- Albion beaten on the opening day of the season
- Roberto Pereyra strikes twice for Watford
- Bernardo, Yves Bissouma and Alireza Jahanbakhsh all make their Albion debuts
- The Seagulls are back in action against Manchester United next Sunday
Brighton & Hove Albion were consigned to defeat on the opening day of the Premier League season, after a 2-0 loss to Watford at Vicarage Road.
Roberto’s Pereyra’s brace was enough to give the Hornets all three points, as Albion were undone by two fine finishes from the Argentine winger.
Chris Hughton named new full-back Bernardo in the starting line-up, while fellow summer signings Yves Bissouma and Alireza Jahanbakhsh were all introduced from the bench for their competitive debuts.
Albion worked their first real opening of the game when Davy Propper found Glenn Murray with an enticing ball into the box, but the latter narrowly failed to make contact.
Watford broke straight away on the counter-attack, and Maty Ryan had to be alert to keep out Andre Gray’s strike at his near post.
The Hornets continued to apply the pressure and came close again through a Jose Holebas set-piece, which deflected behind for a corner.
The hosts thought they had taken the lead when Holebas’s effort rebounded into the path of Troy Deeney, but Ryan made a brilliant two-handed save to deny the skipper.
Anthony Knockaert showed some tireless running out on the flank and laid the ball off for Bruno, and the Albion skipper’s cross was met on the volley by Dale Stephens, but the ball sailed wide of the far post.
After sustaining a spell of Watford pressure, Solly March broke forward and picked out Knockaert, who cut inside, but Pascal Gross couldn’t quite divert the ball past Ben Foster.
But it was the hosts that broke the deadlock through Pereyra, who rifled in a volley from a corner with 35 minutes on the clock.
Albion looked to respond through Gross, whose cross found Murray in the centre, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
Watford had a golden opportunity to double their advantage shortly after the re-start, but Christian Kabasele headed a Holebas set-piece over the bar.
Pereyra was on target again with 54 minutes played, as the Argentine cut inside off the left and sent a right-footed shot beyond Ryan to double the lead.
Hughton brought on Bissouma for his Albion debut in place of Gross, and the Malian had a chance to bring the Seagulls back to the contest, however he saw his free-kick rise high over the bar.
The summer signing looked lively after being introduced and took a couple of neat touches to work his way into the box, but saw his resulting shot go wide.
Albion struggled to create any meaningful opportunities in the last few minutes, as the hosts secured all three points in Hertfordshire.
ALBION: Ryan; Bruno (Bong 26), Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March (Jahanbakhsh 71); Gross (Bissouma 60); Murray.
SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Balogun, Kayal, Locadia.