Brighton 3-1 Crystal Palace – Match Report

Three first-half goals gave 10-man Brighton the victory against Crystal Palace in an incident-packed derby at the Amex Stadium.

Both teams came into the game on a high, yet it was the home side who came out triumphant and now sit tenth in the Premier League, nine points clear of their rivals.

We had to wait until after quarter of an hour when Palace had the first opportunity of the match. Patrick van Aanholt found himself in acres of space down the left hand side, who then cut the ball back from the by-line onto the head of an unmarked Andros Townsend only to glance his header narrowly wide of the goal.

However, it was Brighton who opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Jose Izquierdo collided with James McArthur and to the bewilderment of McArther, referee Kevin Friend points to the spot, even though the Palace midfielder got a touch on the ball.
Glenn Murray, cool as you like, stepped up and hammered home his eighth goal of the season against his former club.

The game then spiralled into an unbelievable series of incidents within a few minutes.

Brighton were denied a second penalty as Murray was barged over by James Tomkins. There was arguably more contact than the first penalty but the referee was unmoved and waved play on.

And in the midst of the second penalty shout, Shane Duffy was then given his marching orders after he foolishly threw his head into Van Aanholt’s face after an altercation between the pair, giving the referee no choice but to brandish a straight red.

Chris Hughton made a quick decision to shore up his sides defence as he sacrificed Pascal Gross for Leon Balogun.

But incredibly in the 31st minute, it was the substitute who doubled the Seagull’s lead moments after the restart with his first touch of the ball, half-volleying his first goal for the club past Wayne Hennessey as Palace failed to clear a corner.

Murray, clutching his shoulder from the earlier challenge, made it clear he couldn’t continue and the striker was replaced by Florin Andone.

As the half drew to a close, Hughton’s second super-sub bagged himself a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Palace pushed to reduce the deficit but left themselves exposed on the break. Andone chased a lost cause into Palace’s half, and as Tomkins hesitated to clear, Andone dispossessed his opponent, rifling a low shot into the bottom corner at an acute angle to round off a remarkable first 45 minutes for Brighton.

The onus was now on Palace, yet the away side failed to create anything going forward in the opening 20 minutes of the second-half.

10-man Brighton showed great resilience playing for 62 minutes a man down but Palace finally got their break and were awarded a penalty in the final 10 minutes. Balogun lunged in on Wilfried Zaha giving the referee no choice but to award the penalty.

Luka Milivojevic converted the spot kick sending Mat Ryan the wrong way and Palace raced back to the centre hoping for a late comeback.

But it was all little too late as Palace’s late resurgence wasn’t enough. The away side, with little time to spare, soon ran out ideas and the referee blew his whistle to mark a memorable occasion for the Brighton fans.

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