Football: Maupay, Mac Allister strike late as Brighton overcome Burnley

Brighton & Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates. PHOTO: REUTERS

BURNLEY (REUTERS) - Brighton & Hove Albion forward Neal Maupay and midfielder Alexis Mac Allister scored second-half goals to seal a 2-1 victory over a wasteful Burnley in their feisty Premier League opener at Turf Moor on Saturday (Aug 14).

Argentine Mac Allister charged into the penalty area and met Pascal Gross's cross to sweep home a 78th-minute winner shortly after coming on as a substitute, with Maupay drawing Brighton level five minutes earlier.

The battling Frenchman's equaliser on his 25th birthday was assisted by another substitute in Jakub Moder, as Brighton boss Graham Potter's late changes helped the south coast side turn the game around after a poor opening half.

"The substitutes absolutely played their part," Potter told reporters.

"It was a fantastic team performance, especially in the second half considering we got off to the worst start.

"Burnley made it difficult for us and we rode our luck a bit in the first half - the things they do well, they did well and we suffered a little bit.

"But in the second half we controlled the game well and you have to do that here. In the end it's a fantastic performance on the back of a challenging pre-season."

James Tarkowski nodded Burnley in front from a corner in the second minute, with the referee refusing to entertain complaints from Maupay who claimed that he was shoved to the ground by the onrushing defender in the build-up.

Brighton's rearguard appeared jittery without Ben White, who joined Arsenal during the close season, and they were rescued by the post with goalkeeper Robert Sanchez well beaten by Johann Gudmundsson's shot from distance after the opener.

Burnley skipper Ben Mee also went close with a header that struck the underside of the crossbar after Sanchez flapped at a corner and Tarkowski could not keep his follow-up effort on target with the missed chances proving costly in the end.

It was a disappointing result for Burnley in front of their boisterous supporters, with the team hoping to improve on their dismal return of four home victories last season en route to a 17th-placed finish.

Brighton host Watford next weekend while Burnley are at Liverpool.

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