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Seagulls spot on to pluck Leeds


Glenn Murray scores

Glenn Murray scores

Glenn Murray scores

Penalties in each half from Glenn Murray and substitute Tomer Hemed sent Brighton to the top of the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Leeds.

The Seagulls, unbeaten in 14 games and winners of six of their last eight matches, are now eight points clear of third-placed Reading.

Leeds were forced to battle for 66 minutes with 10 men after the sending-off of Kalvin Phillips in the incident that led to Murray giving Albion the lead.

United rarely threatened before a crowd of 28,206, which included nearly 3,000 from Yorkshire, and Seagulls keeper David Stockdale had very little to do.

Brighton went into the clash having won their previous five fixtures against Leeds and boss Chris Hughton made three changes, with left-back Sebastien Pocognoli making his Seagulls home league debut in place of the suspended Gaetan Bong.

Anthony Knockaert was recalled for Jiri Skalak and Oliver Norwood came in for Steve Sidwell. Record signing Shane Duffy should have hit the target for the Seagulls in only the 12th minute when he failed to get on the end of a teasing free-kick from Norwood.

Albion went in front on 24 minutes when home scoring specialist Murray took his tally for the season to 12 with a coolly-taken penalty, awarded when Leeds midfielder Phillips saw red for handling a goal-bound attempt from Lewis Dunk on the goal line following a corner by Knockaert.

Murray might have done better shortly after when he headed a Knockaert corner into the side netting at the back post.

Leeds rarely threatened in the first half but striker Chris Wood fluffed a snap-shot opportunity when well placed after a scuffed shot from Hadi Sacko.

Former England keeper Green came to United's rescue in stoppage time by tipping a Murray shot over after good work from Pocognoli.

Green produced an important save shortly after the interval to block a goal-bound strike from Jamie Murphy after good work from Knockaert.

Brighton manager Hughton made his first change when Solly March was introduced for the injured Murphy for the final 24 minutes.

Duffy was in an offside position when he had the ball in the net for the Seagulls on 70 minutes after Dunk headed down a Knockaert cross.

But Brighton continued to look the more threatening and doubled their lead seven minutes from time when Leeds captain Kyle Bartley held Dunk back in the area and substitute Hemed calmly sent Green the wrong way from the penalty spot.