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Brighton edged out Newcastle United 1-0 to record their second successive home Premier League victory.
Tomer Hemed's 50th minute strike proved enough for Brighton as Chris Hughton registered a win over his former side in what was the first top-flight clash between the two sides.
The away-side looked threatening at times but were met by a stubborn Brighton side who will need to continue picking up wins at home if they wish to remain a Premier League club.
Indeed, the win sees Brighton to 13th in the Premier League, level on points with Arsenal and Everton.
Despite their first loss in three games and missing out on the chance to climb to fourth, Newcastle remain in the top-half in ninth.
It was the visitors who almost made the perfect start two minutes in when Mikel Merino's volleyed effort from outside the box was impressively dealt with by Mat Ryan who did well to see the shot through a number of players.
Brighton responded well and could have opened the scoring after Anthony Knockaert played the ball wide to Solly March whose cross towards the back-post found Pascal Gross in space, but the midfielder's shot unluckily deflected off Knockaert and out for a goal-kick.
After soaking up pressure from the Seagulls, Newcastle came close to finding the net when Lewis Dunk's questionable clearance fell to Joselu, but the 27-year-old failed to hit the target on the half-turn, instead firing just wide of Ryan's far-post.
The Magpies started to up gears approaching the break and penetrated a hesitant Brighton backline after the ball was played in from the left towards Perez, who failed to punish the hosts as he narrowly poked his effort over the bar.
Chris Hughton's men started the second-half on the front-foot and they managed to take the lead five minutes into the restart when Hemed hooked his effort past Rob Elliot following Dale Stephens' knock-on from a Gross free-kick.
And Brighton were denied a second two minutes later when March met Bruno's cross at the back-post but somehow saw his close-range strike kept out by the outstretched right-foot of Elliot.
Jonjo Shelvey was introduced from the bench in the 69th minute and the former Liverpool midfielder hit the post after his corner from the left nearly caught out Ryan at his near-post, a lucky escape for Brighton.
Despite Newcastle bringing on Dwight Gayle, they failed to turn pressure into clear-cut chances and will look to bounce back when they host Benitez's former team Liverpool on October 1.
While Brighton will look to build on their second Premier League win of the season when they travel to Arsenal on the same date.
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