The Season in Stats: Brighton & Hove Albion — 19/20
The Seagulls signed the 2019/20 season off in style by winning against Burnley for the first time since 2013, and at Turf Moor for the first time since 2012. Whilst the season has been nothing short of a roller-coaster, it has certainly provided every possible scenario, outcome and emotion that could have been considered last August.
With Graham Potter leading Brighton to a record Premier League points tally and cementing a fourth season of top-flight football, With Graham Potter leading Brighton to a record Premier League points tally and cementing a fourth season of top-flight football, it only seems right to look at ten statistics which encapsulate the season:
Brighton completed another entire season without officially entering the bottom 3, coming closest to doing so when 2–0 down at half-time against West Ham in February; yet another spirited fight-back saw Brighton poignantly score 3 in the second half to take a point from the capital.
As of the final day of the season, it has been 1,065 days since Brighton last found themselves in the relegation zone — prior to their first Premier League point at Watford on match-day 3 of the 2017/18 season. That figure will have comfortably bypassed the 1,100 days mark by the time the 2020/21 season kicks off in September.
Potter stuck to his pro-youth philosophy and gave a combined 7,461 minutes to six U23 players. The average age of the starting XI dropped from 28.7 years under Chris Hughton, to 26.9.
At Leicester, Potter fielded Brighton’s youngest ever Premier League side, with an average age of 25 years and 182 days. Against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, he named a team featuring 6 players born in 2000, with an average age of 22 years and 35 days — that team is the third youngest team in history for Brighton.
Between them, the U23s recorded 14 goals and 5 assists, accounting for almost 1/3 of the 59 goal involvements (goals and assists) recorded by the entire squad.
Up, up and Away
The 19 points recorded away from home annihilated Brighton’s Premier League record of 13 set last season. Records were set and broken again as Brighton went 6 and then 7 consecutive away games unbeaten for the first time in top flight history.
Having ranked 20th and 18th in the away games table in 17/18 and 18/19 respectively, Brighton climbed to 13th this season, taking 11 points from their final 7 away games. Only 8 teams conceded fewer away goals than the 27 Brighton’s men let in on the road.
A Pressing Matter
Brighton ranked 8th in the Premier League this season for pressing rate, averaging a defensive action — on average — every 10.86 opposition passes. They also eclipsed their previous total of final third pressures (837 in 17/18, 1180 in 18/19) by well over 170.
Neal Maupay led the press for the Albion, his 350+ final third pressures was only bettered by Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson.
A Little Bit Possessive
Graham Potter brought his expansive football with him from Swansea and, despite being more pragmatic following the restart, Brighton ranked 7th in the possession table, averaging 51.7% of the ball each game, in total recording over 50% possession in 23 of the 38 games.
At their very controlling best on Tyneside back in September, the Albion completed a colossus 633 passes and recorded a totally dominant 71% possession, and were only to be denied three points against Newcastle by the outstretched boot of Fabian Schär.
Across the season, the 242 passes that Brighton completed within 20 yards of the opposition goal (deep completions) bettered the totals of 13 other Premier League sides.
Tough to Beat
Brighton’s 14 draws — 9 of which came this calendar year — are the joint-most in the division; Wolves and Arsenal are the only others to take a point from this many fixtures.
Brighton spent a whopping 1,969 minutes — 55% of total minutes played — drawing; results-wise, Brighton recorded four 0–0 draws, finished games 1–1 a massive eight times and on one occasion each drew 2–2 and 3–3.
Brighton showed immense resilience on multiple occasions, recording a total of 12 points after falling behind in games, impressively exceeding the 11 points they managed in the last two seasons combined.
Recovering in multiple games late on, just 5 teams scored more than the 12 goals Brighton managed beyond the 76th minute.
We Like to Move It, Move It
As of May, Brighton had covered the most distance of any Premier League side, both across all games played as well as in an individual game. No team could match the 3,260km across 29 games or the 119km recorded against Everton in the 3–2 win.
At the same point in time, Pascal Gross’ average of 11.9km per game ranked him 3rd for distance covered per 90 minutes in the entire league.
Brighton netted 12 times from set piece scenarios this season. Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard both directly assisted from such situations, with only 6 teams recording more shot-creating actions from set pieces than Brighton. In terms of goal-creating actions, only Liverpool could better Brighton’s 8 from dead ball scenarios.
Additionally, for the first time in Premier League history, Brighton scored directly from free-kicks; Pascal Gross (against Everton) and Lewis Dunk (against Liverpool) both found the target against Merseyside opposition.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Maupay
Known for his tactical flexibility, Potter provided a combination of excitement, uncertainty and even confusion through several systems.
Averaging total minutes into matches (90 minutes per match), he used the 4–4–2 formation for marginally over 10 games, the 4–2–3–1 for nearly 8, the 3–4–3 more than 7 times and the 4–3–3 on just under 5 occasions.
Players rotated with the positions, with Steven Alzate archetypally being used at right-back and central-midfield almost interchangeably.
None of the statistics in this article are owned by the page, and are taken from a variety of sources; @StatsBomb, Stats Zone, FBREF, Understat.com, Premier League, Soccerstats.com.