Sami Hyypia claimed his first three points as an English league manager as Brighton finally got off the mark for the season in the Championship. Two clinical strikes book-ended a match that his side totally controlled against Leeds to suggest he has put his stamp on a side that made the division’s play-offs last season.

How times have changed for Sami Hyypia. Eleven months ago, surveying proceedings from the away dugout at Old Trafford as his Bayer Leverkusen team went toe-to-toe with Manchester United in a Champions League fixture, the 40-year-old was considered one of the continent’s most promising young shavers when it came to coaching.

Alas, having orchestrated a top-three Bundesliga finish the previous season, the Finn could not sustain the momentum and was sacked in April following a flood of defeats. Jobless in June, he was rescued by Brighton’s desire to hire another up-and-coming manager in the mould of their previous two, Gus Poyet and Óscar García.

Progress has been slow in the opening weeks of his three-year contract – glacial some might say – although that may be no bad thing given his fate after racing out of the blocks in Germany. Until Tuesday night, Brighton were goalless and pointless in two Championship fixtures.

That altered inside the first half a dozen minutes at Elland Road as the Portuguese playmaker João Carlos Teixeira, borrowed for the season from Hyypia’s former club Liverpool, stole in to open the scoring. The 21-year-old had already notified Leeds of his ability to glide into space – by forcing Rodolph Austin to hack him down in full stride just moments earlier – when he accepted Bruno’s through ball to the right side of the area to clip a delicious finish across Marco Silvestri.

The reports Hyypia received from his old friends at Anfield suggested that Teixeira was a little gem. Occupying the void between Brighton’s midfield and lone striker Craig Mackail-Smith he gave the kind of polished performance to back up the assessment.

With crisp passing and a penchant for a fancy flick, Teixeira was involved in everything good about the visitors’ forward forays, although his finish half a dozen minutes before the break after the ball was worked through several pairs of Brighton boots was not in keeping with the quality. Glancing at Silvestri’s top corner, he sliced towards the corner flag.

In contrast, the Yorkshire team struggled to get a sight of goal and Brighton’s Leeds-born goalkeeper David Stockdale’s chief concern in the opening period came when Austin almost charged down an attempted clearance.

The home crowd made a greater commotion at the start of the second period, which the Leeds head coach, Dave Hockaday, marked by sending on Nicky Ajose in place of the giant Matt Smith up front. However, despite increased huff and puff, both in the stands and on the field there remained a lack of cohesion in a team still getting to know each other.

Throughout the opening fortnight of the new season, Hockaday has been keen to stress Leeds are a work in progress and after three signings last week, they are attempting to secure another trio, including the 20-year-old Brazilian playmaker Adryan, who has spent time at owner Massimo Cellino’s former club Cagliari.

Their lack of creativity appeared to be the biggest concern and when the full-back Sam Byram did carve a 69th-minute chance for Michael Tonge it drew a woeful miskick from a central position 10 yards out.

Optimism that this could have been a third Elland Road win for Leeds in the space of seven days had already been quelled when Rohan Ince raced through to hit the outside of the post 10 minutes from time. The locals began streaming out when substitute Kazenga LuaLua was felled on the edge of the area moments later and rose to his feet to drill in a low free-kick for Brighton’s second.