Nov 10 (Reuters) – Brighton & Hove Albion took a huge step towards the Europa League knockout rounds with a 2-0 win at Ajax on Thursday but the victory may have come at a cost with two more defenders set to miss game time due to injuries.
Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati scored early on in Amsterdam before assisting Simon Adingra in the second half to seal Brighton’s second straight 2-0 win over Ajax.
“The first goal (was) important and as well our style, because we regained the ball in high pressure and we scored after two passes,” manager Roberto de Zerbi said in a post-match interview.
“The second one was incredible because we kept the ball inside of the pitch where I love it and then we found the player between the line.”
European debutantes Brighton are second in Group B with seven points after four matches, one behind leaders Marseille.
While De Zerbi enjoyed the victory he was worried about the status of captain Lewis Dunk and Pervis Estupinan, who both went off injured, ahead of Sunday’s Premier League fixture against bottom side Sheffield United.
Dunk was replaced due to a groin injury while substitute Estupinan lasted only 12 minutes after returning from a five-week absence with a muscle injury.
Midfielder James Milner also left the field with a knock, while key players Danny Welbeck, Solly March and Tariq Lamptey remain absent with injuries.
“I’m very worried … we have a lot of injuries. Especially in the full back position,” the Italian said.
“We have to find another solution because … Sunday another important, very crucial game for us and we want to win.”
Brighton, who are seventh, have gone five league games without a win.