with in the correct manner. “These are allegations made against Jay Rodriguez. The nature of those will be made clear by the FA. It was something said to him and it is being dealt with in the correct manner.” Pardew insisted Rodriguez denied the allegation, which remained unclear on Saturday night, and was focusing on the first victory since his appointment in November. “Of course I’m relieved because it was a crucial game for us,” he said. “I thought the team played exceptionally well considering the pressure we were under. “It was easy to say it was a must-win game but it was a very important game in the calendar. We worked hard to achieve the goals we wanted." West Brom took only four minutes to take the lead, Rodriguez flicking on Matt Phillips’ corner and Evans was waiting at the back post to head the ball home. Set pieces were West Brom’s trademark under Tony Pulis but Pardew had clearly identified them as Brighton’s weakness. Craig Dawson wasted a decent chance from another Phillips corner as the vibrant home team, backed by a boisterous crowd complete with those infernal clappers, dominated. Gareth Barry, in particular, was outstanding as he had one of those afternoons where the ball seemed attached to his boot on a piece of string. West Brom were frustrated on the half-hour mark when Glenn Murray clearly handled Phillips’ shot in the area but  Atkinson was unmoved. But the second goal finally came ten minutes into the second half, from another set-piece. This time it was from a Chris Brunt corner, finding Dawson whose header found a way past Anthony Knockaert on the line. Brighton failed to respond, struggling to carve out any genuine openings, and Chris Hughton appears on course for a relegation fight of his own.  They have only won twice in their last 13 games and this was an alarming performance against a team previously down on their luck. Brighton are now only three points adrift of the dreaded dotted line and face champions Chelsea next weekend.  Hughton said: “They're very strong from set plays, and we’re conceding too many goal from them. “When you're coming here to a club whose form has been indifferent the last thing you want to see is your team go behind early and the crowd involved.”

West Brom 2 Brighton 0: Jonny Evans provides probable farewell gift as Baggies finally end dreadful run

West Brom 2 Brighton 0: Jonny Evans provides probable farewell gift as Baggies finally end dreadful run

This could prove a farewell gift from Jonny Evans, as West Bromwich Albion finally ended their dreadful Premier League run. Evans’ header set West Brom on their way to a first victory in 21 league games to breathe fresh hope into Alan Pardew’s survival mission, in what may be the Northern Ireland international’s last appearance for the club. With Arsenal and Manchester City poised to move for the £20m-rated defender this week, it was a goal which felt significant to Albion’s hopes of avoiding the drop. West Brom had not secured three points in the league since August 22, a torrid sequence which has raised the spectre of relegation, but this was a deserved victory which eases the tension around the Hawthorns to give Pardew lift-off. Yet the result is threatening to be tarnished by an incident  involving Jay Rodriguez and Brighton defender Gaetan Bong early in the second half, which is likely to prompt a Football Association investigation. Rodriguez was reported to referee Martin Atkinson by the Cameroon international for an alleged remark, while the West Brom striker also appeared to pinch his nose. Both managers, Pardew and Chris Hughton, declined to expand on whether the allegation was racist. West Brom have boosted their survival hopes Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Hughton said: “Bong has reported Jay Rodriguez for something that was said to him. It's being handled correctly by the referee. “He's aware of the allegation and that will go through to the FA. It was dealt with in the correct manner. “These are allegations made against Jay Rodriguez. The nature of those will be made clear by the FA. It was something said to him and it is being dealt with in the correct manner.” Pardew insisted Rodriguez denied the allegation, which remained unclear on Saturday night, and was focusing on the first victory since his appointment in November. “Of course I’m relieved because it was a crucial game for us,” he said. “I thought the team played exceptionally well considering the pressure we were under. “It was easy to say it was a must-win game but it was a very important game in the calendar. We worked hard to achieve the goals we wanted." West Brom took only four minutes to take the lead, Rodriguez flicking on Matt Phillips’ corner and Evans was waiting at the back post to head the ball home. Set pieces were West Brom’s trademark under Tony Pulis but Pardew had clearly identified them as Brighton’s weakness. Craig Dawson wasted a decent chance from another Phillips corner as the vibrant home team, backed by a boisterous crowd complete with those infernal clappers, dominated. Gareth Barry, in particular, was outstanding as he had one of those afternoons where the ball seemed attached to his boot on a piece of string. West Brom were frustrated on the half-hour mark when Glenn Murray clearly handled Phillips’ shot in the area but  Atkinson was unmoved. But the second goal finally came ten minutes into the second half, from another set-piece. This time it was from a Chris Brunt corner, finding Dawson whose header found a way past Anthony Knockaert on the line. Brighton failed to respond, struggling to carve out any genuine openings, and Chris Hughton appears on course for a relegation fight of his own.  They have only won twice in their last 13 games and this was an alarming performance against a team previously down on their luck. Brighton are now only three points adrift of the dreaded dotted line and face champions Chelsea next weekend.  Hughton said: “They're very strong from set plays, and we’re conceding too many goal from them. “When you're coming here to a club whose form has been indifferent the last thing you want to see is your team go behind early and the crowd involved.”

Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - January 13, 2018 West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew and Brighton manager Chris Hughton REUTERS/Darren Staples

Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - January 13, 2018 West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Alan Pardew secures first Premier League win as West Brom beat Brighton to lift off the bottom of the table

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