Albion 3 Tottenham 0

This is what they worked for, this is what they waited for and this is what they hoped for.

It was the day which seemed so tantalisingly close when Albion saw potential wins turn into draws.

A day that seemed to be slipping further away as they struggled to get a shot on target seven days earlier.

But, when it came, it was glorious. Albion as a club and a team turned the “Spurs in crisis” show into a nationwide advert for the work they are doing and which has not been reflected in the Premier League standings.

And there is a lot that has been good, be it the football under Graham Potter, the emerging young players, the talent doing well out on loan.

This being a live TV game, technical director Dan Ashworth had chance to explain much of the club’s progress during the build-up on BT Sports.

All that had been missing was the results and that was put right in some style. Style being the operative word.

The question being asked ahead of the match was whether this was a good or bad time for Albion to be playing Tottenham.

It turns out this was a terrible time for Spurs to be visiting the Seagulls.

The hosts have had their own soul-searching to do. Their own talks and hard work behind the scenes.

Their own point to prove and response to make.

They had a bit of luck to make the breakthrough and then seized their chance.

Head coach Potter said: “We haven’t had the best of weeks ourselves, recovering from Chelsea and disappointment with that performance for the first time this season.

“It was nice for the players to bounce back.

“We spoke before the game about trying to be on the front foot and have a good balance between defence and attack and we had that.

“The boys are determined because they know they haven’t had the results. We hadn’t won since the opening day.

“You guys (reporters) will ask questions around we haven’t won and we haven’t scored and all that sort of stuff.

“The players are only human. They will know. They are disappointed in themselves and the points tally. The only way to answer is try to win. It was a really focused performance.”

That focus, for Potter, included a scouting trip to Tottenham on Tuesday. How much relevance a 7-2 defeat by Bayern could have to a Premier League game could only be guessed at.

“I tend to not say to the players, ‘be Bayern Munich players’,” Potter said when it was pointed out that Connolly’s second goal bore a resemblance to Serge Gnabry’s first on Tuesday.

But Albion, of course, had a plan and Connolly’s first Premier League start was a big part of it.

The formation looked obvious when the team sheets came out showing one change of personnel, Connolly in for Yves Bissouma while fit-again Solly March was, surprisingly, only on the bench.

Not so simple. Alzate, whose senior debut came at right wing-back and Prem debut was at left wing-back, made his home bow in a midfield role.

Aaron Mooy went further forward than at Stamford Bridge and Connolly joined Neal Maupay up front.

Potter said: “We wanted to try to be a bit more positive, almost like a 4-4-2. Try to press their back four and try to be compact and increase turnovers, get our strikers in the game and then maybe width comes a little bit later from our full-backs.

“That was the idea. Sometimes you have ideas and they work and sometimes they don’t.

“We needed some luck as well with the first goal but overall I don’t think anyone would begrudge us three points and the quality of the performance is something we’re really proud of.”

Potter had hoped Albion fans, starved of a home win for seven months, would buy into the presence of Connolly and Maupay in attack.

He said: “Hopefully the crowd recognise that, they get behind it. There hasn’t been a win here for a while so it’s normal for people to be not too sure what to expect and I thought it was up to us to set the tone of the game.

“Everyone, as a group, wants to defend a bit higher, they want to press and be pro-active in and out of possession. Sometimes the opposition are too good and they can play through you but we wanted to take that chance against a quality team.”

What no one can have planned for was Hugo Lloris dropping Pascal Gross’s wicked cross to present Maupay with a headed tap-in.

Albion fans joined their Spurs counterparts in giving Lloris a fabulous ovation as he was stretchered off with a dislocated elbow.

But the applause after that was for the football and the second goal was a landmark moment for Connolly.

His movement got him to a super low cross curled in at pace by Dan Burn and, though sub keeper Paulo Gazzaniga saved well, the Irish teen reacted quickly to bury the rebound.

The third goal was the best. Playing from the back, Lewis Dunk chipped and curled and dipped and measured a pass into Connolly’s path and he ran at Toby Alderweireld before cutting inside. His low, slightly curling, shot was always heading inside the far post.

Two Maty Ryan saves and a miss by Harry Kane ensured the clean sheet remained intact.

That’s 14 points from seven games at home to Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United since Albion returned to the top flight.

It needs to now be the springboard for the Seagulls under Potter and for Connolly himself.

A breakthrough, not just a break from the norm. The signs are it will be the former. But worry about that later. For now, just enjoy a special day at the Amex.