Six things we learned from Brighton's win against Coventry

Leonardo Ulloa celebrates scoring his first goal since rejoining Brighton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Leonardo Ulloa celebrates scoring his first goal since rejoining Brighton. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Goals from debutant Jurgen Locadia, Connor Goldson and Leonardo Ulloa took Brighton to a 3-1 win against Coventry this afternoon. Here's six things we learned from the game.

A day of positives

Connor Goldson celebrates putting Albion 2-0 ahead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Connor Goldson celebrates putting Albion 2-0 ahead. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

It was pretty much a perfect day for Albion as Jurgen Locadia netted on his debut, Leonardo Ulloa scored his first goal since returning to the club and they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Popular defender Connor Goldson also scored his first goal since April, 2016, but the visitors had their moments and were twice denied by the woodwork.

Some Brighton fans questioned whether a cup run was a priority earlier in the year. However, the wins over Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough have helped breed confidence throughout the squad and the Seagulls are now unbeaten in five matches heading into next weekend's crucial Premier League clash with Swansea.

Another point to make is Albion made nine changes from last week's 1-1 draw at Stoke, which just shows the strength in depth the club now has.

The only frustration will be not keeping a clean sheet but Albion will not worry too much about that as they progressed past Coventry with a professional display.

Cup fever in Sussex

Brighton are through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 32 years and the Seagulls are now just one game from Wembley.

Albion were FA Cup runners-up the last time they were in the top flight in 1982/83 and were last in the quarter-finals in 1986.

After some difficult times, Brighton have been a club on the up since moving to the Amex and are a team the Sky Blues may look at as inspiration.

The 1987 FA Cup winners have fallen from the Premier League to League Two in the past 18 seasons but are still on the fringes of a play-off place despite three successive league defeats. With more showings like this, Mark Robins' side will give themselves an excellent chance to finish in the top seven.

Albion will hope for another home tie when the quarter-final draw is made tonight to keep fans dreaming of a second trip to Wembley this season.

Up and running straight away

It took club record signing Jurgen Locadia just 15 minutes to score his first goal for the Seagulls.

Albion fans were eager to see the new frontman in action and he had already struck a post after just four minutes, before he opened his account for the club.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton was keen to stress pre-match that there is no pressure on Locadia but there is little doubt the Seagulls need the Dutch striker to hit the ground running in their battle to stay in the Premier League.

The £14m signing from PSV Eindhoven neatly swept home Anthony Knockaert's low cross after just 15 minutes to score his first goal for the club - the 24-year-old also had a dream debut for PSV in 2012 when he scored a hat-trick.

Locadia looked a threat throughout and showed some nice touches on the ball. It was an encouraging debut and his arrival certainly gives Hughton plenty of options to choose from up front.

Popular scorer alert

Loud cheers erupted at the Amex after all three goals but especially after those scored by Connor Goldson and Leonardo Ulloa.

Popular defender Goldson missed the second half of last season after a heart operation but has looked assured and composed whenever called upon this season.

He hasn't played as many minutes in the Premier League as he'd have liked owing to the form of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy but the cup run has given him valuable minutes.

And Ulloa's first goal since returning to the Amex was also a special moment for the fans' favourite frontman, whose name was bellowed out by the Seagulls fans throughout the game.

It was also a nice little confidence-booster for the striker, who scored for the first time since December, 2016, after struggling for game time at Leicester in recent months.

Fans out in force

Fans from both clubs were out in force for the fifth round tie, with an attendance of 26,966 at the Amex.

Coventry brought 4,500 fans hoping for another giant killing after knocking Premier League Stoke out in the third round. The atmosphere was rocking pre-match but Jurgen Locadia's early goal briefly knocked the stuffing out of the Sky Blues supporters.

They found their voice again in the second period and they had much to be proud of with their side's display. They twice hit the woodwork - the first time at 0-0 - and Jonson Clarke-Harris' 77th-minute strike helped the visitors finish on top.

There was also a good atmosphere among the Seagulls supporters, who sang Chris Hughton's name for a good few minutes in the first half - perhaps as a point to BBC pundit Garth Crooks, who last week said the Albion manager's name is not sung enough by Brighton fans?

Confidence building

A five-game unbeaten run takes Albion into the rest of the season in a confident mood.

Glenn Murray's fluky winner in the the fourth round win at Middlesbrough has been the catalyst for the upturn in form but competition for places is also high.

Despite the nine changes today, Albion fielded a team which would not look out of place in a Premier League fixture. The squad is arguably as strong as it has ever been.

A positive result against Swansea next weekend will see the Seagulls head into their match with Arsenal at the Amex the following week hoping they can get a point - or more - against a top six side for the first time this season.

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