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Aaron Connolly scores to help impressive Brighton win at Newcastle

A delightful finish from the Irish international capped a fine performance by Graham Potter’s side.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Aaron Connolly celebrates after scoring in their win over Newcastle United.
Brighton & Hove Albion's Aaron Connolly celebrates after scoring in their win over Newcastle United.
Image: PA

TARIQ LAMPTEY RIPPED Newcastle United to shreds as Brighton & Hove Albion opened their Premier League account with a comfortable victory at St James’ Park.

The 19-year-old wing-back left the Magpies in disarray as Graham Potter’s men raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Neal Maupay’s double inside the opening seven minutes, before Aaron Connolly wrapped up a comprehensive 3-0 win despite Yves Bissouma’s late dismissal.

But if it was Maupay who did the damage, it was Lamptey who paved the way as he repeatedly left defenders trailing in his wake, prompting an agricultural response from a shell-shocked home side, who have never beaten the south coast outfit in the Premier League, a run which extended to seven games.

Having played so well in victory at West Ham last weekend, Newcastle ran out in optimistic mood in front of owner Mike Ashley, but whatever plan they had drawn up was torn apart inside a disastrous opening seven minutes.

Maupay took full advantage of Allan Saint-Maximin’s injudicious challenge on Lamptey inside the box to fire the visitors ahead from a fourth-minute penalty, and the lead was doubled before the Magpies could reset.

Maupay looked to be well offside when the ball was played out to Leandro Trossard on the right, but timed his run to meet the Belgian’s cross and fire home as the flag went up, only for a VAR review to compound the home side’s misery.

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Lamptey was running riot and Javier Manquillo had to sprint back to prevent him from capitalising on Jamal Lewis’ error, before Karl Darlow plucked the goal-bound ball out of the air after the the former Chelsea player’s cross had been turned towards his own net by defender Federico Fernandez.

The Magpies, who had lost Saint-Maximin to injury 12 minutes before the break, created nothing of note as they attempted to work their way back into the game – indeed they did not have a single attempt on target – and continued to look dangerously porous at the back, with Darlow having to save from Lamptey in stoppage time.

Miguel Almiron replaced the ineffective Andy Carroll at the break as Steve Bruce looked to change both shape and fortunes, and his side immediately looked more compact.

Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles missed the target with early attempts and although Darlow had to save Trossard’s 57th-minute strike, the Magpies were enjoying their best spell of the game and Potter responded by sending on towering defender Dan Burn for Lamptey.

The home side might have been back in it with 27 minutes remaining when Almiron picked out Callum Wilson in front of goal, but he nodded over after the ball dropped over the head of the defender in front of him.

Brighton were unfortunate not to extend their lead with 18 minutes remaining when Trossard’s skidding attempt came back off the post, but Connolly made sure as time ran down with a fine curling finish, only Bissouma’s unplanned exit for catching Lewis in the face with his studs marring their day.

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