Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Leeds United 0
Albion all but secured their Premier League status as they moved up to 14th in table. They are 10 points ahead of Fulham and 12 in front of West Bromwich Albion, with a much better goal difference.
Albion went in front from a Pascal Gross penalty after Ezgjan Alioski hauled down Danny Welbeck. Gross dispatched the penalty into the bottom left hand corner, out of the reach Illan Meslier.
The Seagulls were on top but had to be mindful of Leeds’ attacking prowess. Jack Harris had a decent volley drift off target. And Stuart Dallas delivered a corner that ricocheted to Tyler Roberts whose shot got caught under Dan Burn’s feet for a while but was cleared.
Albion had two chances to go further in front before half time – Welbeck stretching to shift the ball to Leandro Trossard who shot high and wide with the goal gaping. Welbeck then sprinted clear but pulled his shot wide with only Meslier to beat.
Joel Veltman had a glorious chance to double Albion’s lead very earlier in the second half but fired his shot over after good work by Burn.
Leeds had been struggling to penetrate when Welbeck latched on to a ball over the top from Gross which eluded Diego Llorente. But Welbeck put the effort wide.
On 2000 Guineas day in 1997 the Seagulls were scrapping for Football League survival at Hereford and their very existence. Fast forward to 2000 Guineas day 2021 and the club were fighting to keep their place among the elite of world football.
Trossard broke free down the right, cut into the penalty area and pulled the ball back for Neal Maupay who scuffed his shot wide from close range.
Leeds began to have chances, with one falling to Rodrigo after good work from Harrison. But Robert Sanchez – who was largely a spectator – dealt with it well.
Then, as the visitors sensed an opening, even though Albion had effectively snuffed out Patrick Bamford, the ball broke for Stuart Dallas who fired a dipping volley just over.
Both Lewis Dunk and Ben White were looking assured. Dunk dealt with a cross by calmly chesting the ball back to Sanchez. White was getting forward as a wing back, really showing Leeds what they were missing and probably his true worth.
Ten or so months ago, all the talk was how much White wanted to join Leeds permanently and how deserving they were of him.
However, they could never match Albion’s valuation. And today White looked determined to prove a point with a classy performance.
Albion wrapped the game up after another long ball out of defence caught Leeds off guard. Welbeck, with a deft first touch and flick, opened up a chance – and with it, Albion’s former England man swept the ball past Meslier to double Albion’s lead and effectively see off crestfallen Leeds.
The Seagulls travel to Wolves next weekend and are live on BBC 1 – a far cry from Hereford!
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