Incredible Brighton stat shows just how good ‘De Zerbi ball’ is as they top Premier League list – with Man Utd second


ROBERTO DE ZERBI and his Brighton side continue to take the Premier League by storm – and they top the table with an incredible stat.

The 44-year-old was a relative unknown on these shores when the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss replaced Graham Potter 12 months ago.

GettyRoberto De Zerbi’s Brighton continue to impress everyone[/caption]

GettyGoalkeeper Jason Steele plays a key role in how the Italian wants to play[/caption]

Now the Italian is the name on everybody’s lips as his Seagulls continue to fly high.

His attacking and possession based football has already led Brighton into the Europa League.

And now supporters are beginning to believe that they can play their way into a top four finish this time around.

The stats since he took over make for impressive reading, with Brighton’s 624 shots and 244 efforts on target the most of any top-flight team over the past year.

They are second when it comes to expected goals and also in possession, averaging 66 per cent, while the 76 goals they have scored is the third best out of the Premier League since last September.

However, one of the most interesting aspects of the “De Zerbi ball” he has implemented into the club is playing it out from the back.

And after the opening five games of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign, his side are incredibly the only team to have taken ZERO long goal kicks.

Manchester United, who they beat 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday, are surprisingly second with 20 with high-flying Tottenham just behind in third while Nottingham Forest top the list with 80 taken so far.


Fair to say that Brighton enjoyed their time at Old Trafford.

— SPORF (@Sporf) September 18, 2023

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The importance of playing it out from the back at Brighton was on full display against the Red Devils.

Goalie Jason Steele, who returned to the starting XI after fellow stopper Bart Verbruggen was preferred for the last two games, started the 30 PASS MOVE that led to Pascal Gross grabbing their second goal.

Meanwhile, their opponents are also looking to try and follow suit, which led to long-serving David De Gea being allowed to leave after his contract expired in June.

United manager Erik ten Hag moved to bring in Andre Onana from Inter Milan, a Cameroon international well-known for his footwork as well as shot-stopping abilities.

But despite them being second in this recently-released goal kick stat, things have still not fully-clicked for the Red Devils after three defeats out of five so far this term.

And supporters reacted to the news that they were only behind Brighton in taking the least amount of goal kicks in hilarious fashion.

One tweeted: “If De Gea was still our goalkeeper we would be last on that list.”

“Crazy how even with a new keeper our problems still haven’t changed,” said a fellow supporter.

While another claimed: “Onana will learn to not trust your defenders.”

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With regards to Steele and Onana going head-to-head last weekend, it was the Brighton ace that completed the most passes.

The 33-year-old found a team-mate on 48 occasions, while he had five incomplete passes, while Onana lost the ball 11 times but did complete 25 passes.

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