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Brighton cruises to win over Sheffield United after Holgate's early sending off

Simon Adingra Hove Albion  Brighton Simon Adingra Hove Albion - Getty Images

SHEFFIELD, England (AP) — Brighton took full advantage of Mason Holgate's early sending off by cruising to a 5-0 win over last-place Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Sheffield was coming off just its third league win of the season against Luton last weekend but any hopes of getting consecutive victories ended with Holgate's reckless studs-up tackle on Kaoru Mitoma, which was upgraded to a straight red card after a VAR check in the 13th minute.

Facundo Buonanotte and Danny Welbeck then scored inside a four-minute span to put the visitors 2-0 up by the 24th, before three late goals in the second half — including two by recent Africa Cup of Nations winner Simon Adingra — padded the scoreline.

A point would have lifted Sheffield out of last place and above Burnley, but the loss left Chris Wilder's side still rooted to the bottom. Brighton moved above West Ham and Newcastle into seventh.

The 2-1 win at Luton had given Wilder's team faint hopes of escaping relegation but any chance of building on that momentum disappeared with Holgate's horror tackle, as he lunged in on Mitoma and caught the Japan international above the knee with his studs raised.

Referee Stuart Attwell initially showed Holgate just a yellow card for the challenge but quickly changed his mind after being called over to watch the replay on the sideline monitor.

The next blow came quickly as Lewis Dunk met a Brighton corner with a header back across goal, and Buonanotte was on hand to push it over line in the 20th. Four minutes later, Welbeck doubled the lead by slotting home the rebound after goalkeeper Wes Foderingham had blocked a shot by Mitoma.

United thought they had a lifeline near the end of the first half but Ben Osborn's goal from close range was disallowed for offside.

Mitoma was involved in Brighton's third as well after his cross from the left was poked into his own net by Sheffield defender Jack Robinson in the 75th. And just three minutes later, Adingra netted the fourth by turning home another cross from the right with a well-struck volley.

Adingra, in his first game back from helping host Ivory Coast win the Africa Cup, netted his second in the 85th when his shot from a tight angle took a deflection and looped into the net.

Sheffield has now conceded 65 goals in 25 Premier League games, the most ever at this stage of the campaign.


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