Crystal Palace 3-0 Brighton

Glenn Murray
Glenn Murray

Glenn Murray scored twice against his former club as Crystal Palace moved to the top of the Championship with victory over 10-man Brighton.

Once Lewis Dunk was sent off for a foul on Palace's Yannick Bolasie in the eighth minute, it was not long before the home side gained control.

Murray headed home a corner before half-time and added a second from the penalty spot after the interval.

Owen Garvan made it three with another penalty after Murray had been fouled.

Victory sent the Eagles top, with second-placed Cardiff not in action until Sunday, when they host struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

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Holloway praises Eagles 'focus'

The turning point in the match, which is classed as a derby by both sets of supporters despite almost 50 miles separating the two teams, came when Dunk was dismissed - the defender losing possession and bringing down the impressive Bolasie.

The French winger was a constant menace and it was his corner which 29-year-old Murray converted to put Palace in front.

Craig Mackail-Smith might have levelled shortly after half-time but he hit the post when clean through, and Murray made it 2-0 with his 17th goal of the season after being brought down in the area by Tomasz Kuszczak.

The striker, who headed over shortly after, was again fouled in the box in the 71st minute but, after missing two penalties this season when looking for a hat-trick, Garvan took over spot-kick duties and made it 3-0.

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway:

"Glenn Murray is a fantastic footballer. His football brain is as good as anybody I have worked with.

"He knows the timing of how to do that run down the middle and his eye for getting on the end of a cross is completely awesome.

"I have had some great players in my time and Glenn is right up there with all of them.

"That's nine goals in six games he has scored for me and that's quite awesome."

Brighton manager Gus Poyet:

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No complaints about defeat - Poyet

"You come here to play a nice game of football against your biggest rival away from home and the least you want is a normal game.

"Going down to 10 so early put a big task ahead of us, but that's football I suppose.

"We came into the game on a good run with plenty of confidence and the team were organised but everything went wrong for two reasons; the sending off and because of the fitness.

"It was an absolutely perfect decision, it was a red card."

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