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Cardiff City moved out of the Premier League’s relegation zone with a dramatic 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Lewis Dunk gave Brighton the lead after just six minutes, heading in from a set-piece but Callum Paterson brought Cardiff level 20 minutes later.

Brighton were then reduced to 10 men not long before half-time as Dale Stephens was given a straight red card for a foul on Greg Cunningham.

And just as the game looked to be finishing a draw, Sol Bamba gave Cardiff City all three points with a goal in the 90th minute.

Here are the winners and losers of Saturday’s early match.

Winner: Lewis Dunk

What a week Lewis Dunk is having. First, the centre-back scored against Everton last Saturday though it would ultimate be in vain as the Seagulls lost.

Then he earned his second call-up to the England national team, reward for his fine performances for Brighton in the Premier League including helping to keep three clean sheets in October, and will be hoping to get his first cap against either the United States or Croatia.

And against Cardiff he capped it all off with another goal, scoring in consecutive Premier League games for the first time in his career.

In reality, Dunk had very little to do in order to get his head onto Solly March’s free-kick as Sol Bamba gave him so much space to run behind him. But Dunk had to read the ball to make the run and his header was directly well across Neil Etheridge giving the Filipino goalkeeper very little chance of saving.

Defensively, Dunk didn’t deserve to end on the losing team, winning eight aerial duels – bettered only by his partner Shane Duffy (nine) – and making more clearances than any other player (13).

Loser: Dale Stephens

Some fans of a certain age complain about the lack of physicality allowed in the Premier League in recent years, yearning for the hard-hitting tackles to be made legal once more and for referees to stop blowing the whistle for the slightest of contacts.

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Meanwhile others will herald the rule changes and the safety they bring to some of the best footballers in the league, with less risk of serious injuries caused by powerful tackles.

And these two groups of fans will have undoubtedly been split down the middle for Dale Stephens’ tackle midway through the first half which referee Martin Atkinson deemed to be bad enough for a red card.

On a slippery pitch, Stephens chased a 50/50 challenge with Greg Cunningham and slid in with his feet slightly high and studs showing, but looked to have got the ball.

The immediate reaction from the closest Cardiff players was that of anger with some aiming it towards Stephens and others looking to Atkinson for what they felt was the correct punishment, and the referee agreed.

But replays have only added to the conversation over the tackle with different angles playing down the danger of the tackle. Though, the question would be whether Atkinson would change his mind upon seeing a replay. VAR anyone?

Winner: Kadeem Harris

Kadeem Harris has been a fringe player for Cardiff this season, playing just 36 minutes in the Premier League after suffering with injury problems for the past year.

The 25-year-old might have already scored in the Premier League against Fulham but in Saturday’s game with Brighton the biggest moment of his season.

Given his first Premier League start, Harris caused some real problems for Brighton’s defence with his style of play down the right wing and it came to fruition midway through the first half.

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Harris may not be credited for the assist to Paterson’s equaliser due to a significant deflection from Gaetan Bong, but the goal was all about him.

Beating two players on the edge of the Brighton box, Harris took himself close to the goal line to create enough space for a cross which looped to Paterson for the header.

And he should have had his second goal of the season after half-time, working his way to the edge of the box to send a curling shot which had Mathew Ryan beaten but was just inches too high, hitting the crossbar.

Loser: Chris Hughton

Just eight days ago, Chris Hughton has a candidate to win the Premier League’s Manager of the Month award for October having overseen three wins for Brighton with three consecutive clean sheets.

But the Brighton manager has since seen his side lose twice in two games, first to Everton and now against struggling Cardiff.

Having taken the lead early on in the match, Brighton didn’t really look like losing given how poor Cardiff had been this season. But the Seagulls allowed their opponents back in it, with Paterson equalising.

And then everything went against Hughton’s men. First Stephens was sent off forcing Hughton into an early change, replacing one of their exciting players in March.

Then, just as Brighton had looked likely to get leaving Wales with a point, Bamba bundled the ball home from close range to break Brighton hearts.

In truth, there was little Hughton could truly do about the defeat, with just two substitutions to influence the game, but the former Republic of Ireland international will have to look at what he could have done differently.

Winner: Callum Paterson

For the opening 25 minutes, Paterson hadn’t had the best game with Brighton dominating possession and the forward isolated up the pitch.

But the 24-year-old, continuing in his makeshift advanced role, turned the game in his side’s favour by being in the right place at the right time.

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Following Harris’ good work down the right, Paterson was on the spot to head in Cardiff’s equaliser and give them control of a match they had struggled to get a foothold in previously.

The goal was Paterson’s third in his last four league appearances, having managed just one in his previous 14 for Cardiff City.

Paterson is now also Cardiff’s topscorer in the Premier League, moving ahead of Sean Morrison.

Loser: Solly March

Solly March has been playing well for Brighton in the absense of Pascal Gross and had another good start against Cardiff on Saturday.

The 24-year-old caused Cardiff some problems in an advanced position and provided the assist for Dunk’s goal with a curling cross from a wide free-kick which evaded all players in the box to find his team-mate at the far post.

It was March’s third assist in the Premier League this season having recorded just one last year, struggling to keep his place in the Seagulls’ starting XI having looked promising in the Championship.

But then it all came to an abrupt end after 38 minutes as the Englishman was the one to be sacrificed by Chris Hughton following Stephens’ red card, with Yves Bissouma coming to secure the midfield defensively.

With Cardiff having drawn level and momentum on their side, Brighton needed a player like March who could provide the difference, and it could have been his moment but for Stephens being sent off forcing Hughton’s hand.

The post Cardiff 2-1 Brighton: Winners and losers as Stephens sees red appeared first on Squawka News.

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