A memorable night for teenager Jack Hinshelwood helped to lift Brighton and Hove Albion to a second Premier League win since September by beating Brentford 2-1.

18-year-old Hinshelwood stole the headlines with a first senior goal for the Seagulls, which saw him already reach half the total his father, Adam, achieved in seven years with the club as a centre-back.

Elsewhere, it was a night of near-total control for Brighton, for whom a threadbare squad was of little concern as they played the ball around Brentford with ease.

The Bees did take the lead through Bryan Mbeumo’s first-half penalty, but that was as good as it got, leading to some big lessons about the different quality on show from the sides.

  • Brighton revel in teenage kicks

With seven players out injured and two more suspended for this meeting, Brighton did not exactly have the luxury of choice for their starting line-up.

The most eye-catching element of Roberto De Zerbi’s chosen XI, however, was the sheer weight of youth.

Alongside Hinshelwood, fellow 18-year-old Facundo Buonanotte and 19-year-old Carlos Baleba formed a key part of the team in midfield, and if anything, it was a surprise Evan Ferguson did not start too.

For all three of the teenagers who started the game, it was their most assured and impactful performance of the season.

That is not an easy bar to pass, as even in the past week, Hinshelwood was immense in Athens against Greek champions AEK and Buonanotte deserved his excellent goal at Chelsea.

Still, they showed even greater maturity in a tough task against Brentford.

The Bees are a highly organised team, and though they sat back too often at The Amex, that could easily have caused Brighton’s youngsters doubts in possession.

De Zerbi’s tutelage has worked wonders for them all, though, and they looked comfortable beyond their years, with teenage kicks on show right through the night.

  • Brentford’s defensive issues continue

Another Premier League side to suffer several injuries in key areas this season, Brentford have flitted in and out of form as their lack of squad depth has been exposed.

At The Amex, it was the lack of full-backs Rico Henry and Aaron Hickey that felt like the pivotal factor behind a limp performance.

The pair have been impactful in both defence and attack whenever paired together, and with both out concurrently, it fell to Mads Roerslev and Vitaly Janelt – who also became captain for the evening – to take their places.

On a night of unorthodox full-backs, though, the fact Thomas Frank’s ranks had a greater amount of defending to do led to an unsightly exposure of their limitations.

Roerslev may be an effective wing-back but was entirely unsuited for a one-on-one role against Kaoru Mitoma, who stampeded down the left flank with unforgivable ease.

Janelt, meanwhile, had a similar role to countryman Pascal Gross and while he was responsible for Brentford’s best move of the game, breaking through the Brighton ranks to earn his side a penalty, his defending was at times lacking.

They should both have been assisted by those in front of them, but Keane Lewis-Potter, Saman Ghoddos and others never showed enough appetite for disrupting Brighton’s rhythm.

Overall, it was a tough night for the Bees, who made it too easy for their ravenous hosts.

  • Seagulls ride their luck

As we have witnessed several times this season, Brighton’s game under De Zerbi requires an element of risk and reward.

In this meeting, Brentford had almost none of the ball but could have easily had two goals to get at least a draw out of the game.

Janelt’s burst forward in the first half was too easy in drawing Jan Paul van Hecke into a clumsy foul, while Gross’ dithering at the back led Frank Onyeka to set up Yoane Wissa for a shot which Hinshelwood had to clear off the line only five minutes into the second half.

It led to some nervy times for Brighton fans, while the failure to finish two or three chances created after Hinshelwood’s goal gave Brentford a route back had they been brave enough to take it.

The Seagulls inevitably eased off late on as the gruelling schedule caught up with them, but against stronger, less injury-plagued opponents, it could have been a different story entirely.

Having been an issue that scarred the side during the Graham Potter era, there are still some lessons to learn about finishing off games.

  • Frank suffers striking woes

Having Neal Maupay as your main striking option is something both sets of fans can sympathise with after Brentford’s latest injury setback.

Already without Ivan Toney and Kevin Schade, the Bees lost the even more important Bryan Mbeumo in this meeting after the forward suffered a hamstring tweak in the first half.

Until the extent of Mbeumo’s injury becomes clear or Schade can return from a similar issue in a few weeks, Frank must now make do and mend with Maupay and Wissa as his striking options.

On paper, and based on this meeting, the pair are too similar to succeed together.

Busy, diminutive forwards who love to poach and press defenders, the France-born duo did not cause enough issues for Brighton’s physically dominant – but also mobile – centre-back partnership of Igor and van Hecke.

This was a relatively untested centre-back pair, with both Igor and van Hecke tending to play better when paired with Lewis Dunk, so Brentford should be questioning their strikers and the tactics that led them to be too reserved on the road.

While they will be thankful for an uncluttered schedule against Sheffield United and Aston Villa before Christmas, matches against Wolves and Crystal Palace before the new year will then require some quick thinking from Frank.

They must speculate to accumulate, and that means trusting some less experienced figures in Lewis-Potter, Mikkel Damsgaard and Myles Peart-Harris.

Exciting times for those younger players, then, but there is plenty of hard work ahead based on this performance.

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