Leeds United had arrived here undefeated after beating Chelsea 3-0 the previous weekend, but they were rendered ineffective, pushed on the back foot and outplayed here for a long time.
Before Gross’ intervention, however, this was threatening to become one of those afternoons where Brighton has been at the top for a long time and not making a profit. Players like Solly March and Adam Webster had rejected excellent opportunities.
Potter hit back at any suggestions that they should have been even more clinical and missed out on a productive striker, saying: “The way you get points in this league is you score more than the opponent. There were only eight teams that made it last. “We’ve done better than us this year. So far there are a few teams that have outperformed us this year. So you can talk all you want about individuals.”
The Potter men are a team that enjoy playing against Leeds. They sidestepped the pressure from the Yorkshire club with their man-marking and breaking – and it eventually paid off.
Last season some supporters chased Potter’s men out after a 0-0 draw here against these opponents – but this time it was Leeds manager Jesse Marsch who was annoyed afterwards.
“We had guys freestyling,” Marsch complained about his players. “We tried things we never talked about.”
The American added: “After the Chelsea game there was a lot of fanfare about our performance, but what this competition is like is that every game is a little bit different, every opponent is a little bit different and very good.
“Every match is a huge final exam. Just because we passed one doesn’t mean we pass them all.”
Brighton, who just sold forward Neal Maupay, won the midfield test and that laid the platform.
They should have taken the lead first when Webster headed wide from eight yards.
The opportunities kept coming – and March was guilty of missing some excellent opportunities in quick succession – including an impressive save from Illan Meslier.
Leeds improved for a short period and came close when Luis Sinisterra failed to finish on the back post.
Brighton struck when Leandro Trossard delivered a diagonal pass, which led to Gross scoring with an oblique finish from about 12 yards.
Marsch’s frustration with the proceedings, including the umpires, soon became apparent when he was shown a yellow card for angrily throwing the ball after a referee decision.
The Leeds manager admitted he deserved his yellow card for showing his frustration to officials at that incident, but said he had an option to “sit there and take it” or “let it escalate” and admitted: “I’ll never be a guy who just sits there and takes it, that’s not my style.”
The referee, Michael Salisbury, took charge of his second Premier League game.
In the final stages, Leeds pushed for a levelling, but the better side – Brighton – won deservedly, making it a club record nine consecutive top games with no defeat for them