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 third win in a row looked here on the cards. However, having saved a point against the team they would like to beat more than any other earlier in the season, Joachim Andersen’s goal this time around was Graham Potter’s salvation target.
It’s now been six games since Brighton beat their arch-rival, and Potter still has a taste of victory since taking charge in May 2019. But that will at least feel positive after they were left behind with 20 minutes of play.
It was Palace’s second away derby in six days after their ill-fated victory over Millwall in the FA Cup on 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 under into his starting lineup – the first Palace manager to pick such a young squad since acting Attilio Lombardo in March 1998 – as they tried to finish a seven-game streak without winning a Premier League game. Friday.
After morale victories over Brentford and Everton, Brighton came into this game with their best points tally after 19 games in a top-flight season since 1982. They finished that campaign with 13th in the First Division, which remains the club’s highest finish ever, and high hopes for the coast. The Southerner should be able to set a new standard under Potter’s leadership.
He made seven changes from the team that beat West Bromwich in the cup, with Leandro Trossard facing off with Neil Maupay in attack and Massey forming in midfield with Adam Lallana at base. These are always tumultuous occasions and the decision to play the game on a Friday night definitely added some extra spice to the action. 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 to prevent Trussard at least partially fixing his foul against Millwall at the weekend. Palace surprisingly dominated their midfield during their clash earlier in the season, but the story was different here, with Brighton pinning them in their own half through their full backs, Kokurila and Joel Feltman.
However, actual scoring chances remained elusive until the VAR intervened in the 35th minute. Will Hughes might consider himself unlucky to have been spotted but put his arm around Feltman’s neck when the ball entered the area and referee Robert Jones had no choice but to award the penalty .
After a short delay when a torch was thrown onto the pitch, Pascal Gross’ penalty kick lacked strength and conviction and Buttland comfortably saved it. But the drama is not over yet. From the resulting corner, Butland grabbed Adam Webster’s header before Mubay could take the ball out of his hands into the net, with the VAR once again correctly stating that a foul had been made 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 Jakob Moder’s brilliant ball from lowering Gross hit the crossbar. After spending most of the evening largely as a spectator, Robert Sanchez was called in to Webster’s save after the defender attempted to clear Conor Gallagher’s cross that was headed towards goal. It wasn’t long before Butland was back in the heat of things, again banning Moder after being played by Alexis McAllister.
After Lallana’s injury forced Potter to change his squad, with the introduction of Tariq Lamptey leading to a positive reaction from home fans.
However, it was Gallagher who silently stunned them with a superb goal for the team that started with sporadic dribbles from the defense from Marc Guehy and touches emerged from the Palace half. Jeffrey Schlupp excelled at holding the ball and then found the Chelsea player on loan to shoot the ball into the net.
Brighton went ahead when they tried to find a way to get back into the match, and that eventually came when Mubaye fired a free kick down the left and Andersen could only convert the ball past Butland at the near post. A late header from Maupai almost earned it for Brighton, but the equaliser looked like a fair outcome in the end.