Brighton maintain European push with win over Palace

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Brighton have scored 10 goals in the first 15 minutes of games this season

Brighton maintained their pursuit of European football with a narrow Premier League win over struggling rivals Crystal Palace.

Solly March’s goal proved decisive for the Seagulls and punished a Palace side who spurned three good chances to take control of the game in the opening 10 minutes.

While Wilfried Zaha, Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise were unable to make the breakthrough for the Eagles, March delivered a clinical finish into the bottom left corner from Kaoru Mitoma’s incisive pass.

Roberto de Zerbi’s side always looked the more accomplished after that and move level on 42 points with sixth-placed Liverpool, while they are six behind Tottenham in fourth, with two games in hand.

The result will only deepen concerns at Palace of a relegation battle after a dismal 11-game sequence without a win that leaves them 12th but just three points above the bottom three.

In that period, they have managed to score just four top-flight goals and manager Patrick Vieira cut a frustrated figure in the technical area as his side’s attacking shortfalls were again exposed.

However, he could have few complaints about the performance of goalkeeper Joe Whitworth on his Palace debut – a memorable night for the 19-year-old as he deputised for the injured Vicente Guaita.

The teenager, who grew up as an Eagles supporter and was also a club ball boy, was given little chance by March’s unerring finish but kept his side in the game after the break by superbly saving Pervis Estupinan’s low shot and an Alexis Mac Allister header.

Palace pay for profligacy

Having pressed and pressurised Brighton into several early mistakes, the visitors could and should have been well ahead by the time March opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

Zaha’s wriggling run through the home defence caused Seagulls goalkeeper Jason Steele to readjust hastily to prevent an opening-minute goal for the visitors.

But their was a distinct lack of conviction to the gilt-edged chances then presented to French forward Edouard – who headed wide under no pressure – and Olise’s attempt that Steele saved with the winger converging on goal.

Substitute Naouirou Ahamada late miss – dragging a shot wide with the full goal to aim at – summed up a miserable night for Palace in front of goal.

Brighton continue their charge

While this was far from Brighton at their brilliant best, they still got the job done in a manner that their fans have become accustomed to – by attempting to dominate possession.

A sign of the Seagulls’ progress in recent weeks, can be seen by the attitude in the stands, with draws at Leeds and in the reverse fixture against Palace now viewed as dropped points.

And had they not had a goal incorrectly ruled out by VAR for offside at Selhurst Park, their European hopes would appear even more favourable.

As it was, De Zerbi was able to rest Adam Webster and Evan Ferguson for the majority of the contest and still see his side eke out a valuable three points.

Player of the match

DunkLewis Dunk

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number5Player nameDunk

  2. Squad number7Player nameMarch

  3. Squad number22Player nameMitoma

  4. Squad number30Player nameEstupiñán

  5. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister

  6. Squad number28Player nameFerguson

  7. Squad number25Player nameCaicedo

  8. Squad number34Player nameVeltman

  9. Squad number13Player nameGroß

  10. Squad number19Player nameSarmiento

  11. Squad number20Player nameEnciso

  12. Squad number6Player nameColwill

  13. Squad number4Player nameWebster

  14. Squad number23Player nameSteele

  15. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck

Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number41Player nameWhitworth

  2. Squad number8Player nameSambi Lokonga

  3. Squad number22Player nameÉdouard

  4. Squad number7Player nameOlise

  5. Squad number6Player nameGuéhi

  6. Squad number16Player nameAndersen

  7. Squad number11Player nameZaha

  8. Squad number10Player nameEze

  9. Squad number17Player nameClyne

  10. Squad number15Player nameSchlupp

  11. Squad number3Player nameMitchell

  12. Squad number28Player nameDoucouré

  13. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

  14. Squad number29Player nameAhamada

  15. Squad number14Player nameMateta



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Steele
  • 34Veltman
  • 5Dunk
  • 6Colwill
  • 30Estupiñán
  • 13Groß
  • 25CaicedoBooked at 60mins
  • 7MarchSubstituted forWebsterat 90+1′minutes
  • 10Mac AllisterSubstituted forSarmientoat 88′minutes
  • 22MitomaSubstituted forEncisoat 79′minutes
  • 18WelbeckSubstituted forFergusonat 79′minutes


  • 1Sánchez
  • 4Webster
  • 19Sarmiento
  • 20Enciso
  • 21Undav
  • 27Gilmour
  • 28Ferguson
  • 29van Hecke
  • 40Buonanotte

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-3-3

  • 41Whitworth
  • 17Clyne
  • 16Andersen
  • 6Guéhi
  • 3Mitchell
  • 8Sambi Lokonga
  • 28DoucouréBooked at 27minsSubstituted forEzeat 45′minutes
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forAhamadaat 80′minutes
  • 7OliseSubstituted forJ Ayewat 70′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 22ÉdouardSubstituted forMatetaat 79′minutes
  • 11Zaha


  • 2Ward
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 5Tomkins
  • 9J Ayew
  • 10Eze
  • 14Mateta
  • 26Richards
  • 29Ahamada
  • 63Goodman

Peter Bankes


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