Brighton and Hove Albion 3 – 0 Rotherham United
Brighton – Mäenpää; Rosenior, Bruno, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert MOTM (LuaLua 69′), Stephens, Norwood, Murphy; Hemed, Murphy (Baldock 69′)
Rotherham – Camp; Fisher (Thorpe 89′), Kelly, Ball, Wilson, Mattock; Smallwood, Vaulks; Forde (Allan 45′), Ward, Taylor
Brighton climbed to top of the table last night after their victory over Rotherham United. Goals from Anthony Knockhaert, Glenn Murray and Tomer Hemed saw them ease past their opponents.
There was not much in the game for the first 20 minutes, with both sides competing well and having their fair share of the ball.
It was waiting for a team to take the game by the scruff of the neck and Brighton did just that.
After the visitors failed to clear their lines, the ball fell to Knockaert who showed his class by finding the bottom corner past Lee Camp to give his side a 1-0 lead.
It took the home side only three minutes to double their advantage.
Brighton were patient and fluent on the ball and eventually they found the overlapping full-back, Liam Rosenior, who put in a pinpoint cross towards Glenn Murray who made no mistake as he beat Lee Camp from close range.
Rotherham’s hopes of getting back into the game were prematurely crushed when Stephen Kelly pulled down Glenn Murray inside the area to see the home side be awarded a penalty.
Tomer Hemed took the spot kick and he calmly found the bottom corner to put his side further into the ascendancy.
Rotherham improved in the last 20 minutes of the game as they finally got their passing game going to create a few chances.
When you look at this exuberant display, it enhances my belief that Brighton will definitely be challenging at the top of the league come the end of the season.
If they are to do so it is vitally important that they keep a hold of Anthony Knockaert, Dale Stephens and Lewis Dunk.
All three have the ability to play at a higher level and if the Seagulls are going to go a step further than last term and achieve promotion, all three must remain at the club to be leading forces in their promotion battle.
Rotherham have had a challenging start to their Championship campaign against three teams who will be targeting promotion come May.
After picking up one point from their opening three games, they now go into a run of winnable fixtures and it is important that they get off the mark with a victory on Saturday.
The Millers should improve as the season progresses. Their new signings need time to become accustomed to Alan Stubbs’ tactics, with the manager insisting on playing out from the back.
The Liverpudlian manager has made some good signings so far, but more are needed with left-back and the striking department being the areas in need of strengthening the most.
I thought at times in the first half we rushed it when we were in possession of the ball, we gave it away too quickly. I trust the players, but they have to trust themselves as well when they are in possession of the ball. They will get better, they are some young players in there, but they will get better quickly.
Chris Hughton expressed his delight at his teams performance in his post-match press conference:
We had to wait for our moments. But there were two moments of quality for the first two goals. The clean sheet is as pleasing as the goals. I am delighted with the result and the performances so far in being unbeaten. We have a tough game at Reading on Saturday and we must try and keep the run going. It was a really important win today. You have got to do well at home as it will be tougher away from home.”