Even with Kaoru Mitoma not at his best, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi stuck with the Japan winger and he delivered a late winner in a 1-0 home victory Saturday over Bournemouth in the English Premier League.
After Mitoma netted a memorable game-sealing goal late Sunday against Liverpool in the FA Cup, Brighton struggled to break down a stubborn Bournemouth, but with the 25-year-old having scored in two straight games, the Brighton manager kept the faith.
"He has fantastic natural quality," De Zerbi said. "I think today he didn't play a fantastic game like against Liverpool or Leicester, but when you have Mitoma on the pitch, you can never substitute him, because you always expect one more (goal) from him."
And Mitoma did what has become expected, heading home Jeremy Sarmiento's left-wing cross in the 87th minute at Amex Stadium.
"I'm intent on scoring in every game and (actually doing so) spurs me on even more," Mitoma said after his fifth goal in seven games. "I'm enjoying handling the pressure too."
"I could sense the goal was coming."
In Germany, Bochum forward Takuma Asano scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season in a 5-2 home hammering of Hoffenheim.
In Belgium, Cercle Brugge's Ayase Ueda scored for the third straight game. His 10th Jupiler League goal this term came in the final minutes and salvaged a 1-1 home draw against Standard Liege.