Brighton & Hove Albion took pole position in the Championship table last nigh after recording their tenth win from their last 14 league matches - a run of games that is yet to see them taste defeat.
The scoreline of 2-0 has placed the Seagulls on 42 points with 20 games gone in the season so far, and impressively, this result means that Brighton have now recorded 13 clean sheets in the Championship - more than any other side in the division.
“I’m delighted with both the performance and result,” said Brighton boss Chris Hughton.
“It was a tough performance because we were up against a good team and probably the only negative is that there was too big of a gap between the first and second goal. That was the only negative, that we didn't create enough opportunities, but It's not easy. We were up against a good team with good players, but I’m certainly delighted with the result.”
Throughout the course of this season, it's been undeniable just how deserving Brighton have been of their current success, but Hughton has insisted that there is still more to come from his side: “If I look at some of the performances that we had last season or even earlier this season, I don't think we have reached those heights yet. But maybe in some ways we are now a different team, we are certainly more resilient.”
While Brighton have taken to the top spot for the night at least, Newcastle United will have the chance to restore their lead at the top of the table later today against Birmingham. When asked about being at the top at this stage of the season, Hughton responded saying that “It doesn’t mean anything.
“There is every chance that come tomorrow we won't be top. What it means is that it's a nice feeling to get ahead of everybody and to get all three points; that's a really nice feeling because not everybody can win tomorrow, but you know that there will probably some results that go for us and some that go against us which is normal.”
It can't be forgotten either that this 2-0 win came against a Leeds United side who are in fine form, having won each of their previous three away games while sitting fourth in the table.
Leeds United manager Gary Monk, however, was certainly frustrated with his side, saying “We never gave ourselves the opportunity to show our very best today and what we’ve been doing.
“It’s disappointing and frustrating. We talked about the first 20 minutes as they always start very well, and the plan was to come through that period and start to play our game. But just as you feel that this is the point where we will start to push on and get through that period, we made a mistake ourselves and had the sending off. That changed the entire complex of the game.”
The red card was shown to Kalvin Phillips in the 21st minute for a deliberate handball on the goal line to deny Lewis Dunk an opener, and it was a decision that Monk couldn't contest.
“Look, it's one of those situations for Kalvin where you're the last man on the line and you're trying to put yourself in the way of the ball, but it's hit his arm and he got a red card. I have to credit the players in that sense as we had to adapt at that point and change systems. I thought that we did that well, to be honest with you.”
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