Keep it tight lads, keep it tight. That would have been the message for the early stages of the game. If tight means sloppy and unorganised then Newcastle United were extremely tight. There was no fight, no will to win, no pressure, threat or any ounce of positivity to come from this game. Newcastle began the game poorly. Allan Saint-Maximin lunged in clumsily to bring down the very impressive Tariq Lamptey. Penalty to Brighton after 4 minutes and no complaints. Neal Maupay made no mistake from the spot, firing down the middle. Brighton only had to wait 3 more minutes to double their lead, Saint-Maximin left Jamal Lewis exposed and Lamptey took advantage of the yards of open space at every given opportunity. It was down Newcastle's left where Brighton created their second, Leandro Trossard just stayed onside before whipping in a brilliant ball to Maupay who finished expertly beyond a hapless Karl Darlow. Newcastle were 2-0 down within the first 10 minutes, surely it couldn't get much worse, could it? Steve Bruce's men seem to save their worst performances for Brighton, today was no exception. Arguably this was Newcastle's worst performance under Bruce. Lamptey completely ran the show, at just 19 years of age he has a huge future ahead of him. As mentioned in the preview to this game, Lewis found himself completely exposed as Saint-Maximin simply didn't look up for it after giving away the early penalty. The Frenchman went off 'injured' and was replaced by Ryan Fraser.
Newcastle didn't have a single shot on target in the first half, it made for painful viewing, more so that I had to watch this without any alcohol. I wish there was something positive to say, however, supporters seemed to know a lot more than Bruce in the build up to this game. Post after post on social media stating that Lewis would be exposed, Bruce turned a blind eye to this. At one point the Newcastle manager switched Jeff Hendrick and Saint-Maximin in a bid to help Lewis. Brighton were excellent throughout but Newcastle were awful, they made Brighton look like one of the best teams in the world. If this performance, not just the result but the performance doesn't get the alarm bells ringing then Newcastle are in real trouble. Bruce's men have tough fixtures coming up, with a visit to Tottenham next in the league.
I was left relieved that Newcastle headed in at half time 0-2 down, it could and probably should have been a lot worse. Bruce brought Miguel Almiron on for Andy Carroll at half time, it made a slight difference but not much. Newcastle were still way off the pace in the second half. Brighton were worthy of their lead. Newcastle's only real chance was a Callum Wilson header that floated over the bar, the former Bournemouth man should have hit the target at least. Apart from that, it was all Brighton and I felt like pouring bleach in my eyes in an effort to numb the pain of watching Bruce's, Newcastle United. 'Bruceball' was at its painstaking best, I had seen enough after 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I had to continue with the torture in order to write this report. Brighton continued to look by far the better side and added a deserved third in the final 10 minutes. Aaron Connolly with a superb finish beyond the stretching Darlow. Brighton did have Yves Bissouma sent off in the final few minutes for a nasty collision with Lewis, a clash that just added to the former Norwich players‘ miserable afternoon. Bissouma flicked out his leg and caught Lewis in the face, after a VAR check, Kevin Friend upgraded his yellow to a red card. Any positives I hear you ask? Until the 83rd minute, I was going to say - At least we do not have a minus goal difference but unfortunately that went out the window. I will be scratching my head for hours trying to think of a positive from this game. Perhaps, the only crumb of comfort I can take from this game is that it was just 0-3 and surely we can't play much worse? Remember lads and lasses please drink responsibly ;)