Seagulls Secure Historic First Ever Premier League Victory
A historic brace from Brighton's Pascal Groß and strike from Tomer Hemed proved the difference at the Amex Stadium as the Seagulls secured their first ever win in the Premier League against West Brom on Saturday.
A sluggish start to the game was quickly forgotten for Chris Hughton's side as they put their goal scoring demons behind them by slotting three goals past a less than impressive Baggies outfit - who did manage to pull one back late on from a James Morrison strike.
It was a slow and quiet start to the game for both sides, with West Brom prepared to retain possession and Brighton unable to cause any disruption to the Baggies rhythm early on.
The lay of the land within the opening 10 minutes went as expected, with little action in either penalty box as Brighton struggled to find fluidity within their direct approach, which severely favoured the strengths of Tony Pulis' side.
A brief moment of excitement was ended all too soon when the Seagulls' Shane Duffy thought he had tapped home Brighton's first goal of their Premier League campaign after a stunning strike from Solomon March was spilled by Ben Foster into the oncoming midfielder's path, who was correctly called offside.
The disallowed goal worked wonders for the tempo of the game as it paved the way for three shots on target in quick succession, with Brighton coming out on top as Anthony Knockaert's individual show of skill awoke what had been a largely dormant Amex Stadium.
Despite dominating the ball during the middle stages of the half, the Seagulls failed to find a way to breakthrough a well organised Baggies back-line, and they almost paid the ultimate price as Gareth Barry's volley had to be superbly tipped over the bar by Mathew Ryan.
Although lacking quality in the final third for the better portion of the half, Brighton finally notched their first ever goal in the Premier League when March crossed the ball to the back post to Groß, who had time to bring the ball to feet, cut inside and slide the ball into the back of the net.
Pulis would not have been happy with the lack of defensive organisation his side showed in the build up to the goal, but his counterpart Hughton was obviously delighted at his side's historic goal, which took 315 minutes of league football to achieve - sending the home crowd into hysteria going into the half time break.
The elation did not stop there as a mere two minutes from the start of the second half saw Brighton double their lead, as Groß notched his second goal of the game after his strike from 25 yards out nestled safely into the bottom left corner.
As Brighton continued to shine, West Brom's woes on the South Coast were epitomised by Jay Rodriguez's dispossession on the edge of the penalty box after the English forward seemingly had an eternity to dispatch a shot on goal, a rare opportunity to test Ryan wasted.
But when it rains, it pours - especially for the man of the moment, Groß who continued to be the game changer when his pinpoint cross found Hemed, who bravely dispatched a header beyond a wanting Foster and sent the home crowd into dreamland as the scoreboard read 3-0.
With fifteen minutes remaining in the game, James Morrison pulled one back for the visitors after Oliver Burke knocked it down to the Scotland international who calmly stroked the ball home - instantly creating a nervous energy to flow through a Brighton side who, for the most part of the game, looked in control.
Despite gaining the ascendancy in the last ten minutes of the game, it was a case of too little too late for West Brom who will be left lamenting their defensive lapses which invited Brighton to take advantage of.
It was a truly historic day for Brighton & Hove Albion who have secured their first three points of the season following a superb and inspired performance, most notably from Gross, and with their confidence now restored they will be hoping to extend their winning form against fellow South Coast side, Bournemouth.
West Brom's unbeaten start to the Premier League came to an abrupt halt as they're usual defence steel was broken by an inspired Brighton outfit. Pulis will no doubt expect an immediate reaction from his side who are set to host West Ham next week.