This game has a habit of leaving things late. With Crystal Palace advancing thanks to a superb shot from Conor Gallagher – his seventh Premier League goal of the season – Patrick Vieira’s side seemed to win the cards despite being a second-best for most of the match. However, after saving a point against the team he most wanted to beat earlier in the season, Joachim Andersen’s own goal three minutes from the end was Graham Potter’s save.
It’s now been six games since Brighton beat their arch-rival and Potter is still tasting victory since taking charge in May 2019. But at least that will feel positive after they fell behind Gallagher’s superb goal 20 minutes ago to play before then. He was frustrated by the stellar performance from Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland.
“It’s hard to keep going when you have a setback but our reaction has been fantastic,” the Brighton boss admitted. “If a Martian went down and you explained the rules and you looked at the stats, it would be a head scratcher because we were so in control. But that is the beauty of football.” It was the second Palace derby away in six days after their ill-fated victory over Millwall in the FA Cup last Saturday, with Vieira conceding this week that Brighton’s last-minute goal at Selhurst Park in September denied them three points. “On our minds.”
He named six players aged 23 or younger to his starting lineup, the first Palace manager to pick such a young team since acting Attilio Lombardo in March 1998, as the visitors tried to extend their supremacy in this unlikely rivalry dating back to late. the seventies. Brighton came into this game with their best points tally after 19 games of the Premier League season since 1982. They finished that campaign with 13th in the First Division, which remains the club’s highest end ever, and the South Coast’s high hopes are that this. The team can set a new standard under Potter.
Based on that display, with Brighton in control of their midfield opponents, they are more than capable, even if Potter admits their vanguard should improve after he managed 19 shots but only four on target. Remarkably, Gallagher’s shot after a superb 22-pass motion was Palace’s fourth consecutive shot on target here that led to a goal – a streak that spanned over three games.
The large group of fans far behind Butland’s goal got a perfect view of the game’s first opener in the 10th minute after a horrific error from Joel Ward handed the ball to Mark Cucurella. Fortunately for the Palace captain, his goalkeeper came to the rescue with an excellent save by Leandro Trossard who at least partially made up for his mistake against Millwall at the weekend. More scoring chances remained elusive, however, until the VAR intervened in the 35th minute. Will Hughes might consider himself unlucky to have been spotted but he put his arm around Joel Feltman’s neck when the ball entered the area and referee Robert Jones had no choice but to Penalty kick awarded. After a short delay when a torch was thrown onto the pitch, Pascal Gross’ penalty kick lacked strength and conviction and Buttland was able to save it.
But the drama is not over yet. From the resulting corner, Buttland grabbed Adam Webster’s header before Neil Maupay could take the ball out of his hands into the net, with the VAR once again correct that he had a foul on the line. After such a stunning finish to the first half, Palace kept their opponents waiting at the start of the second half, but were nearly three minutes behind when Gross’ superb Jakob Moder ball hit the crossbar. Robert Sanchez was then called up to a save from Webster after the defender tried to clear a Gallagher cross that was headed towards goal.
Buttland was soon back in the heat of things, again banning Moder after he was played by Alexis McAllister. Adam Lallana’s injury forced Potter to change his squad, as Tariq Lamptey’s introduction led to positive reaction from home fans.
However, it was Gallagher who stunned them into silence with a superb goal for the team that began with a sporadic dribble off Marc Guehy’s defense. Jeffrey Schlupp excelled at holding the ball and then found the Chelsea player on loan to shoot the ball into the net. Brighton ran forward as they tried to find a way back into the game, and that ultimately came when Maupay fired a free down the left and only Andersen could convert his bid through the unfortunate Butland. “Coming home with a draw is good for us,” said Vieira. “We did the dirty work really well and we disappointed them a lot.”