Mitoma double inspires Brighton to 3-1 win over Bournemouth

Substitute Kaoru Mitoma made an instant impact off the bench as Brighton came from behind to beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Amex Stadium on Sunday, with Roberto de Zerbi's side climbing up to third place in the Premier League.

Brighton have 15 points from six games, one point more than Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who played out a 2-2 draw on Sunday. Bournemouth, who are without a win in their league campaign, are 17th.

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The match promised to be a battle of wits, with managers De Zerbi and Andoni Iraola having earned plaudits for their tactical prowess, and it did not disappoint on that front.

From the whistle, Brighton opted to sit deep and looked to attract a press while Bournemouth worked hard to cut off passing lanes.

Bournemouth drew first blood in the engaging contest when Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, stranded several metres from his goal, under-hit a pass which was intercepted by Ryan Christie before Dominic Solanke lobbed the ball into an empty net.

Despite being stung, Brighton persisted with their game plan and much of the first half was played in the middle of the park, with chances at a premium.

Brighton found the leveller just before halftime through a slice of luck, when Billy Gilmour's cross bounced off defender Milos Kerkez's head and looped past goalkeeper Neto for an own goal.

De Zerbi made a double change at the break with Mitoma and Ansu Fati introduced and both players were immediately involved in a sweeping team move which the Japanese winger finished off 17 seconds after the restart.

Brighton hit their stride after going ahead and Mitoma added the third goal when he found space in between the Bournemouth defence to nod home a Pervis Estupiñán cross, ensuring a third straight 3-1 league win for the south-coast club.

"It's difficult to swallow. We were in control in the first half, we scored one and we could have scored more," Bournemouth manager Iraola said.

"We need to compete better... We did a lot of good things in the first half, we made them play in their own half. Second half they were better, more clinical. We couldn't tie up the game."

In contrast to the tentative opening 45 minutes, the action-packed second half had no shortage of goalscoring chances, with Fati blazing wide from close range while Brighton defender Lewis Dunk denied Solanke with a goal-line clearance and Estupinan's flying block thwarted David Brooks.

Both sides are next in action in the League Cup on Wednesday, with Bournemouth hosting second-tier club Stoke City and Brighton travelling to Chelsea.