Roberto De Zerbi hails Brighton’s best performance in his career as manager

Apr 30, 2023

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Brighton & Hove Albion manager, Roberto De Zerbi, credited their agonizing loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals as the driving force behind their historic 6-0 demolition of Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday. This victory has reignited their European aspirations and has taken their points tally to 52, two points behind fifth-placed Tottenham, matching the club record accumulated in 1982.

De Zerbi hailed the match as the best performance of his managerial career, citing the level of play, style, and quality on display as exceptional. He believes that the victory was a response to the pain of the Wembley defeat, followed by a midweek loss to Nottingham Forest. The Italian manager said, “The players are not like the players on the PlayStation or robots. They gave soul, heart and in those five days they suffered a lot.”

De Zerbi started with Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister and Kaoru Mitoma on the bench due to fatigue fears amid a hectic fixture list. However, this did not stop the Seagulls from blitzing their visitors in the first half. German forward Deniz Undav scored his first Premier League goal in the sixth minute before Pascal Gross added two goals and Danny Welbeck scored a header to take the scoreline to 4-0 at halftime.

Wolves were exposed defensively and, despite making three changes in the second half, former England forward Welbeck scored his second goal just after the restart before Undav added his second to complete the humiliation of the visitors. De Zerbi praised the reaction of his players, saying, “This victory started in Wembley, not today, because today we showed pride, we played well.”

Wanderers boss Julen Lopetegui took full responsibility for the loss and apologized to the traveling fans. The Spaniard conceded that his side contributed to their own downfall and that the players were better than they showed. He said, “It’s a very bad day for us. I accept my responsibility today. We are sorry a lot for the fans who came here. I don’t recognize my team today.”

Overall, this was a remarkable performance from Brighton, and it is clear that they have the potential to push for a place in Europe. The victory also demonstrates the mental toughness of the players and their ability to react positively after a disappointment. The defeat for Wolves is a major setback in their fight to avoid relegation, and Lopetegui will need to rally his troops for their next fixture.

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