Pascal Gross bags brace as Brighton record first win

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Pascal Gross bagged a brace as Brighton recorded their first win
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Pascal Gross bagged a brace as Brighton recorded their first win

Brighton recorded their first top-flight win for 34 years as two goals from Pascal Gross helped them to an emphatic victory over West Brom.

The German’s twin strikes and an effort from Tomer Hemed were also the first goals scored by Chris Hughton’s side since their promotion to the Premier League.

It was an exemplary attacking display against a side who had only conceded one league goal in their first three matches this season.

Gross scored the opener just before the break when he converted Solly March’s cross from close range.

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Three minutes after the restart the 26-year-old made it 2-0 when he drove forward before sending a tame strike past the reach of Ben Foster.

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And Hemed, who fed the pass for Gross’ second, then had the favour repaid when he headed in an inch-perfect cross from the German.

West Brom rallied in the closing moments and broke Brighton’s resistance when substitute James Morrison squeezed his shot past defender Shane Duffy on the line.

Brighton end long wait for goal

Dealing with the basics first is of paramount importance to Seagulls boss Chris Hughton.

Against the Baggies, his side nullified the right-wing threat of Matt Phillips while his centre-backs easily dealt with balls played up to the anonymous Salomon Rondon in attack.

They then set about trying to expose a usually water-tight West Brom defence.

It looked like it would be a stalemate at the break before Gross – a summer signing from German second division side Ingolstadt – managed to guide a shot past a crowd for the home side’s first goal of the campaign.

Gross would have been long odds to score and a ridiculous price to score two, but he managed that feat shortly after the break when he ran towards goal before shooting past Foster. The 34-year-old keeper should have done better.

The previously goal-starved Brighton fans were then treated to a third as Hemed, who valiantly held the line in attack, got in front of Jonny Evans to convert the former Germany youth midfielder’s delivery.