Crystal Palace beat Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 at the Amex on Saturday as the Eagles made the Seagulls pay for wasting plenty of chances.
Jordan Ayew scored with 20 minutes to go to give Palace the win as Roy Hodgson’s side secured back-to-back victories in the Premier League, while Graham Potter’s Brighton are embroiled in the relegation battle.
With the win Palace move on to 36 points for the season and look set for a top 10 finish. Brighton sit just four points above the drop zone.
3 things we learned
1. Brighton in big trouble: They okay great stuff but just haven’t been clinical enough and this game was Brighton’s season in a nutshell. They haven’t won a game in 2020 yet and are sinking towards the bottom three. One season there is always one team which starts off well but then drops into the relegation battle. That is Brighton as Potter’s side just don’t score enough goal.
2. Zaha wins the battle: He was goaded by the home fans and embraced it. Zaha, once again, led Palace to victory against their bitter rivals. Zaha has scored more goals against Brighton than any other team. Zaha switched flanks early and clashed with subs, had some banter with the home fans and then smashed the post late on as he was Palace’s biggest threat. This may be his last derby game for Palace against Brighton as he continues to be linked with a move away. If it was, Zaha won another battle against Brighton. And probably the war.
3. Palace have bragging rights: For the first time since April 2018 Palace beat Brighton. They have bragging rights and even though they are just over 40 miles apart, that means a lot. This is not the most traditional rivalry in English soccer but it is a growing one and the intensity on and off the pitch summed up the passion.
Man of the Match: Wilfried Zaha – Hit the post, gave Brighton’s defense a tough time and was always an outlet for Palace. Superb display when he was the target of taunts all game long.
Brighton put Palace under pressure the longer the first half wore on and Zaha was involved in a spat with the home fans and sub Schelotto who was booked.
Zaha put both his hands up to his ears towards the crowd and pushed Schelotto who appeared to have said something. The best chance of the first half then arrived as Maupay and Trossard combined to set up a counterattack but Solly March missed the chance.
But Palace couldn’t get going as Brighton missed a big chance to take the lead. Maupay collected the ball after a deflection found him but he hit his shot straight at Guiata.
Palace then made the most of that reprieve as Ayew put them 1-0 up to send the away fans wild behind the goal.
Benteke held the ball up superbly and played in Ayew who finished with ease as flares were set off in the away end.
Late on Alzate wanted a penalty kick and Zaha hit the post as Palace won a tight, tense derby.