Neal Maupay reveals what inspired Brighton to 'quality' victory at Leeds

Brighton striker Neal Maupay celebrates his winning goal at Elland RoadBrighton striker Neal Maupay celebrates his winning goal at Elland Road
Brighton striker Neal Maupay celebrates his winning goal at Elland Road
Neal Maupay’s praised a perfect team display as his first-half effort was enough to sink Leeds 1-0 and clinch Brighton their first Premier League win since November.

Maupay tapped home at the far post for his seventh goal of the season in the 17th minute as the Seagulls halted a 10-game winless run in all competitions.

It was a successful return to Elland Road for Brighton’s Ben White, who helped Leeds win promotion during a loan spell last season, while his former club slipped to a third straight defeat under Marcelo Bielsa for the first time in 12 months.

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"It's a big, big moment for us," said Maupay whose seven goals Premier League goals is equal with the kikes of Marcus Rashford, Danny Ings and Alexandre Lacazette.

"A much needed win. We have had some tough weeks and Leeds are a hard team to play.

"The plan was to try and keep the ball and effect them in behind as they are really good at pressing the ball.

"Everything worked well, we defended together and attacked well. It's a good game for us."

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On what it can do for Brighton's season: "It's three points. It's a huge [result] for us, we have quality but we need to push on and get more wins."

Bielsa’s side were bidding to bounce back from last week’s embarrassing FA Cup defeat at Crawley but Leandro Trossard and Alexis Mac Allister’s neat exchange carved Leeds open and Maupay, unmarked at the back post, turned home the latter’s low cross.

Leeds had a golden chance to equalise, but Patrick Bamford somehow failed to make contact with Raphinha’s cross from six yards.

The Seagulls’ confidence soared and they went close again when Trossard’s cross was deflected on to the crossbar by Ayling.

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With half-time approaching, Leeds were struggling to get a grip on the game in the absence of Kalvin Phillips and, on a heavy pitch, repeated misplaced passes invited Brighton on to the offensive.

The home side stepped up a gear after the restart and Jack Harrison fired just wide after Raphinha had cut in from the left as Leeds showed some rare fluency.

But another error at the back almost undid Leeds’ good work. Alioski’s underhit pass was pounced on by Maupay and he fed Trossard, who was a whisker away from making it 2-0.

Bielsa sent on Tyler Roberts for Rodrigo and then Pablo Hernandez for Alioski in a bid to wrestle back control in midfield, which was increasingly being dominated by White.

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He played most of his 46 games for Leeds last season as a centre-half, but was helping Brighton dictate the play from central midfield.

The hosts pressed forward in search of a late equaliser but could not create clear-cut openings, while Brighton defender Adam Webster forced Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla into a low save.