LONDON • Brighton and Hove Albion's players may have pinched themselves through the first few weeks of their return to the English Premier League, but they will now feel as if they properly belong among England's top-tier sides.
West Bromwich Albion were swept aside 3-1 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday with aplomb, as Tony Pulis barked his disgust at his side's slack display from the sidelines.
This was a win for the locals to savour, a victory 34 years in the waiting.
The last team Brighton had beaten in the English top flight were Coventry City, now of League Two, back in April 1983.
They had never defeated West Brom at this level, though in truth, they must have sensed this was their day from the early stages, so off-colour were the visitors.
It still took time for them to ease into an advantage but once Pascal Gross, one of the more impressive performers as Ingolstadt slipped out of the German Bundesliga last term, had found his range, confidence flooded through their play.
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They will have few afternoons this comfortable over the campaign ahead.
Gross scored twice before setting up Tomer Hemed for the third. Substitute James Morrison pulled one back for West Brom.
Brighton had failed to find the net in their first three league outings, taking only one point in the process, but they deservedly brought West Brom's unbeaten start to the campaign to a halt.
"It is good to get that first win under our belts and not only to score three goals, but arguably, we got in good enough positions to score more," said Brighton manager Chris Hughton.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis bemoaned Brighton's goals as "a kick in the goolies". "Brighton were better than us," he admitted.
They have now won only three of 16 games against newly-promoted opposition under Pulis.
THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN