Crystal Palace v Brighton: Championship play-off semi-final

Crystal Palace draw against rivals Brighton in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final at Selhurst Park.

10 May 2013 Last updated at 22:18

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As it happened

  1. 2215: 

    In the meantime, there is the small matter of Saturday's FA Cup final between Manchester City and Wigan to contend with. You will almost be able to smell the fried onions whafting down Wembley Way as my colleagues Tom Rostance and Emlyn Begley take you through all of the action.

    Talking of Wembley, that is where both Crystal Palace and Brighton hope to be on 27 May. But which one? Who knows - because the play-offs are a lottery. See ya!

  2. 2210: 

    Glenn Murray's injury compounded a disappointing evening for Ian Holloway and his band of Palace players, who were hoping to take a healthy lead to the Amex Stadium for Monday's second leg.

    A goalless away draw suits Brighton but it is far from 'job done' for the Seagulls. We will back with live text commentary of the return fixture, which will hopefully splutter into life in true play-off style.

  3. 2207: 

    Carl Dhiman, Kent, via text: "Leicester v Brighton in playoff final. Leicester have the quality in their squad to go all the way."

  4. 2204: 

    Palace will be without top scorer Glenn Murray in the return leg after he was carried off on a stretcher following a nasty knee injury. But more worryingly it looks as though the 31-goal striker could be fighting to be fit for the start of next season if Ian Holloway's worst fears are confirmed.

    "We're not sure how bad it is," said Holloway. "Glenn felt he was tackled - we've told him he wasn't. We suspect it's something wrong with his cruciate, but we hope it is not that. It's never a good thing to do but we're not certain that's it. We will get him scanned but obviously he won't be ready for Monday."

  5. 2159: 

    Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway: "It was a cracking game. Brighton came at us in the first half, but we responded well. How we didn't score I don't know. It's all to play for on Monday."

  6. 2154: 

    Brighton manager Gus Poyet: "It was a clear that for the first half we were in complete control but as you can imagine the second half they came out strong it was a bit more crazy and open.

    "If you asked me before the whole 47 games, going into the second leg at 0-0 playing at home next, I would have taken it. It's a final, we need to make the home advantage count now."

  7. 2153:  
    Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand

    "Bridcutt best player on the pitch tonight, disciplined, efficient and tenacity."

  8. 2151: 

    Alex, Cambridge, via text: "Really think Palace will struggle at Brighton, it's going to be an uphill struggle without an early goal."

  9. 2149: 

    Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha: "Our supporters are brilliant and we did the best we could in front of them tonight. But now we have got to go over there to Brighton and win. All I want to do is finish by winning promotion. I've been here for so many years and taking Palace up to Premier League would be the best feeling ever. The Amex is a hard place to win but we'll see what happens."

  10. 2147: 

    Wilfried Zaha trudges off the Selhurst Park pitch for the final time as a Palace player to a hero's reception. Thousands of Eagles fans stay behind to wave the 20-year-old goodbye as he prepares to join Manchester United in the summer. And one lucky punter manages to grab his shirt before he shoots off down the tunnel. Let's hope the England winger didn't want to keep it as a memento.

  11. 2144: 

    Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt: "It's a massive result for us. Teams come here all the time and get turned over. We fought, we played well at times and go into the home game with an advantage. We're looking forward to taking the tie back home."

    Liam Bridcutt
  12. 2141: 

    Handshakes all round as referee Michael Oliver blows time on an interesting first leg at Selhurst Park. Palace responded well after a shaky start but it is advantage Brighton ahead of Monday's return leg.

  13. 2139: 

    Hearts in mouths moment for Palace as Kazenga LuaLua swings in a dangerous cross which Danny Gabbidon sticks his neck out for. But the Eagles defender ducks out at the last moment and the ball harmlessly flies into Julian Speroni's hands.

  14. 2137: 

    What a waste. Yannick Bolasie's over-hit corner sails over the heads of everybody inside the Brighton box. But moments later he almost makes amends when he flashes a fierce drive past Tomasz Kuzszcak's right-hand post. Can Palace force a dramatic winner?

  15. 2135: 

    As we enter the first of six minutes of injury-time, Brighton keeper Tomasz Kuzszcak makes a hash of an attempted clearance to gift Palace a late corner...

  16. 2133: 

    George: "Am I the only one pretending this is a Barcelona vs. Borussia Dortmund Champion's League tie, albeit a very dull one?"

  17. 2131:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Radio 5 live

    "If that ball drops to Phillips in the six-yard box, the very least he will make the goalkeeper work. I've seen his finishing in training and he is superb."

    You can listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live

  18. 2131: 

    Have you been on the blower to Holloway, Marc? Because within a few seconds Kevin Phillips, who has lost three Championship play-off finals, is entering the action.

  19. 2130:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Radio 5 live

    "Maximum concentration required now, they're tired, and that's when a lack of concentration creeps in. It's important that the defence is alert, no silly free-kicks."

    You can listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live

  20. 2129: 

    Marc Perni, Orpington, via text on 81111: "Holloway clueless. Wilbraham has never scored for Palace. It is why he got Phillips in."

  21. 2128: 

    There is no doubt Palace have improved considerably since the break. But you really feel they need a positive result tonight because Brighton's home record is formidable. The Seagulls have not lost a league match at the Amex Stadium since 29 December and you certainly would not be confident going there without a lead.

  22. 2126: 

    Rakman: "Re 2046. Having watched both games, Watford v Brighton for me, Watford do seem to have a little more about them in terms of quality."

  23. 2125: 

    It is all Palace now. And they launch two vociferous penalty appeals in a matter of seconds. Wilfried Zaha's cross hits a sliding Inigo Calderon and the hosts claim handball. Not for me. And then Aaron Wilbraham claims he is being unfair held in the box. You have seen those given.

  24. 2122: 

    Despite those enforced changes, Palace respond well as Joel Ward's right-wing cross causes all sorts of bother in the Brighton box before Inigo Calderon hacks clear.

  25. 2120: 

    More bad news for Palace as another key man - Jonathan Williams - trudges off with a knock. He is replaced by Yannick Bolasie.

  26. 2119: 

    Let me just rewind to the incident where Palace's Glenn Murray was injured, because there was a booking for Brighton stopper Tomasz Kuzszcak in the aftermath. It was seemingly for the Pole's complaints to an earlier foul.

  27. 2118:  
    Former Crystal Palace player Mark Bright on Radio 5 live, BBC Sport

    "Murray held his knee straight away when he went down. It looks like he might have damaged ligaments. It's a great shame because to score 30 goals a season is a fantastic achievement. I think only six Palace players have achieved that."

    You can listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live

  28. 2117: 

    Brighton boss Gus Poyet makes his first switch of the evening as he introduces Kazenga LuaLua for Will Buckley.

  29. 2115: 

    Most of Brighton's best chances have fallen to Dean Hammond and the midfielder sees another couple of long-range efforts comfortably saved by Julian Speroni. Is has been like a game of chess this one - can either team find a killer move?

  30. 2113: 

    So what are the options for Holloway? Surely it has got to be 'Super' Kevin Phillips? Nope, it is Aaron Wilbraham who comes on for Glenn Murray instead.

  31. 2111: 

    Murray is not the kind of striker to go down easily and he let out an almighty yelp as he tumbled to the ground. Paramedics surround the Palace man as he is eased on to a stretcher and then taken off. Bad news for Ian Holloway.

  32. 2109: 

    Palace top scorer Glenn Murray collapses to the turf in agony after painfully twisting his knee inside the Brighton box. Looks to be a season-ender for the 30-goal man. But will it be a season-changer for Palace?

  33. 2106: 

    Kit Chang Wong: "It's silly to judge Zaha on one game. The kid is a long term investment, the potential is there. He won't become Ronaldo overnight."

    Greg: "So all these football fans judging Zaha on 45 mins tonight and not on what he's done in 2000 mins this season? Or didn't watch..?"

    Chris Hussey: "This is what... Zaha's 47th game of the season? Go easy on the kid."

  34. 2104: 

    Brighton's Andrea Orlandi clears off the line! Palace defender Danny Gabbidon directs a header to the far corner but Orlandi is perfectly placed to boot clear at the second attempt. Palace's best chance by a country mile - and there were a few appeals for handball against the Spaniard.

  35. 2103:  
    Former Crystal Palace player Mark Bright on Radio 5 live, BBC Sport

    "That was great play by Zaha and Jonathan Williams was so close to getting a touch which would have put his team ahead. But Palace need a lot more quality in possession, they're a bit pedestrian going forward. The need more attacking threat."

    You can listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live

  36. 2101: 

    Quickly up to the other end and another chance falls to the head of Dean Hammond. David Lopez's set-piece delivery again causes all sorts of problems, but the Seagulls midfielder cannot stretch Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

  37. 2100: 

    Hold on a moment, you Zaha doubters. Young Wilfried is really starting to influence this match now. He twists and turns past Inigo Calderon before driving in a low cross from the left. It is begging to be turned in, but diminutive midfielder Jon Williams just can't get a toe on it.

  38. 2058: 

    HTH T: "I am going for Watford to get promoted. Deeney back and him and Vydra link up together nicely."

    Andrew Codling: "I'd take any of these four clubs in the Prem. Good clubs, good teams. Can we somehow vote Stoke City out of league to make space?"

  39. 2056: 

    Wilfried Zaha has switched to the left flank as Palace look to exploit Brighton right-back Inigo Calderon. The Spaniard is on a booking remember. And Zaha is already in the thick of things, shooting low at Tomasz Kuzszcak and then causing a nuisance for Calderon.

  40. 2054: 

    Ah, a drop-ball. There is a coming together between Joel Ward and Will Buckley and the rarest of restarts is given by referee Michael Oliver. Drop balls are a few and far between in football these days - a bit like Bovril.

  41. 2052: 

    And it is Brighton who start on the front foot. Will Buckley surges down the left but, without support, checks his run and wins a corner. However, the set-piece comes to nothing and there's collective sigh of relief around Selhurst Park.

  42. 2049: 

    Brighton boss Gus Poyet flashes a cheeky smile as he returns to the dugout - he's understandably happy after his team's first-half display. And it is the Seagulls who kick off the second half. Game on.

    Holloway and Poyet
  43. 2048: 

    James Roberts: "Re 2043. If Wilfried Zaha is stymied by Wayne Bridge and Matt Upson, the rest of the premier league defences have nothing to worry about."

    Adesanya Gabriel: "Surely Wilfried Zaha has got to show he is not all hype tonight, lets see why Fergie splashed £15m on him."

    Rob Kerr: "Zaha never worth £15m yet on this display. Now we know why Fergie legged it out of Old Trafford."

  44. 2046: 

    This is the second instalment of Championship play-off madness after Leicester's narrow 1-0 win against Watford on Thursday. Admittedly that was not overly mad, but there was plenty of excitement nonetheless as one-time England striker David Nugent's late header gave the Foxes a priceless lead ahead of Sunday's second leg.

    Are you going to bold enough to pick which two teams will be jigging around the Wembley pitch in a celebratory manner on 27 May?

  45. 2043: 

    Who has caught your eye so far? Talk inevitably centres around Palace's Wilfried Zaha, but I've been more impressed by Brighton's Will Buckley. Will any of these two turn out to be the matchwinner?

    And what has happened to Palace top-scorer Glenn Murray? He looks like a man who has been told his pet cockatoo has just died. Tweet using the #bbcfootball hashtag or text via 81111.

  46. 2041: 

    Sham Gallagher: "Brighton doing well keeping Zaha quiet, his crosses have been terrible as well. Maybe Man United is on his mind."

    The Fig: "Who wouldn't want to see Poyet vs Zola in the get PL losing manager gets Chelsea job."

    Gary Lineker, BBC Sport

    "Championship play offs looking tight. Who does everyone fancy to make The Prem? I'm hoping Leicester."

    Former Crystal Palace player Mark Bright on Radio 5 live, BBC Sport

    "For a team that's scored 52 goals at home this season, Palace have not really created enough in the first half. It's been competitive but it hasn't been free-flowing. Wilfried Zaha has produced two crosses which have created two chances, but there's not much to choose between the two teams. Two teams who are evenly matched."

    You can listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live

  49. 2034: 

    That's the end of the first half - and it is delicately poised at the break. Brighton have enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes with Palace boss Ian Holloway grateful for goalkeeper Julian Speroni's point-blank save from Dean Hammond.

  50. 2033: 

    A half chance falls to Wilfried Zaha, but he did not seem to anticipate Garvan's left-wing cross falling to his feet. Seconds later, Palace keeper Julian Speroni has to be alert to calmly sweep up after a defensive error from Damien Delaney.

  51. 2032:  
    Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand

    "Palace vs Brighton......come on Zaha and Williams entertain me!"

  52. 2031: 

    Craig Williams: "The only good thing about the season coming to a close is, I won't have to watch Brighton in that awful kit again."

    Rob_of_the_Robots: "Is Zaha really worth £15m?"

    Adesanya Gabriel: "Surely Wilfried Zaha has got to show he is not all hype. Lets see why Fergie splashed £15m on him."

  53. 2030: 

    Brighton right-back Inigo Calderon becomes the first player to go into referee Micahel Oliver's notebook for a needless foul on Jon Williams. Now he's walking a disciplinary tightrope.

  54. 2028: 

    Back to the modern-day Palace boys - and it is fair to say they are lacking punch in the final third. Another promising move breaks down as the ball evades Wilfried Zaha and Brighton left-back Wayne Bridge blasts clear.

  55. 2026: 

    We see a familiar face from Palace's past sat in the Selhurst Park stands - although it might not be that familiar to some of you nowadays. Former Palace hero Neil Shipperley looks a totally different bloke from the streamlined striker who famously bagged the Eagles' winner in the 2004 play-off final...

    Neil Shippeley
  56. 2023:  
    Former Crystal Palace player Mark Bright on Radio 5 live, BBC Sport

    "As in a lot of play-off games, there's not much to choose between the two sides. It's competitive, tight and you can feel the anxiety of the crowd when Brighton manage to pass three or four times. There is an intensity. But there's only been one chance so far which Hammond should have scored from."

    You can listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live

  57. 2021: 

    Then, we see Brighton launch forward from defence to attack in a matter of seconds, but Dean Hammond wastes another decent opportunity by skewing wide from 15 yards.

  58. 2020: 

    Now then Wilfried Zaha, let's see what you can do. The England winger finds some space on the right flank to pick out Jon Williams at the far post, but he cannot get any power behind his header.

  59. 2018: 

    Brighton are quite content to play neat possession football before trying to catch Palace on the break. Good opening half-hour for Gus Poyet's men.

  60. 2017: 

    JC John Connor: "Come on the mighty Seagulls, the Premier League needs you."

    Martin Perryman: "RE 1955, which is why all Championship teams supporters are rooting for Palace?"

    Max: "Premier League clubs won't mind if Palace win. they won't get to the seaside anyway as Brighton's ground is way out of town."

  61. 2015: 

    Brighton's David Lopez has a decent set-piece in his locker - and the Spaniard swings in another set-piece which causes momentary panic in the Palace defence. But team-mate Matthew Upson cannot direct his header goalwards and Palace survive.

  62. 2013: 

    Suddenly, Palace step up the tempo with top scorer Glenn Murray and Kagisho Dikgacoi having shots blocked in quick succession by the Brighton defence. That's better from the hosts and it helps the home fans find their voice again.

    Glenn Murray
  63. 2011: 

    Brighton are cranking up the pressure as the hosts struggle to enjoy any sort of possession. You would think Palace are eager to get Wilfried Zaha into the thick of things, but he is being well marshalled by Wayne Bridge.

  64. 2009: 

    Michael Di Monaco: "Re Simon Lynwood (1955) or would you rather see Ian Holloway give more press-conference masterclasses?"

  65. 2008:  
    Former Crystal Palace player Mark Bright on Radio 5 live, BBC Sport

    "What a cross but what a poor header. Either side of the keeper and it goes in. Hammond should really have scored. The cross was perfect because he didn't need to jump. It was a gift."

    You can listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live

  66. 2007: 

    Superb reflexes from Julian Speroni to deny Brighton the opener! Will Buckley skips down to the right byline and beautifully picks out Seagulls stalwart Dean Hammond who can only head straight at the Argentine. But Hammond must be wondering how he did not bulge the back of the net.

  67. 2003: 

    Julian, Framlingham, via text: "Re Simon Lynwood 1955. You are correct but there's something special about Selhurst Park, whether it's the creaking turnstiles or the wooden seats in the away end I'm not sure, but it's special."

  68. 2001: 

    Palace get away their first effort on goal - Jon Williams blasting low across the face of goal. Brighton stopper Tomasz Kuszczak has hardly broken sweat yet.

  69. 2000: 

    Referee Michael Oliver must have known he could have a fiery encounter on his hands and he diffuses the first flare-up - between Palace skipper Mile Jedinak and Brighton's Will Buckley - with a stern word.

  70. 1959: 

    Brighton are posing most of the attacking threat in the opening stages and they have another opportunity as Palace's Jon Williams clumsily hacks down Will Buckley. David Lopez's delivery is met by a Palace defender and there is a bit of head tennis before the hosts clear the danger.

  71. 1957: 

    Brighton fly forward on the counter after a Palace attack. Andrea Orlandi races down the left in acres of space, but his shot is blocked by the head of Danny Gabbidon. Brave defending.

  72. 1955: 

    Simon Lynwood: "Surely all Premier League fans want Brighton to win. Would you rather watch an away match in Brighton or Croydon?"

  73. 1953: 

    Another chance for Leo Ulloa. Brighton left-back Wayne Bridge (remember him England fans?) rolls back the years to skip past Joel Ward and deliver a pinpoint cross which Ulloa can only head tamely wide.

  74. 1952: 

    First sight of goal falls to Brighton's Leo Ulloa who nods back across the Palace box into the danger zone, but is flagged offside. Very marginal.

  75. 1950: 

    Without trying to sound too nostalgic, Selhurst Park is one of those proper old-school grounds. And it is rocking at the moment. The action on the pitch hasn't exploded yet as both teams size each other up like two stray dogs on a park. There's plenty of bark but not enough bite. Yet.

  76. 1948:  
    Former Crystal Palace player Mark Bright on Radio 5 live, BBC Sport

    "This brings back good memories for me. I remember playing here in a play-off game against Blackburn needing to win 3-0 and we won 3-0. It's been a poor end of the season for Palace but the crowd is up for it."

  77. 1947:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    A quick reminder that you can also listen to live commentary from Selhurst Park on BBC Radio 5 live. Conor McNamara will talk through all the action, while ex-Palace striker Mark Bright provides the expert insight.

  78. 1947: 

    Referee Michael Oliver gives his whistle a good old toot and that signals the start of this second Championship play-off semi-final.

  79. 1945: 

    In case you haven't heard, there has been huge interest in the retirement of a Manchester-based septuagenarian this week. And the link between Sir Alex Ferguson's impending departure and tonight, no matter how tenuous, is Palace winger Wilfried Zaha makes his final Selhurst Park appearance before his £15m summer switch to Old Trafford.

    England international Zaha - who will go down in pub-quiz folklore as Fergie's final signing - looks quite humbled as he receives a special memento from the Crystal Palace hierarchy before kick-off.

  80. 1943: 

    The teams are walking out of the tunnel, welcomed by a rather glamorous set of cheerleaders and a rousing rendition of Dave Clark Five's Glad All Over from the home fans. This atmosphere is scoring high on the old decibel meter.

  81. 1941: 

    So Ian Holloway wants to "set a trap for Brighton". He does know his team are playing a game of football and not trying to catch a pesky mouse in his kitchen, right?

  82. 1940: 

    Brighton boss Gus Poyet: "We have a very difficult game here earlier in the season and I expect it to be difficult this time too. The approach will be the same as what we have played all season and the idea is to make sure that we are strong enough mentally and physically to be able to challenge."

  83. 1940: 

    Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway: "I feel pretty calm. Over the course of the season my players deserve at least this. I've brought Jonathan Williams back because I think he will suit this game. I think it will be fierce. I want to set a trap for Brighton."

  84. 1939: 

    Neil Graham: "Stuck in the middle of nowhere in Israel. Never have I been so glued to text commentary. Praying in Holy Land for Brighton win!"

  85. 1937: 

    Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway is a picture of calm in the Selhurst Park tunnel. His Brighton counterpart Gus Poyet, who often has the demeanour of an excited cartoon character, also looks remarkably chilled. Sure that will change for both of them in around 10 minutes time.

  86. 1935: 

    And what about Brighton's chances? Depends on whether you feel form or league position is the most important factor. If it is form, then the Seagulls, who are unbeaten in nine, look a good bet. The form team have been promoted nine times in the past 20 seasons.

    However, the team who finishes fourth has failed to win promotion in each of the past 14 seasons. The last team to do that? Charlton in 1998 when they edged past Sunderland in arguably the most dramatic play-off final.

  87. 1933: 

    Josh 'Frank' Pain: "Forget guessing the scoreline. I'm gonna say at least a red card for each team."

  88. 1931: 

    So are the statistics good or bad news for Crystal Palace? Probably bad news if the truth be told.

    Ian Holloway's men are really on a rotten run, with Saturday's vital victory against Peterborough their only win in the final 10 matches of the Championship season. No team with form as poor as Palace's (an average of one point per game since 1 April) has been promoted in the last 20 years. Time for history to be rewritten?

  89. 1928: 

    It is a phrase you hear regurgitated every season. "It is anyone's game in the play-offs - they are a lottery," offer squirming pundits as they attempt to wriggle out of making a bold prediction. But are the play-offs really a lottery?

    BBC Radio 4's Ben Carter has analysed each of the past 20 second-tier play-offs to find out whether final league position or form is the key factor in hitting the Premier League jackpot.

  90. 1925: 

    So which team is going to be flying high in around two hours' time? The Eagles or the Seagulls? Let me know in the usual formats - using the #bbcfootball hashtag on Twitter or via text on 81111. You know the drill.

  91. 1923: 

    Former Crystal Palace and England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn: "Good luck to Palace tonight in the play-off derby, just remember Eagles are better than Seagulls!!"

  92. 1920: 

    Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Garvan, Williams, Murray, Zaha. Subs: Price, Bolasie, Phillips, Wilbraham, O'Keefe, Ramage, Moritz.

    Brighton: Kuszczak, Calderon, Greer, Upson, Bridge, Bridcutt, Lopez, Hammond, Buckley, Ulloa, Orlandi. Subs: Ankergren, El-Abd, Crofts, Barnes, Vicente, Painter, LuaLua.

    Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

  93. 1916: 

    Remarkably, the teams met five times that season and it was the fourth occasion - a FA Cup first-round second replay at Stamford Bridge - where the rivalry exploded from lukewarm to raging inferno. Brighton lost 1-0 after Brian Horton was forced to retake a successful penalty - and missed. Mullery was incandescent with fury.

    "As I was walking up the tunnel a load of boiling hot coffee was thrown over me by a Crystal Palace supporter," remembered Mullery in an interview with The Guardian. "So I pulled a handful of change out of my pocket, threw it on the floor and shouted, 'That's all you're worth, Crystal Palace!'"

    And so a rivalry was born.

  94. 1913: 

    What on Earth is this Palace-Brighton rivalry all about, I hear you cry. Well, it all stems from a tumultuous season almost 40 years ago when the two clubs battled for promotion from the old Division Three (League One in today's money).

    At the start of the 1976-77 season, both teams appointed ex-Spurs players - Alan Mullery and Terry Venables - as their respective managers. The pair were friendly rivals at White Hart Lane, with Mullery appointed captain ahead of Venables by legendary Lilywhites boss Bill Nicholson. However, things quickly turned nuclear....

  95. 1909: 

    BBC Sport's Neil Johnston: "Crystal Palace make one change to the side that started the 3-2 win over Peterborough on 4 May, Jonathan Williams starting in midfield in place of Yannick Bolasie.

    "Wayne Bridge, on loan from Manchester City, returns to the Brighton team, one of five changes to the side that started the 2-0 win over Wolves last week. Also returning to the side is Inigo Calderon, Dean Hammond, Will Buckley and Andrea Orlandi. Marcos Painter, Andrew Crofts, Vicente, Kazenga LuaLua and Ashley Barnes make way.

    Wyne Bridge
  96. 1905: 

    Hello! Welcome to live text commentary of Crystal Palace v Brighton, where these two old foes compete for a place in *The Richest Game in Football. Tonight is the first instalment of a two-part thriller which culminates at Amex Stadium on Monday. Strap yourself in - it is going to be one hell of a ride.

    * Formerly known as the Championship play-off final.

  97. 1902: 

    Admittedly the 'A23 derby' does not quite have the same ring as the East Lancs Road, Old Firm or North London versions for most football fans up and down this fair land. But, for those at either end of this 45-mile stretch of dual-carriageway from South London to Sussex, it is not far behind in terms of ferocity. Anyone dare tell them it is not a 'proper rivalry'? Nah, didn't think so.

  98. 1900: 

    rivalry [noun]: competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field

    Football prides itself on rivalries. Nothing gets the adrenaline of players, coaches or supporters pumping more than the prospect of facing your biggest foes. Think Manchester United v Liverpool. Think Celtic v Rangers. Think Arsenal v Tottenham. Think Crystal Palace v Brighton.

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The play-offs

Play-off trophy, Champagne, Wembley Way and the Wembley Arch, Dean Windass Are the play-offs really a lottery?

Is it right that form counts for everything and league position nothing in the play-offs?

League Table

Championship summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Bournemouth 39 42 73
No movement 2 Watford 39 32 72
No movement 3 Middlesbrough 39 29 72
No movement 4 Norwich 39 33 70
No movement 5 Derby 39 26 67
No movement 6 Ipswich 39 16 67
No movement 7 Brentford 39 12 66
No movement 8 Wolves 39 11 65
No movement 9 Nottm Forest 39 8 57
No movement 10 Blackburn 39 1 54
No movement 11 Charlton 39 -2 54
No movement 12 Sheff Wed 39 -4 53
No movement 13 Leeds 39 -4 52
No movement 14 Cardiff 39 -2 51
No movement 15 Birmingham 38 -12 47
No movement 16 Brighton 39 -3 45
No movement 17 Bolton 39 -11 45
No movement 18 Huddersfield 39 -19 44
No movement 19 Reading 38 -19 44
No movement 20 Fulham 39 -18 43
No movement 21 Rotherham 39 -20 40
No movement 22 Wigan 39 -17 35
No movement 23 Millwall 39 -31 33
No movement 24 Blackpool 39 -48 23