60 min Grimsby win a corner, but there’s a pause as the Grimsby fans are told to stop chucking scrunched up paper onto the pitch. It’s a veritable deluge! Sanchez claims the corner at the back post.
58 min But now here come Grimsby, Webster extending a leg after Hunt flicks on a goalkick and McAtee is in! But he can’t get purchase on his shot, Sanchez is out quickly, and smothers easily enough.
56 min Brighton break through again, March finding Mac Allister, who coaxes a through-pass into Undav’s path. He draws the keeper, squares, and Ferguson rolls home … but then, as they celebrate, the flag goes up. That took a long old time, for a decision that was pretty clear.
56 min Mitoma whizzes in off the last, across his man and into the box … then passes a curler just wide of the far corner.
55 min “As an Arsenal fan I don’t say this lightly,” emails Kári Tulinius, “but that goal by Ferguson was Bergkampesque. Both touches were perfection, and the way he slotted it into the corner insouciant.”
Yes, I see what you mean. And like Bargkamp, he’s got a bit of edge to him too.
53 min Arsenal now lead Palace 3-1, Xhaka and Schlupp with the goals since the last update.
GOAL! Brighton 2-0 Grimsby (Ferguson 51)
Evan Ferguson is a superstar! Colwill starts the move with a firm ball into midfield, then Mac Allister curls in towards Ferguson. But there’s not just work to do, there’s a whole bloody shift, and doesn’t Ferguson do it brilliantly, extending a leg to cushion the ball down before sweeping it into stride and away from the defender with another perfect touch, before calmly opening body to pass past Crocombe. Game over, and what a player Ferguson is going to become; what a player he already is.
49 min March crosses yet again from the right, a deflection sends it looping towards the far corner … and agains the far post! But the ball bounces directly into the path of Undav … who absolutely splatters his shot over the bar!
48 min “Just catching up with game now,” says Nick Shaw. “With that peach/pink Grimsby kit, at first look I thought Estupinan was trying to slide-tackle a streaker.”
47 min “Here’s a contribution from Germany,” says Wolfgang Ludwig-Mayerhofer. “When Michael Ballack was playing for FC Bayern, I was always wondering why they did not chant ‘Baby Baby Ballack-Ballack’. (Baby Baby Balla-Balla was a huge hit here in Germany, covered by a German band. I actually thought that hopefully no-one outside Germany would know this kind of nonsense, but I just found out that it was originally written and sung by Chubby Checker.”
46 min We go again…
Two changes for Grimsby: Hunt and McAtee for Green and Orsi; Brighton send Colwill on for Estupinan.
Adam Lallana tells BBC that De Zerbi wasn’t impressed with the tempo of Brighton’s first-half performance, but also notes that he’s “never happy”. I fear for Grimsby after the break.
Half-time: Brighton 1-0 Grimsby
Grimsby are still in it, but Brighton can step this up if they need to, so it’s hard to see anything beyond a home win. See you in 12 minutes.
45+1 min Mitoma wriggles free at inside-left and shakes off his marker; he should shoot, but instead squares for March, whose shot is smothered at source, and then Grimsby counter for the half-second it takes for Brighton to get back at them.
45 min We’ll have one minute of added time.
43 min “Thematically, Naby Keita fits more with the Sickbed of Cuchulainn,” returns Niall Mullen.
He’s a strange deal, him – I know that, as you say, he’s struggled with injury, but even when fit he’s looked nothing like the player he was meant to be.
42 min Here come Brighton again, Mac Allister turning another pass down the left for Mitoma, who cuts back … only for Gross to thrash wide. Grimsby can’t get anything going, but they’re still in the game.
40 min “A whole couplet of mine very own, of almost 50 years standing,’” emails Richard Hirst. “‘I’d like to teach the world to sing Fulham AFC. With Jimmy Dunne and SuperMitch and Alan Mullery.’ What a career I could (not) have had.”
Almost u[ there with “But when we meet again, introduced as friends, please don’t let on that you knew me when I was hungry and it was your world.”
38 min Brighton are looking likely again, Caicedo winning possession high, accepting a return -pass from March, and skating across the face of the box before pulling a shot just wide of the near post.
37 min Brighton win a corner from the left, swerved towards the far corner by Gross; Crocombe tips it behind for another, from the other side. March goes short with this one, and after decent trickery from Gross, Mitoma shoots wide.
35 min “Naby Keita to the Pogues’ Navigator is a perfect fit!” tweets Andrew Gilbert.
33 min Now here come Brighton again, Undav, who’s played fairly well, sliding Gross down the right. His cross is a goodun too, and Mitoma’s sliding in at the far post! But – and this is pet hate of mine – rather than go with the foot that’s farthest from the ball, allowing himself a split-second long to get to it and more control when he does, he extends the nearer one and sends a shot wide. that should’ve been 2-0.
32 min Sanchez comes to the edge to snaffle a long ball and Grimsby want a penalty, but a VAR check shows he, ands the ball, were on the line.
31 min “Dissing the Kaiser Chiefs?” wonders Joe Pearson. “I predict a riot!”
The most sedate, one-paced riot ever.
30 min “Divock Origi he’s my baby…” announces Niall Mullen.
29 min Arsenal now lead Palace 2-0, Bukayo Saka with the second goal.
27 min Given loads of time on the ball, Webster snaps a ball in behind to meet the run of Ferguson – who pointed where he wanted the ball, received it … and botched his first touch thereby ruining his shot. Still, though, that was good play.
27 min I guess there’s Rooney Rooney Rooney Rooney, if we’re admitting the existence of the Kaiser Chiefs.
25 min Brighton have stepped it up again, March mooching down the right and coming inside to curve a left-footed cross towards the near post. And Undav is right there, but can only direct his glance straight at Crocombe. A yard either side, though, and that was in – there was pace on that ball.
23 min The corner comes to nowt, Grimsby enjoy the 0.00063s for which they think they’ve a counter, then Estupinan slides in to make a challenge which stops it before it’s really got started.
21 min Brighton are struggling to get overloads out wide, so haven’t actually caused Grimsby too many problems aside from the goal. They’re happy in possession though, circulating possession until an opportunity arises … and here they come, Estupinan and Caicedo combining to find Mac Allister, who releases Mitoma … and his his cross flashes through the corridor before it’s stuck behind for a corner.
20 min A quiet period. In the words of Ryan Giggs, Grimsby would’ve took that.
18 min “Not a footballer,” tweets Pressure Drop Radio, “but La Isla Bonita by Madonna could have been written for Stanislas Warwinka…”
Ha! If we’re moving beyond football, Alborosie’s Kingston Town begins by referencing Sibley Dom Dom, the Surrey and England opener.
17 min But no, Grimsby move down the right, Efete finding Clifton who wins a thrown close to the corner flag. Contextually, this is a chance, but Maher’s long hurl is headed clear by Dunk and the whistle then goes for a foul of of some sort.
15 min Grimsby are struggling to get out, and a second Brighton goal looks inevitable. As I type that, Estupinan slips and gives the ball away, but Crocombe will now kick long, so presumably it’ll come straight back.
14 min Oh, Gabriel Martinelli has put Arsenal in front. They needed that after their midweek disappointment.