Brighton & Hove Albion have pulled six points clear of the Premier League drop zone with a dominant 3-0 win over fellow relegation-battlers Newcastle United.
Steve Bruce’s visitors went into the game having won just two of their past 17 league matches and were unable to improve their fortunes, while Brighton recorded just their second league victory at home this campaign.
Leandro Trossard’s curled opener put the hosts ahead just before the break.
Danny Welbeck then doubled Brighton’s lead with a well-struck shot into the corner six minutes into the second half, and Neal Maupay’s 68th-minute volley sealed all three points.
Brighton boss Potter hailed a “fantastic” performance.
“The players were brave, smart, worked hard and reacted when we lost the ball… The way we got the points will give the players a lot of confidence and it is reward for their efforts,” he said on Sky Sports.
The result, in the only Premier League match of the day, leaves Newcastle just two points ahead of 18th-placed Fulham, although the Cottagers have played one game more.
Bruce was left disappointed by his side’s approach.
“We were simply beaten by a far better team on the night… We were nowhere near the levels we should be,” he said on Sky Sports:
“That is a big concern because in a big game, we didn’t do enough.”
Brighton started brightly and after half an hour the Seagulls had enjoyed 75 per cent of the possession and dominating the chances created.
Newcastle had to wait until the 37th minute for their first meaningful chance when Jamaal Lascelles headed wide at the far post.
Just before the half-time break the Magpies lost Isaac Hayden, who was hurt in a challenge with Yves Bissouma and had to be carried off on a stretcher.
Moments later, Brighton took the lead with Trossard picking up the ball on the edge of the box before turning and curling it into the top corner.
Newcastle went close to equalising at the start of the second half but Ryan Fraser’s curling effort found the woodwork rather than the net.
The Seagulls doubled their lead almost immediately, Welbeck cutting inside on to his right foot before firing the ball past Martin Dubravka from 20 yards.
In the 68th minute, Brighton made sure of the points when a cross from Pascal Gross was volleyed in by Maupay – the Brighton No.9 ending a nine-game goal drought.