NOTTINGHAM, England (Reuters) -Joao Pedro came off the bench to score twice as Brighton & Hove Albion came from behind to win 3-2 at Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday, despite finishing the game with 10 men.
After six league games without a win, Brighton hung on after Forest pulled it back to 3-2 with a Morgan Gibbs-White penalty in the 76th minute which saw Brighton’s Lewis Dunk sent off for protesting.
Brighton moved up to seventh in the table on 22 points while Forest remain 14th with 13 points.
“It was a mad old game. It was worth it for the three points,” said Brighton’s Evan Ferguson said, who scored his sixth goal of the season in the 26th minute.
Forest opened the scoring in the third minute when Gibbs-White’s cross from the right found Anthony Elanga unmarked on the back post and he headed back across the goal beyond the keeper for his third goal of the season.
Brighton equalised when Ferguson collected a pass from Pascal Gross at the edge of the area and after one touch to control the ball he curled his shot into the bottom corner.
Roberto De Zerbi was forced to make two changes in the first half when both Ansu Fati and Tariq Lamptey went down injured and it was Pedro, who came on in the 22nd minute, who put Brighton ahead just before the break.
That lead came from another Gross cross, in the fourth minute of added time, and Pedro rose above Ola Aina to power his header past Odysseas Vlachodimos.
“De Zerbi always says to be ready. I’m happy to help the team to win today. There are a lot of injuries, the group is strong enough to play and win,” Pedro said.
Pedro then put Brighton 3-1 up after he was dragged to the ground by Chris Wood and the Brazilian stepped up to take the penalty himself and sent the keeper the wrong way.
Forest were given a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty after a VAR check when Jack Hinshelwood was judged to have fouled Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Brighton’s protests went on for several minutes and Dunk was shown a yellow card and then red in the space of a minute.
Gibbs-White kept his nerve and put his penalty into the bottom corner to make it 3-2 but, despite constant pressure in the final minutes, Forest were unable to find an equaliser.
De Zerbi raced on to the pitch at the final whistle, to celebrate wildly with his players and then the away fans.
“The manager is very invested, really emotional and he can’t help himself. He wouldn’t just walk over to the fans and celebrate.” Ferguson said.
(Reporting by Trevor StynesEditing by Toby Davis and Clare Fallon)