Brighton manager Chris Hughton has told the media that Premier League safety ‘means everything’ after his side secured their top-flight status yesterday.
José Izquierdo pulled the ball back for Gross to convert after 57 minutes, despite the best attempts of Marcos Rojo to clear the ball off the line. Brighton edged the game on the night, forcing David De Gea into some stunning first half saves.
Speaking after the match, Hughton said, per brightonandhovealbion.com: “It means everything. It’s been a nervous ending and we have spoken about the run-in we’ve had and still have, with two big games coming up.
“It will certainly be great for us to go into these games, away to Manchester City and Liverpool, knowing we have retained our status, and it’s great for this football club.
“They’ve come a long way. They’ve had some tough periods. The chairman [Tony Bloom] has invested very heavily in this club and I’m really delighted for him.”
The Brighton manager was also quick to praise his players for their recent performances against teams towards the top of the Premier League table, including last night’s huge result.
“They [Manchester United] showed the quality they’ve got, and without us putting in the work, we wouldn’t have got anything from the game,” Hughton said.
“Credit to the players. We’ve had three results here, Arsenal (win), Tottenham (draw). We had to put in that type of performance and be good on the ball as well. Overall I think we deserved it.”
Former Leicester winger Anthony Knockaert was awarded man of the match for his outstanding work down the right and Hughton was quick to pick him and goalscorer Pascal Gross out for individual praise.
“I thought [Knockaert] was outstanding, but not just with the ball, you have got to work as hard out of possession and I thought he was great for the side.
“[Gross] has not been injured all season, which has been important. You want a lot of players like that and we have been fortunate in that respect, particularly in that area of the pitch.”