A youthful Brighton & Hove Albion side progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a zestful performance in Wales, against second division outfit Cardiff City.
After recording consecutive victories at the inception of a Premier League season for the first time in their history, Brighton continued to ride good fortunes with a commendable performance against sturdy opposition.
Jakub Moder and Andi Zeqiri channelled their talismanic potential to complete a performance that leaves the club in good stead to start a surging run towards the decisive stages of a knockout competition.
Despite fielding a starting lineup differing from the sides that relished success in the two maiden fixtures of the campaign, the Seagulls teased their strength in depth as a plethora of peripheral figures staked claims for further roles in important matches.
Story of the match
Moder opened the scoring with a composed finish after latching onto a simply exquisite through-ball from summer signing Enock Mwepu; the pass was sublime and exposed a hapless defence who could do little but watch as the ball reached its improbable destination.
Not ten minutes after the break, Zeqiri added insult to injury with a brilliantly finessed strike, effectively sealing a convincing result from the edge of the box and providing kindling to the claims behind Graham Potter’s ability as a top-level manager.
In the closing stages, Brighton continued to impress with assured passing moves and constricting defensive manoeuvres.
Stepping in for established shot-stopper Robert Sanchez, Jason Steele played a commanding role in the game, keeping a clean sheet and making a number of convincing saves to reassure his manager in keeping the faith for important future fixtures.
In fairness to Cardiff, their attempts at rectifying early mishaps were not without effort; the three shots on target that the home side managed throughout the game ensued after the 75-minute mark.
Moder emerging as a key figure
It took mere moments for Moder to make his entrance to the 21/22 season, providing a swift finish to a sweeping move that resulted in an equaliser against Burnley on the first match of the term.
Against Cardiff, he proved his worth once again, with the 22-year-old sure to play a more pivotal role as his development enters a new stage; the polish playmaker is not far from becoming a regular figure at the beginning of a Premier League match-week.
Potter’s influence growing
Potter has excelled in bringing Brighton from strength to strength; the club have started the new season splendidly and show no signs of slowing down.
Of course, the manager is the key; his philosophy and innate tactical prowess has presented a method of seeking offensive moments and establishing defensive performances that enables his games to culminate with aplomb.
Next time out
The Seagulls now turn their attention towards an enticing home encounter against Everton in the Premier League, where Potter’s side will attempt to maintain their 100% record in the top-flight.
After an exemplary start, the club have six points out of six with wins over Burnley and Watford.