Two thousand Seagulls fans were welcomed back for the first time after a nine-month absence, and they watched on as the Saints fought back from a goal down to claim all three points in a game that saw penalties at both ends.
Brighton went ahead when Pascal Gross sent Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy the wrong way from the spot after James Ward-Prowse clearly handled the ball in the box.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's men then found the equaliser just before half-time, with Ward-Prowse making up for his earlier error to pick out Jan Vestergaard, who headed home the midfielder's corner.
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Then, with 10 minutes remaining, substitute Danny Ings fired home on his return from injury after Southampton were awarded a controversial penalty, with Brighton players claiming the foul took place outside the area.
In the early exchanges the supporters looked to give their side an immediate boost, with Brighton starting on the front foot, and forcing McCarthy off his line to gather on two occasions.
Brighton had to wait until the 25th minute to take the lead when referee David Coote pointed to the spot after a Danny Welbeck cross hit the raised arms of Ward-Prowse. Gross converted confidently to open the scoring.
The home side looked to get forward at every opportunity while Southampton struggled to get going despite their recent quick starts against Manchester United, Newcastle and Aston Villa.
Against the run of play, the Saints struck the equaliser just before the break. Ward-Prowse continued his impressive record from set-pieces, crossing the ball for Vestergaard to head past Mat Ryan.
At the start of the second half, Tariq Lamptey pushed up the right wing before playing the ball back to Gross, who fired over the bar. It was the first time the Brighton supporters will have seen Lamptey in person following his move in January from Chelsea.
In the 79th minute, Kyle Walker-Peters was brought down by Solly March, with the referee initially awarding a free-kick before a lengthy VAR intervention changed the decision to a penalty.
Ings struck the spot-kick into the net, marking his seventh goal of the season, and his side held on for the victory.
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