Brighton 3-1 West Brom: Pascal Gross steers Seagulls to first Premier League win
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 09/09/17 11:54pm
Pascal Gross wrote his name into the history books as Brighton beat West Brom 3-1 to secure their first Premier League victory.
After 315 minutes without a top-flight goal, Gross ended Brighton's drought on the stroke of half-time and he went on to score his second just three minutes after the break.
Gross then turned provider as he picked out Tomer Hemed for Brighton's third (63), rendering James Morrison's strike (77) merely a consolation on a day to remember for the Seagulls fans.
Brighton move onto four points, having secured a draw at Watford two weeks ago, while the victory ends West Brom's unbeaten start in the league.
Brighton: Ryan (6), Saltor (6), Dunk (7), Duffy (7), Suttner (6), Knockaert (8), Propper (6), Stephens (6), March (7), Gross (8), Hemed (7)
Subs: Rosenior (6), Murray (6)
West Brom: Foster (4), Nyom (4), Evans (6), Dawson (6), Hegazi (5), Livermore (4), Barry (6), Phillips (5), Krychowiak (5), Rodriguez (6), Ronson (6)
Subs: Gibbs (6), Burke (6), Morrison (7)
Man of the match: Pascal Gross
A quiet first half was dominated by Brighton, and the hosts thought they found the breakthrough when Shane Duffy tapped in after Ben Foster spilled Solly March's effort - only to be correctly flagged for offside.
And following three Premier League matches without scoring, relief erupted around the Amex when Gross broke the deadlock just before half-time.
The German was picked out by March at the back post, and after cutting onto his left foot, the 26-year-old tucked it home via a deflection.
Brighton named an unchanged XI as Tomor Hemed recovered from injury while on international duty for Israel. West Brom made two changes; captain Jonny Evans made his first start of the season, while Tony Pulis handed a debut to Grzegorz Krychowiak - fellow new boy Kieran Gibbs started on the bench.
Gross grabbed his second three minutes into the second half, as he received the ball from Hemed before marching down on goal unopposed and striking it low from 25 yards out.
A dream afternoon for Gross then saw the midfielder in acres of space down the left, and he had time to find Hemed, whose header snuck in at the near post.
Morrison found the net late on for West Brom after Burke's nod down, but the comeback ended there on what was a disappointing showing from Tony Pulis' side.
- Pascal Gross' 45th minute opener was Brighton's first ever in the Premier League, and first in the top-flight since May 1983 when Gordon Smith scored against Norwich.
- Brighton had as many shots on target in this game (6) as they had in their first three Premier League games combined (6).
- This was Tony Pulis' first away defeat at a newly promoted club in the Premier League since his Stoke side lost 1-2 at QPR in May 2012. He had previously gone 11 games in a row unbeaten against newly-promoted opposition on the road in the competition.
- Tomer Hemed is the first Israeli player to score a Premier League goal since Itay Schecter for Swansea against Wigan in May 2013.
Chris Hughton: "[Gross] has been good for us since day one. He settled in very easily. He has done most of the pre-season with us, which always helps, but he's a flexible player who can play in a few positions across the midfield. That adaptability will certainly help us.
Tony Pulis: "International breaks… everyone has to deal with it, but some of the players turned up Thursday afternoon and they looked as though they turned on up Thursday afternoon for 70 minutes here. We were better in the last 20 minutes so we will take some substance out of that."
Man of the Match - Pascal Gross
Two goals and one assist makes Gross comfortably the standout player for Brighton. The German popped up when they hosts needed him most, as it looked like another half of football would pass them by without finding the net. The midfielder followed up that strike late in the first half with a well-taken second, while his assist laid it on a plate for Hemed.
Brighton make a trip along the south coast to face Bournemouth for some Friday Night Football action, live on Sky Sports Premier League. Meanwhile, the Baggies host West Ham next Saturday at 3pm.