Leeds United 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Brighton recorded a vital victory at Elland Road as Neal Maupay’s 17th minute goal gave the Seagulls three precious points.
Albion played some intricate stuff in midfield and it was close passing that led to Albion’s goal. Ben White and Leandro Trossard exchanged passes and fed the ball to Alexis Mac Allister whose clever play eluded the Leeds defence and left Maupay with a tap in to put he Seagulls ahead.
There were other good chances. Trossard saw a shot deflect off Luke Ayling and crash against the crossbar.
Before half time number 3 Ben White made a surging run but his shot again hit Ayling and Albion won a corner.
In the second half it was clear that Leeds had reorganised and Patrick Bamford spurned an early chances for them.
But Albion were still looking for a decisive second goal and, as Ezgjan Alioski slipped, Maupay latched on to the loose ball and found Trossard who fired narrowly over.
Percy Tua replaced Trossard soon after and again looked sharp and menacing to the Leeds defence.
Tyler Roberts and Bamford combined but the young Albion keeper Robert Sanchez saved well. As the game wore on, Sanchez looked confident and cut out crosses well.
Francisco Cassilla, who looked poor in the Leeds goal at Crawley last week, almost gifted Adam Webster but managed to scramble back to retrieve the situation.
Lewis Dunk and Pascal Gross both looked solid for Brighton and as the minutes ticked by it became apparent how vital the result was for the players.
One final scare for Albion was Joel Veltman’s rather clumsy challenge on Jack Harrison. Leeds claimed a penalty but referee Keven Friend was unmoved as was Craig Pawson on VAR duty.
Albion move up to 16th in the Premier League and take on Blackpool in the FA Cup 4th Round next Saturday (23 January) at the Amex.
They then have another vital challenge again at home on Wednesday 27 January against fellow relegation candidates Fulham.
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