Zaha saves Palace in M23 Derby draw

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Brighton and Hove Albion looked interesting it’s way to a confidence-boosting three points on the road against long-time rivals Crystal Palace.

But the Seagulls forgot about Wilfried Zaha.

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The Crystal Palace star winger saved a point for the Eagles with a brilliant second half goal, as Crystal Palace drew 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion, Monday afternoon at Selhurst Park.

Zaha dribbled into the box, then cut into his left foot before unleashing a blast that Brighton goalkeeper Matthew Ryan had no chance of stopping.

With the draw, both teams move one point away from the drop zone, with Crystal Palace moving above Arsenal into ninth place in the table.


3 things we learned

1. Zaha the hero: Crystal Palace had one of its worst afternoons this season, but Roy Hodgkin always has an ace up his sleeve. When the team needed him, Zaha came home with a moment of brilliance to score and save a point for the Eagles.

2. Maupay off the mark again: Brighton and Hove at times look to have one of the best attacks outside the top six in the Premier League, and Maupay is a huge reason why. The Frenchman scored for the third-straight-game on Monday and he is showing no signs of slowing down. If only the rest of the attack could deliver some finishes.

3. Both clubs miss out on extending distance from drop zone: Crystal Palace was already in the top ten of the Premier League at kickoff, and with a win, Brighton would have joined the Eagles. But with a draw, both teams gain just one point over Southampton at 15 points. Brighton sits just five points up while Crystal Palace is now eight points ahead of Southampton. All it takes is a string of bad defeats in the next 30 days and both teams can be in trouble.


Despite playing at Selhurst Park, it was all Brighton early on. The Seagulls would finish with 65 percent possession, and that number was even higher until around the 70th minute, just after Max Meyer came off the bench for the Eagles.

In the 100th rivalry match between these two teams connected by the M23 in South England, tackles were flying in early, but it was Brighton which had the better of the chances. After VAR denied a possible penalty shout in the 20th minute when Marvin Montoya appeared to have been tripped in the box while shooting, Lewis Dunk sent a powerful header straight at Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita in goal.

In the 29th minute, Yves Bissouma found space and time outside the box and unleashed a blast that Guaita had to dive sharply for at the low-left post to keep the ball out.

A few minutes later, Davy Propper had a strike on goal, but Guaita was equal to it. Brighton’s constant attacks and ball movements kept Crystal Palace on its heels, and into the second half, it appeared the same story was playing out in front of us.

In the 57th minute, Brighton finally found the breakthrough. Leandro Toussard’s cross from the right was flicked on in the box by Pascal Gross. It fell to the feet of Maupay, who took a touch and powered a strike in for a well-deserved goal.

Brighton continued pushing for a second goal, but suddenly around the 70th minute, Crystal Palace woke up. Christian Benteke spun away from his defender to fire a shot on goal, before Zaha’s brilliant effort in the 76th minute tied the match at 1-1.

This story will be updated.