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Christian Benteke’s late goal gave Crystal Palace a smash-and-grab Premier League win at rivals Brighton, and leave them staring at the threat of a relegation battle.

A game in which Brighton dominated, missing a whole host of opportunities to win the match, Palace took advantage of their only two shots on goal to steal the crucial three points.

Palace – without key man Wilfried Zaha for a third game running – took the lead as new loan-signing Jean-Philippe Mateta backheeled Jordan Ayew’s cross from their first real attack of first half.

Brighton’s dominance in possession led to a well-deserved equaliser 10 minutes after the break as Joel Veltman swept a left-footed effort past Vicente Guaita into the bottom corner.

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The hosts spurned several key opportunities to win the game, recording twenty-five shots to Palace’s three and 75% possession of the ball before substitute Christian Benteke superbly volleyed in the winner totally against the run of play in the final minute of stoppage time.

The result sees Crystal Palace move up to 13th, ten points clear off in the relegation spots, also recording their first league win in three games.

Meanwhile Brighton – suffering their first defeat in seven league games – are now staring down the barrel of a relegation dogfight in 16th, four points off a resurgent Fulham who sit in 18th.

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April 2024