This was not the way many thought Leeds – Brighton would go, as the Seagulls eased to a comfortable away win at Elland Road.
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Neal Maupay’s first half goal was enough to seal a big win for Brighton (just their third of the season) as Graham Potter’s side ended their nine-game wait for a win and have 17 points for the season with all three of their wins coming away from home.
Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds have now lost three-straight games in all competitions and have 23 points.
Three things we learned
1. Substance over style for Seagulls: We often say that Brighton are wonderful to watch, and their winning goal was sublime. But they had a lot more substance in this performance as Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Ben White held strong at the back and gave them a solid platform to build from. Brighton should have won by more and they are now looking up the Premier League table to join a host of clubs sat comfortably in midtable, rather than over their shoulder at the relegation zone. After getting praise from Pep Guardiola in midweek, Graham Potter will be delighted his team stood tall and finally got back to winning ways.
2. Tired Leeds have to regain intensity: Bielsa will be concerned by this recent run of form, as they looked as tired as their sloppy, heavy pitch at Elland Road. The usual zip and spark in attack was missing and it seems like the intensity they had at the start of the season has gone. Injuries have him them hard defensively, but the likes of Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford didn’t get into dangerous positions often enough as Brighton handled Leeds’ threat easily. This is a pivotal point in Leeds’ season as they could easily get sucked into a relegation scrap in the coming weeks.
3. Maupay the key to Brighton’s season: He has an edge and nastiness to his game and that is why he is Brighton’s top goalscorer this season. Maupay’s movement caused Leeds so many problems and as long as he stays fit, he will surely score the goals to keep Brighton away from the relegation battle. Brighton have lots of lovely players in the final third but Maupay is a devilish striker who is clinical enough to make their flowing football count.
Man of the Match: Alexis Mac Allister – Key in the winning goal and oozed class on the ball in the final third. Linked up well with Trossard and Maupay.
Leeds should have gone ahead early on as Alioski drilled in a lovely cross but Rodrigo couldn’t get on the end of it.
Brighton looked dangerous on the break as Neal Maupay went down when clean through but no penalty kick was given, but moments later he did score.
Alexis Mac Allister and Leandro Trossard combined brilliantly to set up Maupay to slot home the opener. Moments later Brighton almost doubled their lead as Trossard’s deflected effort hit the bar.
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Leeds were better in the second half as Raphinha and Patrick Bamford ran towards goal and the ball found Jack Harrison who flashed a shot wide of the far post.
Maupay raced free after a mistake from Alioski and set up Trossard who smashed over when he should have scored.
Leeds huffed and puffed late on, but never looked like scoring as Brighton eased to their third victory of the season.