Premier League
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion2LeedsLeeds United0

Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Leeds United: Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck move Brighton close to safety

By Harry PooleBBC Sport
Danny Welbeck scores Brighton's second
Danny Welbeck's five Premier League goals this season is his best return since 2017-18. He last scored more in 2013-14 (nine).

Brighton moved within touching distance of Premier League safety for another season as Graham Potter's hosts opened a 10-point gap to the relegation places with victory over Leeds United.

With four games to play, the Seagulls - looking to secure a fifth successive term in the top flight - climbed three places to 14th and have a significant margin to 18th-placed Fulham, who lost to Chelsea later on Saturday.

The hosts were rewarded for a positive start at Amex Stadium when Pascal Gross expertly found the bottom corner with a 14th-minute penalty, awarded following Ezgjan Alioski's clumsy foul on Danny Welbeck.

Potter's side squandered several chances to extend their advantage, but Welbeck eventually sealed an important victory 11 minutes from time with a composed finish after a sharp turn.

Leeds, missing midfield rock Kalvin Phillips, initially responded to falling behind, but Jack Harrison's whipped shot was caught comfortably by Robert Sanchez and Dan Burn bravely blocked a thunderous Tyler Roberts strike from the visitors' best first-half chances.

Brighton's forward trio of Welbeck, Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay were all guilty of wasting opportunities - but Stuart Dallas' dipping first-time attempt with 15 minutes remaining was as close as Marcelo Bielsa's below-par side came to an equaliser.

Brighton all but safe

Potter praises 'fantastic' Brighton after victory over Leeds

Having slumped to defeat at bottom side Sheffield United last weekend, Brighton responded with an energetic and determined display that should finally end any nagging threat of relegation.

This victory, against an in-form Leeds aiming to consolidate a top-half finish, ended a tough four-match winless run for Potter's side, which had also seen them fail to score in their past three despite attempting 51 shots in total.

When it arrived, Gross' spot-kick ended a six-hour wait for a goal, and though Illan Meslier went the right way the German's low strike could not have been better placed.

The profligacy that has plagued Brighton's campaign threatened to cost them once more as Trossard blazed over from Welbeck's cut-back after he robbed Diego Llorente of possession, and Welbeck dragged a low shot wide of the far post shortly before half-time.

Undeterred, Trossard, Welbeck and Maupay looked fluid and threatening throughout and Welbeck ensured his personal good work was rewarded as a brilliant pivot beat the Leeds defence and presented the Englishman with ample time to pick his spot.

Potter's faith in the quality of his squad has not wavered despite a lingering threat of relegation - one far from helped by a dismal home record showing just three wins - and now that safety looks all but confirmed they can surely afford to play with freedom as they aim to secure the five points required to better last season's tally.

Leeds' unbeaten run comes to abrupt end

Brighton victory was fair - Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa's side arrived on the South Coast looking to extend a six game unbeaten run - their best in the top-flight since November 2001 - as they attempt to consolidate a top-half position to crown an impressive Premier League return.

That streak, which included victory over champions-elect Manchester City and draws against Manchester United and Liverpool, had given Leeds an outside chance of sneaking into the European places - but those hopes took a likely fatal blow on Saturday.

Leeds were far from their breathless best, yet this was a familiar tale in a fixture that continues to prove particularly unfruitful.

The visitors, who lost the reverse fixture 1-0 in January, have failed to win away to Brighton since victory in League One in 2009 and have lost their past five games at the Amex.

They failed to ignite in attack, landing only two shots on target, and Patrick Bamford managed just 15 touches before being replaced after an hour.

And while they lacked the attacking flair of Raphinha, it was the disruptive influence of Phillips at the base of midfield that was perhaps the greatest miss. Leeds have won just two of nine league games without him this season.

'One of our best performances' - what the managers said

Brighton boss Graham Potter to BBC Sport: "A big victory and a big performance, one with a lot of quality and a lot of character. I was disappointed with the last one and you have to respond, and the players did. Overall a fully deserved three points.

"It was one of our best performances. You have to match Leeds for their effort and honesty and I felt we did that really well. There are still a lot of points to play for and we want to get more points as well."

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa: "We didn't play well. The victory for the opponent was fair. We created very little danger and it was difficult for us to recover the ball.

"The game was hard with the height of their centre-backs. We couldn't avoid them initiating the play nor could we overcome them trying to get in behind."

Leeds hate trips to Brighton - the stats

  • Brighton have won eight of their past nine league games against Leeds.
  • Leeds have lost five consecutive away league games against an opponent without scoring for the first time in their history. They have lost their last five visits to Brighton by an aggregate score of 11-0.
  • Brighton kept their seventh home clean sheet of the season - only Manchester City and Chelsea, with nine, have more at home in the Premier League this term.
  • Only Leicester (10) have won more penalties than Brighton (nine) in the Premier League this season. Meanwhile, no side has given away more penalties (nine) or conceded more penalty goals (eight) than Leeds.
  • Danny Welbeck's five goals in his 21 Premier League games for Brighton this season is his best return in a top-flight campaign since 2017-18.
  • Pascal Gross has registered 36 goal involvements in the Premier League (15 goals, 21 assists), which is at least eight more than any Brighton team-mate.

What's next?

Next weekend, Leeds host Tottenham on Saturday at 12:30 and Brighton are away to Wolves on Sunday at 12:00.

Player of the match

WelbeckDanny Welbeck

with an average of 7.85

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
    Average rating

    7.85

  2. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating

    7.83

  3. Squad number3Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    7.56

  4. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating

    7.47

  5. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    7.21

  6. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating

    7.20

  7. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    7.12

  8. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    7.03

  9. Squad number26Player nameSánchez
    Average rating

    7.00

  10. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    6.60

  11. Squad number16Player nameJahanbakhsh
    Average rating

    6.59

  12. Squad number15Player nameModer
    Average rating

    6.37

  13. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister
    Average rating

    6.24

  14. Squad number9Player nameMaupay
    Average rating

    6.12

Leeds United

  1. Squad number1Player nameMeslier
    Average rating

    5.79

  2. Squad number15Player nameDallas
    Average rating

    5.77

  3. Squad number14Player nameLlorente
    Average rating

    5.52

  4. Squad number21Player nameStruijk
    Average rating

    5.39

  5. Squad number2Player nameAyling
    Average rating

    5.37

  6. Squad number7Player namePoveda-Ocampo
    Average rating

    5.22

  7. Squad number5Player nameKoch
    Average rating

    5.16

  8. Squad number22Player nameHarrison
    Average rating

    4.88

  9. Squad number9Player nameBamford
    Average rating

    4.86

  10. Squad number19Player namePablo Hernández
    Average rating

    4.84

  11. Squad number11Player nameRoberts
    Average rating

    4.53

  12. Squad number43Player nameKlich
    Average rating

    4.50

  13. Squad number20Player nameRodrigo
    Average rating

    4.39

  14. Squad number10Player nameAlioski
    Average rating

    3.81

Line-ups

Brighton

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 26Sánchez
  • 3White
  • 5Dunk
  • 4Webster
  • 34Veltman
  • 13GroßBooked at 76mins
  • 8BissoumaSubstituted forMac Allisterat 90+2'minutes
  • 33Burn
  • 11TrossardSubstituted forJahanbakhshat 80'minutes
  • 9Maupay
  • 18WelbeckSubstituted forModerat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Connolly
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 15Moder
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 17Alzate
  • 19Izquierdo
  • 23Steele
  • 24Pröpper
  • 29Zeqiri

Leeds

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 2AylingBooked at 88mins
  • 14LlorenteSubstituted forHernándezat 79'minutes
  • 21Struijk
  • 10AlioskiSubstituted forPoveda-Ocampoat 45'minutes
  • 5Koch
  • 15Dallas
  • 43Klich
  • 11Roberts
  • 22Harrison
  • 9BamfordSubstituted forRodrigoat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 13Casilla
  • 19Hernández
  • 20Rodrigo
  • 28Berardi
  • 37Drameh
  • 46Shackleton
  • 47Jenkins
  • 52Huggins
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamLeeds
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home17
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away9
Fouls
Home17
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Leeds United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Leeds United 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Robin Koch.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pascal Groß.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Alexis Mac Allister replaces Yves Bissouma.

  6. Post update

    Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Jakub Moder replaces Danny Welbeck.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adam Webster (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Pascal Groß with a cross following a set piece situation.

  10. Booking

    Luke Ayling (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Luke Ayling (Leeds United).

  12. Post update

    Adam Webster (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ian Poveda-Ocampo.

  15. Post update

    Jack Harrison (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Alireza Jahanbakhsh replaces Leandro Trossard.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 2, Leeds United 0. Danny Welbeck (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Pablo Hernández replaces Diego Llorente.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Leandro Trossard.

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