Ref overrules VAR pen call as Brentford hold Brighton


Referee Andy Madley stuck to his guns to ignore a VAR review and deny Brighton a penalty in a 0-0 draw at Brentford which keeps them outside the European spots.

Madley was called to the review monitor in first-half added time by VAR Michael Oliver after Lewis Dunk was hauled to the ground by Yoane Wissa inside his own area.

But he surprised many inside the Gtech Community Stadium by keeping with his on-field decision after ruling the Brighton defender had initiated contact.

That was the main talking point of a game with plenty at stake but little clear desire to commit to a victory which would have all-but secured Brentford’s safety, and taken Brighton back into the European positions.

Ivan Toney missed Brentford’s best chance of the game when he fired off-balance into Bart Verbruggen’s arms after half an hour, while Brighton failed to threaten until second-half added time despite racking up 22 shots.

Danny Welbeck should have won the game in the second minute of stoppage time when a flick-on sent him away over the halfway line.

His wayward finish allowed Brentford to move a point closer to safety, while Brighton remain behind West Ham and Newcastle in ninth.

How Brentford blunted Brighton

Thomas Frank resisted the urge to reunite his attacking triumvirate of Wissa, Toney and Bryan Mbeumo for the first time this season by naming an unchanged team aimed at stifling Brighton and hitting on the break.

Things played out as he may have expected from the off, with the Seagulls controlling possession and territory without testing Mark Flekken, while Wissa came close at the end of a flowing counter-attack by shooting wide.

Toney at least tested Verbruggen soon after when fed by his strike partner, but the half looked to be ebbing out without further incident until VAR’s late intervention.

Referee Andrew Madley checks the pitch side VAR monitor for a potential penalty
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Referee Andy Madley checks the pitchside VAR monitor for a potential penalty against Yoane Wissa

A Brighton corner was cleared without much notice from the away side, but Madley stopped the restart when the ball next went out of play to visit the VAR review monitor after he was alerted to a potential penalty by Oliver.

It took little time for the referee to go against the video official’s recommendations, though, after spotting Wissa had been tugged by Dunk first before pulling the Brighton defender down in the box himself. He was followed down the tunnel at half-time by a number of irate Seagulls players, including Dunk.

The second half barely became more of an event than the first, as Brentford struggled to link up in the opposition half and Brighton continued to toil despite their superior possession.

Brighton's Carlos Baleba and Brentford's Yehor Yarmolyuk battle for the ball
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Brighton’s Carlos Baleba and Brentford’s Yehor Yarmolyuk battle for the ball

They finally threatened in the dying moments when Joao Pedro spun and saw a dangerous looking shot deflected wide, before Welbeck nodded the resulting corner past the near post.

The striker still had time for another chance which should have stolen the points in added time, when Julio Enciso’s nod set him clear over the halfway line.

But, with only Flekken to beat, he planted his shot wide from a tight angle as Brighton’s hopes of ending the night back in the European spots went up in smoke.

What’s next?


Saturday 6th April 5:00pm


Kick off 5:30pm


Brentford play again on Saturday in the Premier League, travelling to Aston Villa; kick-off 3pm.

Brighton also play on Saturday Night Football, taking on Arsenal live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.



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