Roberto De Zerbi said Albion showed character and passion to carve out a win in Athens.

The head coach felt his side did not deserve the 1-0 success which takes them in the next stage of the Europa League.

Just as they did not deserve the 3-2 defeat by the same opponents which kicked off the campaign.

De Zerbi said: “We didn’t play well. AEK Athens played better than us.

“But I think it was the first time in my time in Brighton when we won a game in this way.

”The first game at the Amex we lost but we played better and I think we deserved something more.

“Today we didn’t play in our way.

“But we played with great character, great soul, great passion.

“We had the first chance to score with Evan Ferguson in the first half.

“We suffered too much, we suffered a lot.

“We knew before the game AEK are a very good team.

“They have a great coach. I know him very well.

“I knew the level before the level of difficulty of the game. I was not surprised.”