Teenager Evan Ferguson scored a hat-trick to demonstrate his remarkable potential and help Brighton lay down a marker for another special Premier League season as they outgunned Newcastle.
Both sides discovered their European groups this week after overachieving last term – and Albion look far better placed than the Magpies to challenge near the top this time round.
Republic of Ireland striker Ferguson pounced from close range after goalkeeper Nick Pope had spilled Billy Gilmour’s long-range effort.
The 18-year-old curled home a beauty from 25 yards to make it 2-0 – and then hit another, via a huge Fabian Schar deflection, for his 10th Premier League goal and his first hat-trick.
He becomes only the fourth player to score a Premier League hat-trick before their 19th birthday after Chris Bart-Williams, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.
Newcastle’s first shot on target did not come until the 87th minute and they scored with their second, as Callum Wilson chased down a long ball to fire home in injury time. However, it was far too late to threaten any comeback.
Slick Albion catch the eye again
Brighton’s continuing success is a genuine rarity at the top end of club football, with an excellent set-up meaning they just keep going despite bigger and richer clubs taking their stars.
When boss Graham Potter left for Chelsea, Roberto de Zerbi came in and made them better. When left-back Marc Cucurella went to the Blues for £60m, Pervis Estupinan replaced him and made them better.
Their key midfielders Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister went to Chelsea for £100m and Liverpool for £35m respectively this summer. And here they are on three wins from four games – above those teams.
Ferguson, as prodigious a talent as he is, might not have been given a regular run of games at another club after moving from Bohemians in 2021.
They are in their first European campaign this season, in the Europa League, but if they can balance both who knows what competition they could be in next season?
Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma and Lewis Dunk all had chances to score before Ferguson’s triple made him the first non-English player to hit 10 Premier League goals before their 19th birthday.
It is still early days and they have had a tough start in terms of fixtures, but Newcastle – who discovered their Champions League group this week – have lost three of their opening four games.
They had to make their first change to the starting line-up this season, with Sven Botman injured and Matt Targett replacing him, and had two chances to score in the opening three minutes with Alexander Isak twice shooting wide.
Sadly they were probably their best chances until the death when Wilson ran onto Sean Longstaff’s long ball to score a consolation.
Brighton & Hove Albion
- 29van Hecke
- 13GroßSubstituted forAdingraat 89′minutes
- 11GilmourSubstituted forDahoudat 77′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 7MarchSubstituted forLallanaat 81′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 9João PedroSubstituted forLampteyat 77′minutesBooked at 83mins
- 28FergusonSubstituted forMilnerat 81′minutesBooked at 86mins
- 3dos Santos de Paulo
- 5SchärBooked at 43mins
- 33BurnBooked at 76mins
- 13TargettBooked at 68minsSubstituted forLascellesat 74′minutes
- 8TonaliSubstituted forS Longstaffat 58′minutes
- 39Bruno Guimarães
- 7JoelintonSubstituted forWilsonat 58′minutes
- 24AlmirónSubstituted forAndersonat 58′minutes
- 14IsakSubstituted forBarnesat 74′minutes
- 10GordonBooked at 23mins
- 36S Longstaff
- Stuart Attwell
Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Newcastle United 1.
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Newcastle United 1.
Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. James Milner tries a through ball, but Kaoru Mitoma is caught offside.
Mahmoud Dahoud (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Simon Adingra (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United).
Foul by Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Harvey Barnes (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Newcastle United 1. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sean Longstaff.
Foul by Mahmoud Dahoud (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Lewis Dunk tries a through ball, but Pervis Estupiñán is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Simon Adingra (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kaoru Mitoma.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Simon Adingra replaces Pascal Groß.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Pervis Estupiñán tries a through ball, but Kaoru Mitoma is caught offside.