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Brighton flies past Newcastle as teenager Evan Ferguson bags hat trick

Evan Ferguson’s scored three goals and Brighton cooked predictable Newcastle

Highlights: Brighton 3, Newcastle United 1
Evan Ferguson's hat-trick guides Brighton to dominant 3-1 win over Newcastle United at the Amex.

Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United both entered Saturday’s Premier League match at the Amex Stadium with sour tastes in their mouths, but only one left with a cleansed palette.

Evan Ferguson scored three goals as Brighton overran its visitors 3-1 to move back into the top-four ahead of the international break.

[ WATCH: Premier League on Peacock ]

Callum Wilson took down Sean Longstaff’s long punt to bring Newcastle onto the scoreboard in stoppage time.

The Seagulls bounced back from dominating West Ham but being countered-to-death in a 3-1 loss, while Newcastle has now lost three-straight mettle tests after beating Villa handily to start the year (Man City, Liverpool, Brighton).

De Zerbi’s bounce back plan wipes floor with predictable Newcastle

At the risk of following a predictable plot line, Roberto De Zerbi and Eddie Howe took two very different avenues to bouncing back and De Zerbi’s plan came out looking decidedly superior.

Brighton dominated West Ham but that didn’t stop De Zerbi from making three changes. Joao Pedro came in for Danny Welbeck while Joel Veltman and Jan-Paul van Hecke took the places of Adam Webster and James Milner. It was another all-world day for left back Pervis Estupinan, who had nine recoveries and created two chances. Kaoru Mitoma was a menace — so too, obviously, was Ferguson — and Brighton looks set to compete all fronts.

Newcastle made one change from the side that could’ve solve Alisson and 10-man Liverpool, and that was on account of Sven Botman’s injury.

And while the Dutchman is immense in stature as both a player and his role in Newcastle’s success, a UEFA Champions League side shouldn’t fall off a cliff at the exit of one man.

The Magpies midfield was straight-up worked by Brighton. It was bad even before Howe removed steely Sandro Tonali and Joelinton, and it was hopeless with Sean Longstaff and Elliot Anderson joining star Bruno Guimaraes in giving Brighton’s Pascal Gross, Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma, and Billy Gilmour a one-dimensional group to traipse through for two more Ferguson goals.

Harvey Barnes will join new signings Lewis Hall and Valentino Livramento wondering when their chances to start will come, and Callum Wilson won’t be happy to have to wait to join Alexander Isak on the pitch. But the truth is that Isak taking four shots after the team found him for just 30 touches is a problem in itself.

There will be an inclination to overreact at Newcastle and, yes, the Magpies have failed three tests against would-be top-four rivals. And maybe that’s fair. But all the negative notes aside, Brighton remains a fantastic football club that is passing every test sent its way.

Moises who? Alexis who? Yves who? Cucu-who? Leandro who? Ben who?

What’s next?

The international break!

Newcastle then hosts dangerous Brentford on Sunday, Sept. 17 before going to AC Milan two days later to start UEFA Champions League group stage play. Oof.

Brighton faces a stern test at Manchester United on Saturday, Sept. 16 and then welcomes AEK Athens to start Europa League group action at the Amex on Thursday, Sept. 21.

How to watch Brighton vs Newcastle live, stream link, time

Kickoff: 12:30pm ET, Saturday (Sept. 2)

TV channel: NBC

Online: Watch online via NBCSports.com & Peacock Premium

Updates
Roberto De Zerbi reaction — Ferguson ceiling high

Roberto De Zerbi with some absolutely huge praise for 18-year-old hat trick hero Evan Ferguson, via The Argus:

“About Evan Ferguson I am very delighted today but not for the goals. The goals, we can be happy now because we won. But I am really pleased for the performance.
In the first half he played very well, he found the right positions between the lines.

“Sometimes he received the ball from JP van Hecke or Lewis Dunk or Bill Gilmour. Newcastle defended 4-4-1-1 and there is the open space to receive the ball for the striker. He understood very well that position.

“I have in my head a lot of times – JP van Hecke, Ferguson - and his improvement is important for him, for us, for his career. He is working to complete his qualities. Not only score.

“He can become big, big, big. His qualities are enough to become a great player. How big? One of the best scorers in Europe. He is 18. I don’t how many players as young as Evan score these goals in their career.”

Eddie Howe reaction — ‘Very realistic’ as losing streak hits three

Here are Eddie Howe’s take on the Magpies’ third-straight loss in Premier League play (from The Newcastle Chronicle):

“I am very realistic. Of course, there are concerns when you are not winning and have lost three in a row. I am not naive to that. You have factors and reasons, the fixture list was very tough for us. My job is to be calm and analyze where we can better then go to work on where we can get better.”

“Tough result for us. Could have been very different and in the early stages of the game we had some good chances. We didn’t take them and the goals we conceded especially the first were tough.”

Evan Ferguson reaction — ‘Delighted’ to join select teenage list

If you were an 18-year-old who became just the fifth player to score a Premier League hat trick as a teenager, the low bar for your enthusiasm should be here.

Cheers to Evan Ferguson for keeping it calm.

Ferguson 'delighted' with hat-trick v. Newcastle
Evan Ferguson shares his thoughts on his first senior hat-trick for Brighton in a 3-1 win over Newcastle United at the Amex.

Brighton vs Newcastle player ratings

The numbers speak for themselves.

Brighton-vs-Newcastle-player-ratings.png

Brighton vs Newcastle player ratings (fotmob)

Brighton vs Newcastle player ratings (fotmob)

FULL TIME — Brighton 3-1 Newcastle

A forgettable day for Newcastle as Brighton reminds the Premier League not to forget their style.

The Seagulls have won for the third time in four matches and been the better side in all four. This was the best side they’ve faced yet — with apologies to West Ham — and Roberto De Zerbi’s flat-out splattered the Champions League-bound Magpies.

Luton, Wolves, West Ham, and now Newcastle. Who would bet against them even away to Manchester United in Week 5?

90'+2 GOAL — Callum Wilson

Food for thought for Howe, as Callum Wilson has not quit and the Magpies are on the board.

Sean Longstaff boots a hopeful long ball behind the Seagulls back line and Wilson is at full sprint.

He wins it, beats his man, and then Bart Verbruggen to ruin the young Dutch keeper’s clean sheet.

3-1 to Brighton.

71st minute GOAL — Evan Ferguson hat trick

It takes a wicked turn off Fabian Schar but it should still be a hat trick for the 18-year-old (not 19 til October).

Evan Ferguson’s feasting on the spoils of a predictable if not very poor midfield display from Newcastle, who was already down when Tonali and Joelinton were lifted for Longstaff and Anderson. It has not worked.

Now Isak and Targett come off for Harvey Barnes and Jamaal Lascelles.

Not a way to finish the international break for Newcastle. Sparking bounce back from Brighton.

Ferguson completes hat-trick against Newcastle
Evan Ferguson completes his hat-trick to make it 3-0 for Brighton against Newcastle Untied at the Amex.

65th minute GOAL — Evan Ferguson

What in the world is Newcastle doing?

Evan Ferguson gets the ball 15 yards outside the 18 on an entry from the back line.

The Magpies are set up and Dan Burn backs off but no midfielder is in sight. Ferguson figures why not and smashes home from 24 yards.

So easy. 2-0, Brighton.

Ferguson doubles Brighton's lead against Newcastle
Evan Ferguson scores his second goal of the match with perfectly-struck long-range effort to give Brighton a 2-0 lead over Newcastle.

57th minute subs — Newcastle make trio of moves

Nothing’s changed except a bit more possession for Newcastle, so Eddie Howe is ringing in three subs.

It will be Callum Wilson joining Alexander Isak up top, as Joelinton, Sandro Tonali, and Miguel Almiron exit.

Also coming into the fray are Sean Longstaff and Elliot Anderson. No Harvey Barnes, for now.

HALFTIME — Brighton 1-0 Newcastle

Newcastle has a lot of work to do to seize control of this game. At this point, you feel the club would take a point.

It’s not total control for the hosts, but it’s superiority to be sure.

The Seagulls have more than 60 percent of the ball and have taken 12 shots to Newcastle’s four. The xG line is 1.24-0.51.

Actually, you could make the argument that apart from the first four minutes it is total control for Brighton.

37th minute — Brighton comfortable with the lead

We mentioned before kickoff that Roberto De Zerbi reacted in a big way to a 3-1 loss that saw his side dominant but finish-free, and that Eddie Howe did very little different after the loss to Liverpool.

It’s a one-goal game, but De Zerbi’s winning this battle at home and Howe’s going to have to find a fix for his team. Anthony Gordon has taken another yellow card and could play into any change in plans.

Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak together, anyone? Harvey Barnes for Gordon in a straight swap?Or will Newcastle find a leveler and swing the first half momentum back to the visitors’ side?

Let’s see.

27th minute GOAL — Evan Ferguson

Nick Pope’s relative struggles continue and this one’s led to a goal.

The ex-Burnley keeper has a horrible clearance right to Brighton. He makes a first intervention of sorts on a shot-cross, but then can’t handle Billy Gilmour’s hard rip to his chest.

The rebound is not going to be a problem for Evan Ferguson, and it’s 1-0 to the Seagulls.

Ferguson gives Brighton lead v. Newcastle
Evan Ferguson slots home the rebound from Billy Gilmour's long-range effort to put Brighton 1-0 up over Newcastle United.

14th minute — As advertised!

The Magpies and Seagulls are playing wide-open football. We’re just missing goals!

Solly March has sent an arrow just wide of the top corner while both teams have had multiple pretty passing sequences.

The goals, or at least sizzling chances, are inevitable at the Amex Stadium.

3rd minute — Newcastle come out flying

Newcastle has twice threatened the Brighton 18 in the first 200 seconds of this match!

First it’s a sliding block from Brighton to deny Alexander Isak near the six-yard-box, and then Isak gets a Sandro Tonali feed and just misses the near post from 20 yards.

It’s challenging to predict what will happen here given two wide-open teams coming off anger-inducing results last weekend.

Brighton dominated West Ham but lost 3-1 and that’s probably why there are two strikers in Joao Pedro and Evan Ferguson atop Roberto De Zerbi’s attack.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, always very loyal, keeps things the same and figures the edge is bound to return to a side that just couldn’t beat Alisson (and 10-man Liverpool) a second time.

Brighton lineup out!

Roberto De Zerbi not happy from last week, and it shows.

Joao Pedro and Evan Ferguson start together, and Joel Veltman moves into the fold for Adam Webster.

Newcastle lineup out!

Dan Burn slides into center back against his old team as Sven Botman misses out through injury.

Matt Targett slides into left back. Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson remain on the bench.

Newcastle team news, lineup options

The Magpies injury list has grown to include Sven Botman, a fixture of the team’s strong back line.

Emil Krafth and Joe Willock remain out, while Javi Manguillo, Joelinton, and new signing Lewis Hall all await readiness checks.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has exclusively used Callum Wilson and Harvey Barnes off the bench to start the season and the duo boast the team’s best combined xG+xA/90 numbers. Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon are next, while Miguel Almiron has the most minutes of the bunch but is yet to score nor assist. Let’s see if the famously loyal Howe makes a move.

Brighton team news, lineup options

Brighton is still waiting on the return of Jakub Moder but a fresh injury to Julio Enciso really stings as the teenage Paraguayan looked so bright early this season.

The Seagulls have three players with three goal contributions through three games: fullback Pervis Estupinan, winger Kaoru Mitoma, and playmaker Solly March.

That last name, oddly enough, has yet to register an assist after piling up seven to go with his seven goals last season. March has become one of the most overlooked stars in the Premier League.