João Teixeira inspired Brighton and Hove Albion to their first league win.
João Teixeira, the recently-arrived season-long loan from Liverpool, inspired Brighton and Hove Albion to their first league win under Sami Hyypiä – much to the relief of the Albion faithful.
The lively attacking midfielder scored the Seagulls’ first league goal of the season after just five minutes at Elland Road and produced the sort of performance that will have flair-hungry Albion fans salivating like Pavlovian dogs every time he picks up possession in attacking areas.
Teixeira was at the heart of Brighton’s most-impressive passages of play but the highly-rated Portuguese youth international was far from alone in impressing during what was a measured, controlled and ultimately hugely encouraging away win.
Danny Holla, another new arrival at the Amex, was in dominant form in the middle of the park. His strong work on and off the ball allowed Jake Forster-Caskey and Kemy Agustien enough freedom to produce the sort of performances which suggest that both are capable of becoming creative forces at this level.
Lewis Dunk was commanding in defence alongside Gordon Greer, who continued his own impressive start to the season with another solid turn marshalling the Albion’s defensive efforts.
Hyypiä tinkered slightly with the Seagulls’ approach and it was subtle shift in tactics which paid dividends as the Albion chalked up a morale-boosting away win, a welcome clean sheet and a domineering display to silence the early-season grumbles from some sections of the Brighton support.
It is, of course, still early days, but by the time livewire substitute Kazenga Lua Lua plundered a second for the Seagulls with a trademark free kick, there had been enough to suggest supporters will soon be viewing their pints of Harveys as half-full rather than half-empty.
Match rating: Stockdale 6, Calderon 7, Greer 7, Dunk 8, Chicksen 7, Holla 8, Forster-Caskey 7, Agustien 7, Teixeira 8, Bruno 7, Mackail-Smith 7. Subs: Hughes n/a, Lua Lua 7, Ince 7.