Joao Teixeira underlined his billing by his Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard as a Premier League star in the making with a debut goal to help seal a first league win of the season for Brighton here tonight.
The Portuguese midfielder made an instant impact after arriving on a season-long loan, as the visitors took advantage of a woeful display by Leeds to secure a first three points for new manager Sami Hyypia.
After breaking the deadlock inside five minutes with a clinical strike, the 21-year-old won an 85th minute free-kick thrashed home by substitute Kazenga Lualua from 18 yards to underline his side’s dominance. The result denied Leeds a third consecutive home victory in a week, but the hosts could have few complaints as they were second best in every department.
Danny Holla curled a 25-yard free-kick inches over early on, but Hyypia’s side didn’t have long to wait to take advantage of an abject first-half display from the hosts.
Teixeira took less than five minutes to make his mark. Leeds were slow to cover when the 21-year-old took a Bruno Salter pass in his stride to surge into the box and finish with a confident low effort past Marco Silvestri from a diminishing angle for his side’s first league goal of the campaign.
Brighton’s urgency was in contrast to the lethargy shown by the hosts. When Billy Sharp and Matt Smith combined to tee up Leeds’ first shot in anger, almost half an hour had elapsed as Luke Murphy’s angled drive from 15 yards was well blocked by Holla. The majority of the action was at the opposite end, and Teixeira’s persistence created an opening for Craig Mackail-Smith, one that was thwarted by a timely intervention from Michael Tonge.
Leeds were booed off at the interval after enjoying another escape as an unmarked Inigo Calderon sent a looping far post header over from Adam Chicksen’s centre.
The margin of victory should have been greater, with Rohan Ince hitting the post late on after being put though by Mackail-Smith as Brighton extended their five month unbeaten away league record.
Leeds United (4-4-2): Silvestri; Byram, Pearce, Cooper, Warnock; Austin, Bianchi, Tonge, Murphy (Cook 81); Smith (Ajose h-t), Sharp (Poleon 80).
Substitutes not used Taylor, Bellusci, Wootton, Norris. Brighton & Hove
Albion (4-3-3): Stockdale; Calderon, Greer, Dunk, Chicksen; Holla (Ince 75, Forster-Caskey, Bruno; Agustien (LuaLua 59), Teixeira (Hughes 90), Mackail-Smith.
Substitutes not used Ankergren, Toko, McCourt, O’Grady. Referee J Adcock (Nottinghamshire).