Teenage superstar Evan Ferguson grabbed his first career hat-trick as Brighton comfortably beat Newcastle in the Premier League. (Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
The Irishman, 18, seems to have every attribute needed to be one of the Premier League’s great strikers – and they were clear for all to see in a dominant Albion performance.
Newcastle squandered two golden opportunities to take the lead in the opening five minutes but Albion recovered well and started creating chances of their own in an entertaining encounter.
With the game on a knife-edge, Ferguson gave Brighton the lead after 27 minutes with a poacher’s finish after Billy Gilmour’s powerful strike was fumbled by Nick Pope.
Will be disappointed not to come away with a clean sheet after barely being troubled all afternoon. He would have done well to stop Callum Wilson's finish in injury-time. The young goalkeeper otherwise didn't put a foot wrong, repaying his manager's faith (Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images for Premier League)
It was a deserved goal for Roberto De Zerbi’s side, who looked dangerous whenever they came forward.
Newcastle barely troubled Bart Verbruggen in the Brighton goal and it was Albion who looked more likely to double their lead.
They did just that when that man Ferguson found the bottom corner from distance with a superb strike. The teenager then bagged his first career hat-trick just minutes later via a heavy deflection.
He was taken off to a standing ovation, as Albion made multiple changes to see out the game.
Such an important player in this team. Went about his business quietly but his presence helped Albion to dominate all over the pitch. Kept the in-form Anthony Gordon quiet (Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
There was a slight blemish to the score-line when Callum Wilson scored a fine goal in injury-time but the Albion fans wouldn’t mind too much after a fantastic display.
Scroll down and click through to see our player ratings.
Would have been a 10 if not for the late goal. The Dutchman was otherwise perfect and kept the dangerous Alexander Isak very quiet. What a performance (Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images) Mr Reliable was imperious at the back as always and was a danger from corners. Deservedly picked for the England team (Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) Guilty of a number of misplaced passes early on which could have been very costly. Recovered well and was a threat going forward. Was involved in the build-up to the opening goal (Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images) Barely put a foot wrong all evening. Made some important tackles and passed the ball around well. Lovely bit of skill to beat two Newcastle players. Vital player in the team. Dictating where people should be. (Photo: Alex Broadway/Getty Images) Absolutely fantastic. Would have been man-of-the-match if not for Evan Ferguson. Looks so confident on the ball. It was his cracking strike that was too hot for Nick Pope to handle and Ferguson did the rest. Provided assist for second goal (Photo: Alex Broadway/Getty Images) What else can you say about this guy? He tormented the Newcastle back-line and could have had more than just one assist to his name on another day. Did his defensive duties well too (Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) Always such a threat. You feel he is still underrated in this Brighton team but is so pivotal. Another fine performance (Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) No goal involvements but he was a thorn in Newcastle's defence. Just lacking that final ball. Things didn't go his way in front of goal but helped drive the team forward (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images) Someone needs to confirm this man's age. Surely he's not only 18? He plays like a striker who's been in the game for years. Faultless performance and a first career hat-trick. The first goal was a poacher's strike, the second a superb strike from distance and the third a tad fortunate but you make your own luck in this game. (Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) Got stuck in with the game already won but earned a booking late on (Photo: Alex Broadway/Getty Images) Great to see him back in the team. Superb cross should have been finished by Mitoma. Booked (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images for Premier League) One of four substitutes to be booked after coming on late in the game. Made some nice passes. (Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images) Nearly scored with his first touch but little time to make much more of an impact (Photo: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images) Helped Brighton to keep things tight in the midfield. Earned a booking for two quick fouls (Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)