Brighton are the Premier League’s most exciting team – at either end of the pitch

Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton scored their first-ever point in European competition after coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Marseille in the Europa League. The dramatic turnaround made for a thrilling evening – with the endless excitement becoming a staple of the Seagulls.

Last night’s Europa League action was another example of Brighton’s ability to put on a show. Their away trip to the South of France looked to be heading for defeat when Marseille scored twice in two minutes to take a commanding advantage.

However, in the second half, Brighton fought back via a Pascal Groß goal. Joao Pedro’s late penalty then ensured that Albion got off the mark in Group B.

Brighton’s rise to European football is one that has earned plenty of plaudits. Not only for the success on a modest budget compared to other teams, but for their expansive style of football, too.

De Zerbi’s side are great entertainers – for better or worse. Per Opta Stats, the Seagulls are the first Premier League team to both score and concede at least 20 goals in their first ten matches (23 for, 20 against) across all competitions since 2000. So, whilst the goals keep flowing at one end, they also cannot be stopped at the other.

And that is what adds to Brighton’s watchability, at least from a neutral perspective.

Brighton – For better: A dynamic attack

De Zerbi’s squad actually lead the Premier League in goals scored thus far, with 19 goals from seven matches. A lot of this comes down to their creativity, with Brighton ranking in the top 5 for big chances, shots, and shots on target (per Sofascore).

Further adding to their must-see nature is the talent on show. Kaoru Mitoma is one of the most scintillating wingers about; meanwhile, Evan Ferguson is definitely a bright attacking youngster to look out for. Solly March has popped up with goals, and Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati can still add another edge to this attack.

Behind the forward line, Pascal Groß pulls the strings and has helped Brighton reinforce their status as a possession-based unit. In fact, the South Coast club loves to keep the ball. They rank third overall in the Prem, averaging 62.7% possession.

But De Zerbi’s insistence on playing out from the back and pressing heavily may cause his team’s undoing, too.

For worse: conceding goals

As mentioned before, Brighton have conceded 20 goals in 2023/24. 14 of those have come in the Premier League, with six of these in a 6-1 drubbing at Aston Villa. Only three teams (Bournemouth, Burnley, and Sheffield United) have let in more.

Their loss against Villa particularly highlighted the Seagull’s potential weakness. Despite having 62% possession, Brighton still gave up 19 shots to the hosts, while conceding six. They are a team that love to get forward, keep the ball, and create for themselves. When this goes awry, though, Roberto De Zerbi’s side are most definitely susceptible to counterattacks.

But that is what football fans want to watch, isn’t it? A team fully going for it from an attacking standpoint, giving up some defensive security in pursuit of goals.

Brighton’s frailties are thus also part of their appeal; they concede goals as much as they score them, making them a guaranteed entertainer. There is arguably no team more exciting to watch than them in the entire division as a result.

Featured image credit: Getty