Brighton 2 Leeds United 0: YEP Jury verdicts

Brighton and Hove Albion's Anthony Knockaert and Leeds United's Ronaldo Vieira battle for the ball.
Brighton and Hove Albion's Anthony Knockaert and Leeds United's Ronaldo Vieira battle for the ball.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 2-0 defeat at Brighton.

GARY NEWBOULD

LEEDS United went down to only their second defeat in eight matches on Friday evening in front of the TV cameras at the Amex Stadium when they lost 2-0 at Brighton and Hove 
Albion.

With Eunan O’Kane still not recovered from injury, coach Gary Monk named an unchanged side from the one that gained victory with youngsters Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips occupying the two central midfield berths and Kemar Roofe in the number 10 role, Souleymane Doukara and Hadi Sacko out wide and Chris Wood as the lone striker.

The game started with both teams on the attack with plenty of evidence of confidence from recent form with United not looking to sit back either and an early Charlie Talyor cross was only just over Wood’s head.

The home side forced a couple of free-kicks on the edge of United’s box which almost caused some consternation but as the first period approached the halfway mark the Whites appeared to be riding out the early pressure and growing in confidence.

However, on 23 minutes the home team took the lead when Kalvin Phillips was spotted handling the ball off the line and received a red card for his endeavours. Glenn Murray despatched the penalty past Robert Green to give the home side the lead.

After the initial shock and unlike last year’s capitulation United managed to retain a degree of order and half-time arrived with just the one goal between the sides.

The interval saw the largely ineffective Hadi Sacko replaced by Matt Grimes.

For 20 minutes after half- time United gave as good as they got and apart from a correctly disallowed goal (for offside) for the home team, the Whites stood toe-to-toe with the Seagulls. On 70 minutes Stuart Dallas was introduced to replace Doukara who had once again run his socks off in his efforts for United.

On 81 minutes Kyle Bartley was adjudged to have fouled Lewis Dunk in the box who went down somewhat theatrically and Tomer Hemed duly despatched the home side’s second penalty of the evening to wrap up the three points for the home side.

Whilst it’s always disappointing to suffer any sort of defeat, United can be proud of the commitment, organisation and application that they showed, having been down to ten men for over an hour against one of the best sides in the Championship. The challenge now is to get back to winning ways against Reading tomorrow evening.

Man of the match: Ronaldo Vieira.

DAVID WATKINS

This was a setback, of that there is no doubt. We didn’t start the game well at all; for the first time this season this back four didn’t look solid with Ayling given a roasting too often, Kyle Bartley strangely off it and even the mighty Pontus looking unsure. Rob Green’s fallibility to a high ball was also evident from the first moments and altogether we looked nervous.

Having said that, the game was probably only lost due to the first penalty and the fact we had to play most of the game with ten men. Brighton didn’t look that good to me and had we been able to hit the target with the couple of chances we created then we might still have pulled off an unlikely escape back to Yorkshire with a point. We didn’t but for all of the Seagulls’ possession and attempts for large parts of the game we nullified them.

It’s history now, and if we can bounce back with two wins at Elland Road in the coming week then we are still right in the thick of the promotion race.

Man of the match: Charlie Taylor.

KEITH INGHAM

Brighton made it six defeats for Leeds from six meetings since 2014, the 2-0 victory took them to the top of the Championship for the first time since August. The South coast club are fast becoming one of Leeds’ ‘bogey’ teams.

Not for the first time, Leeds left the Amex with no points but this time they left with a another suspension hanging over them too, Kalvin Phillips shown a straight red for stopping a goal-bound shot on the goalline. He will miss the Reading game.

Glenn Murray despatched the resultant penalty past Rob Green.

The match as a contest seemed to end with this event, Leeds tried to get back into the game but a well marshalled Brighton defence kept Leeds out.

The display wasn’t the best as Monk said afterwards but in the second half they at least took the game to their hosts but although they had the possession they didn’t do much with it.

Leeds have now faced most of the teams expected to battle it out for the top six, only Reading are to be played and they do that tomorrow.

That is another tough game and Liam Bridcutt may be needed with Phillips suspended and Eunan O’Kane struggling with a injury.

The ‘12th man’ (the fans) will be needed to get the win.

Man of the match: Ronaldo Vieira.

STEPHEN CLARK

Defeat at Brighton last season was a sign that Steve Evans had taken Leeds has far as he could. Defeat on the south coast this term shows how far Garry Monk has taken this team in such a short space of time.

It was a desperately disappointing performance from Leeds on Friday night, but even when playing so poorly, the 2-0 defeat was largely of our own making. Brighton, despite being the better side on the night, were not that much more impressive and the Whites should have no real worries when they take on lesser sides in the next few weeks.

The defeat will hopefully be just a blip, rather than a reversion to type, and we have the ideal opportunity to bounce right back tomorrow night against Reading. The only worry is that the squad is being stretched a little thin, so hopefully we can remain in touch with the promotion pack before the January sales. Who knows we may even have a little extra cash in our pockets?

Man of the match: Charlie Taylor.

MIKE GILL

Disappointing - yes. Two penalties shaped this game. No arguments about the first one. After Rob Green disappeared in search of the ball, Kalvin Phillips had to either let the ball go into the net or do what he did!

After that the result should have been a foregone conclusion but Leeds gradually muscled their way back into the game.

The second penalty was debatable but killed the game off.

You have to lose some games so this may as well be one of them. The right result against Reading will put us black on track.

Man of the match: Charlie Taylor.

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