They did it the hard way but Brighton have their first Europa League point on the board after fighting back from two down in Marseille.
Joao Pedro came off the bench to the score the equaliser from the spot in the 88th minute, his third penalty in two games in the competition.
It was a soft one, awarded for an innocuous trip by Jonathan Clauss on Tariq Lamptey, but Roberto de Zerbi’s team deserved something for the way they responded to a dreadful first 20 minutes.
Briefly, the raucous din inside the Stade Velodrome fell disappeared and Lewis Dunk was hurt in the celebrations before Roberto de Zerbi’s team closed out the game.
De Zerbi promised a reaction to the 6-1 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday but his team were soon leaking more goals, the first swept in by centre-half Chancel Mbemba from a low cross by right back Clauss.
The second Marseille goal came just 89 seconds later when Brighton captain Dunk let the ball under his foot as he tried to control a routine long ball. Dunk’s mistake released Amine Harit and he picked out midfielder Jordan Veretout who scored.
It was an awful start by the Premier League club and it could have been worse. Jason Steele tipped over from Harit but steadily Brighton found their rhythm and created three excellent chances before half-time.
There was also a brief moment when they thought they had a penalty. Referee Mykola Balakin was advised to check replays on his pitchside screen for a possible handball by Marseille captain Valentin Rongier as he defended at a corner.
The ball struck Rongier on an arm as he tussled with Jan-Paul van Hecke but the Ukrainian referee decided Brighton’s Dutch defender had committed a foul.
Marseille keeper Pau Lopez produced two fine saves as his team came underRead on m.allfootballapp.com