Match ends, Huddersfield Town 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.
Huddersfield Town 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Huddersfield head coach David Wagner said he "had a feeling" record signing Steve Mounie would return to form before the striker scored twice to end the Terriers' run of four consecutive defeats with victory over Brighton.
Recalled to the starting line-up in place of Laurent Depoitre, Mounie scored his first goals since the opening day of the season.
The 23-year-old, who has struggled with a heel injury, put the hosts in front in the 12th minute when he bundled home Chris Lowe's corner from close range after a flick-on at the near post.
He added his second two minutes before half-time when Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan failed to stop his tame low header following another corner.
"Steve had a difficult period with his injury, but to be honest we all had the feeling he would be able to perform like he did today because in the last two weeks he has looked very good in training," Wagner said.
"We're very happy that we have him back at his best and with Laurent Depoitre, another very good striker, because we're totally aware about the busy period that is in front of us.
"Offensively for sure this was one of our strongest performances of the season."
Brighton struggled to create any meaningful chances and did not have a shot on target until a weak effort from distance by Jose Izquierdo in the 79th minute.
The victory for Huddersfield, their fifth of the season and first since 4 November, takes them above Brighton and into 11th, while Chris Hughton's side fall to 13th and are now five games without a win.
Home comforts see goals return for Terriers
Huddersfield had scored just one goal in the four consecutive defeats since victory over West Brom last month and had only found the net six times in the 14 games since their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season.
But Mounie provided the clinical touch to an impressive attacking display that could have resulted in a greater winning margin.
Tom Ince still remains without a goal for the club since joining them in July but was lively throughout and had six efforts on goal, including when he forced Ryan into a smart save from close range in the second half.
The home side were also a constant threat from set-pieces. The first goal came from a training-ground move, with Christopher Schindler flicking on the ball at the near post, while the second saw the ball well recycled after the initial set-piece delivery was cleared.
Wagner's side now have four wins and 14 points from their eight home games so far this season, a run that, were it to continue, would go a long way to ensuring their Premier League survival.
The Terriers' run of four straight defeats coincided with a spell of three out of four games on the road - the one home game a narrow 2-1 defeat by Manchester City - and they looked a different side in front of their vocal home support compared to recent away games.
"Today was exactly what we need to do at home to be successful," Wagner said.
"We wanted to be on our front foot and press them high. I think it worked as we kept them away from our goal. The boys were brave and invested everything."
Brighton disappoint in defence and attack
Brighton manager Hughton said before kick-off he had been "delighted" with his side's away form in their debut Premier League season, with key victories against West Ham and Swansea on the road.
Against Huddersfield, however, they struggled going forward and were uncharacteristically sloppy at the back for a team who had let in only seven away goals, a record only bettered by league leaders Manchester City and champions Chelsea.
For Huddersfield's opener, Schindler was able to win the ball at the near post before Mounie was allowed to finish unmarked, and for the second goal Mathias Jorgensen was unchallenged as he headed Aaron Mooy's cross back towards the Benin international to score.
The 36 touches by Brighton's top scorer Glenn Murray were the fewest by any player to play 90 minutes, and only two of those came in the Huddersfield penalty area.
Murray had Brighton's only other shot on target, another shot from distance, as Huddersfield's organised defensive display denied Hughton's side any space to build attacks through midfield.
"We did not play at the level we needed to play but you give them a leg up when you concede the goals we conceded," Hughton said.
"That allows a good Huddersfield team playing at home to get in a rhythm and that makes the afternoon a very, very tough one.
"We were better in the second half and showed more of a threat but they could do it with the security of knowing they had a two-goal lead."
Man of the match - Steve Mounie (Huddersfield)
Brighton's woes in Huddersfield - the best stats
- Huddersfield have won three of their past four home games in the Premier League, with the only defeat in this run coming against leaders Manchester City.
- The 2-0 win for Terriers was their first Premier League home victory by more than a one-goal margin.
- Brighton have conceded seven goals in their past two Premier League games, as many they had in their previous nine games in the competition beforehand.
- This was Brighton's second defeat in as many games at the John Smith's Stadium - at no other away venue have they lost more games in all competitions under Chris Hughton.
- Steve Mounie netted his first Premier League goals since August (two against Crystal Palace), ending a run of nine games without any in the competition.
- Mounie is now Huddersfield's top scorer in the Premier League, with two of his four goals coming via headers.
Huddersfield will test their impressive home performances against the Premier League champions on Tuesday when they host Chelsea (20:00 GMT). Brighton, meanwhile, travel to Wembley to face Tottenham on Wednesday (20:00 GMT).
- 25M Jorgensen
- 9KachungaSubstituted forWilliamsat 89'minutes
- 22InceSubstituted forLolleyat 87'minutes
- 24MounieSubstituted forDepoitreat 85'minutes
- 2Saltor Grau
- 21SchelottoSubstituted forMarchat 45'minutes
- 37BrownSubstituted forHemedat 73'minutes
- 13GroßSubstituted forIzquierdoat 63'minutes
- Stuart Attwell
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Huddersfield Town 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.
Collin Quaner (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tomer Hemed (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Danny Williams replaces Elias Kachunga.
Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Joe Lolley replaces Tom Ince.
Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Attempt blocked. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tommy Smith.
Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Laurent Depoitre replaces Steve Mounie.
Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Attempt saved. Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Foul by Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town).
Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Attempt blocked. Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. José Izquierdo (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Markus Suttner.
Attempt missed. Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Steve Mounie.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Bruno.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Markus Suttner tries a through ball, but Shane Duffy is caught offside.
Foul by Zanka (Huddersfield Town).
Tomer Hemed (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Tomer Hemed replaces Isaiah Brown.
Attempt missed. Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan Hogg following a corner.
Attempt missed. Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Collin Quaner.
Attempt missed. Chris Löwe (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan Hogg following a corner.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Markus Suttner.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Shane Duffy.
Attempt blocked. Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan Hogg.
Attempt missed. Tommy Smith (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Foul by Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town).
Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Isaiah Brown.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. José Izquierdo replaces Pascal Groß.
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Bruno tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town) header from a difficult angle on the left is too high. Assisted by Aaron Mooy with a cross following a corner.