LUALUA THE BRIGHTON STAR
HIS celebration may not have scored a perfect ten but Kazenga LuaLua danced Brighton to the top of the Championship after an enthralling afternoon at Portman Road.
The flying winger only managed to score four times during the whole of the last campaign.
He has already matched that total less than a month in after netting the first and setting up the winner in a five-goal thriller which saw Brighton leapfrog Ipswich and move to the top of the Championship.
In a breakneck 90 minutes, Brighton raced into a two-goal lead after just 12 minutes thanks to LuaLua and Tomer Hemed, the Israeli striker getting the merest of touches to Dale Stephens’ wickedly in-swinging free-kick.
Woeful in the first half, Ipswich fought back following the interval with Freddie Sears keeping up his own great start to the season and David McGoldrick equalising from the penalty spot.
But parity was restored for just 127 seconds when Hemed met LuaLua’s cross to head past Dean Gerken and claim the points.
LuaLua signed his goal off with a trademark backflip and although a stumble ruined the landing, he earned top marks from Brighton boss Chris Hughton.
Hughton said: “I have known Kazenga for a long time, from when I was at Newcastle and he was a young player.
“He has always had the ability but he came back pre-season in very good shape and he is now playing more 90 minutes than he has done.
“But he deserves that as he is really showing a good work ethic for the team. His goals are a consequence of how well he is playing.
“We were the better team at 2-0, but the only disappointment for me was that we allowed them to come back to 2-2, which I didn’t think was a fair reflection of the game.
“But we showed great character to go on and win the game and overall I thought we had the right balance between defending well and breaking quickly.”
Hughton had a point. Two quickfire goals could have been added to had Sam Baldock scored when clean through and Stephens not cannoned a shot off the post just after the restart.