Premier League
Crystal Palace3Brighton2

Crystal Palace 3-2 Brighton & Hove Albion

Crystal Palace celebrate Joel Ward's goal
Palace's win is just their second in the past 11 games

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said his side "did it the hard way" by winning a five-goal thriller against Brighton to move six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

In the opening 34 minutes, Palace scored three goals in a scintillating attacking display but twice conceded their two-goal lead.

"I thought our first half performance was very commanding but I was disappointed we conceded those two goals," Hodgson said.

"In the second half Brighton put us under more pressure and we weren't able to reproduce our level in terms of our attacking play so it meant we had to spend the last 15 minutes fighting to keep balls out of our box.

"We did it the easy way in the first half but the hard way in the second."

The excellent Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring in the fifth minute by tapping in on the goal line after Mat Ryan had saved Luka Milivojevic's shot.

A rampant Palace scored a second nine minutes later when James Tomkins scrambled the ball home at a corner but Glenn Murray halved Brighton's deficit, hooking the ball in via the crossbar after Lewis Dunk had headed towards goal at another corner.

Zaha capitalised on more poor Brighton defending to head in his second from Milivojevic's lofted cross in the 24th minute, only for the visitors to again pull a goal back 10 minutes later when Jose Izquierdo calmly finished across Wayne Hennessey.

Palace tired in the second half and rode there luck when Glenn Murray missed a straight-forward chance in stoppage time by failing to volley in Solly March's cross from three yards.

However, Hodsgon's side held on for a win which moves them up to 16th in the table, while Brighton are 13th with one point more than Palace and, with a difficult run-in to come, are still at risk of relegation.

Thrilling game and a huge three points

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend celebrates
Crystal Palace started the game one place above the relegation zone

Palace started the game in ferocious fashion, not looking like a team who had won only one of their previous seven home matches.

They surged forward with pace through Zaha and Andros Townsend and Milivojevic sprayed passes in midfield and won the ball back powerfully.

Hodgson's side capitalised on poor defending for all three goals but each was reward for the intent they showed in the opening half.

The Eagles suffered as a result of that blistering start in the late stages but they held out thanks to the commanding Hennessey in goal, an excellent block from Mamadou Sakho to deny Glenn Murray and the striker's late miss.

"They put pressure on us, got it in the box, got men forward," Hodgson said. "Luckily for us Wayne Hennessey had an outstanding game so when crosses eluded our defenders he was there."

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Crystal Palace 3-2 Brighton: Eagles won it the hard way - Roy Hodgson

Palace dropped into the bottom three briefly during Saturday when Southampton led Chelsea 2-0 at St Mary's but the Blues' late-comeback and their own win means the gap to the 18th-placed Saints is six points.

That cushion is even more remarkable given the fact the south London club had no points and had not scored a goal after seven games of the season.

They now have a gap between themselves and the relegation zone and one thing many of their rivals do not, a serious attacking threat.

"We clung on and it was a very important victory," Hodgson said. "It keeps us in, with four games to go, a chance of maintaining our Premier League status.

"Stoke and Southampton have got a game in hand, if they win the games the gap will be a lot less but the teams above us will have to start looking over their shoulders soon."

Defending and run-in leaves Brighton worried

Brighton players
Brighton are winless in their last 10 away games

If Palace's start was the perfect one in a game between two rivals, Brighton's was the opposite.

After 14 minutes they were behind to two set-piece goals. First they did not track Milivojevic and allowed him to carry the ball into the area after a short corner and then they failed to clear another corner before Tomkins scrambled the ball home.

Murray pulled Brighton back into the game with his smart finish but defending again cost the visitors when Ezequiel Schelotto let Zaha to head in unchallenged at the back post to restore Palace's lead.

"They were three poor goals from our point of view," manager Chris Hughton. "What we will do is talk about the second half and the fact we gave ourselves a chance but it's almost impossible to turn it around when you give away the goals we gave away."

Brighton moved into 10th place when they beat Arsenal on 4 March but have since only collected one point from four games.

They have a game in hand over their relegation rivals and a seven-point gap but their remaining five games are all against teams in the top seven.

The Seagulls have home games against Spurs and Manchester United to come and also have to travel to Burnley, Manchester City and Liverpool.

"We knew we had a difficult run in and knew we would have to get a result that nobody expected us to be able to get," Hughton said."

"We've put ourselves in this position and it's down to us to get those points."

You can't defend like that and expect points' - analysis

Former Newcastle defender Alan Shearer on Match of the Day: "You can't expect to take points from a Premier League game defending like Brighton did in the first half.

"They have conceded more set-piece goals than anyone in the league.

"Palace didn't play with a centre-forward and Brighton didn't know who to mark. Wilfried Zaha was excellent and everything they did well went through him.

"For his goal he started the move, nobody was tight on him, then it was a brilliant ball in and again nobody was picking him up. He darts in and it was a hell of a header.

"Zaha and Andros Townsend did all their good work down the left."

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Crystal Palace 3-2 Brighton: Manner of goals conceded frustrating - Chris Hughton

Man of the match- Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha
Zaha's two goals take him to seven for the season and Palace may well have the best player among the teams at the bottom of the table

Zaha's headed first - the best stats

  • Crystal Palace ended a run of four top-flight home games without a victory (D1 L3), netting three goals in a league game at Selhurst Park for the first time since May 2017 (4-0 v Hull).
  • Brighton have conceded in each of the past 12 Premier League games - the longest current run without a clean sheet in the division.
  • This game saw five first-half goals, the most in any Premier League game this season.
  • Wilfried Zaha has scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since March 2015 (v QPR and Stoke).
  • In completing his first-ever Premier League double, Zaha netted his first-ever headed goal in the competition.
  • Zaha has now bagged five goals against Brighton in all competitions, more than he has managed against any other side, with four of those goals coming in his last three against the Seagulls.
  • Brighton have conceded 14 goals from corner situations this season, more than any other side.
  • Glenn Murray has scored three goals in the past two league meetings between these two sides in the league at Selhurst Park (excl. play-offs), scoring twice in a 3-0 win for Palace in December 2012.
  • Murray is the fifth player to score against Crystal Palace in the Premier League having previously played for them in the competition, and the first since Leon McKenzie in April 2005 (for Norwich).

What's next?

Palace's next match sees them travel to Vicarage Road to play Watford next Saturday (15:00 BST kick-off). Brighton have their game in hand on Tuesday at home against Tottenham (19:45 BST).

Line-ups

Crystal Palace

  • 13HennesseyBooked at 89mins
  • 2Ward
  • 5Tomkins
  • 12Sakho
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 18McArthur
  • 7CabayeSubstituted forBentekeat 71'minutes
  • 4MilivojevicBooked at 16mins
  • 8Loftus-CheekSubstituted forRiedewaldat 80'minutes
  • 11ZahaBooked at 79mins
  • 10Townsend

Substitutes

  • 1Speroni
  • 9Sørloth
  • 14Lee
  • 17Benteke
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 34Kelly
  • 44Riedewald

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 21Schelotto
  • 22Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 3BongSubstituted forMarchat 86'minutes
  • 13GroßSubstituted forUlloaat 71'minutes
  • 7KayalBooked at 90mins
  • 6StephensBooked at 11mins
  • 19Izquierdo
  • 17Murray
  • 25LocadiaSubstituted forKnockaertat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Bruno
  • 9Baldock
  • 11Knockaert
  • 16Ulloa
  • 18Goldson
  • 20March
  • 26Krul
Referee:
Andre Marriner
Attendance:
24,656

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home15
Away12
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Crystal Palace 3, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 3, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

Booking

Beram Kayal (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Beram Kayal (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Christian Benteke following a fast break.

Attempt missed. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Beram Kayal with a cross.

Booking

Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Solly March with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Andros Townsend.

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Solly March replaces Gaëtan Bong.

Hand ball by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).

Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Anthony Knockaert with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Joel Ward.

Attempt saved. Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jairo Riedewald replaces Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Booking

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

Gaëtan Bong (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Andros Townsend.

Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Pascal Groß.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Christian Benteke replaces Yohan Cabaye.

Attempt blocked. Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by José Izquierdo.

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Gaëtan Bong (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James McArthur.

Attempt missed. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt missed. Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Beram Kayal.

Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City33283293256887
2Man Utd32225563253871
3Liverpool342010478354370
4Tottenham33207665303567
5Chelsea33186957332460
6Arsenal321661061431854
7Burnley33141093329452
8Leicester331110124947243
9Everton34119143954-1542
10Newcastle32108143341-838
11Bournemouth34911144156-1538
12Watford34107174260-1837
13Brighton33811143146-1535
14Huddersfield3498172754-2735
15West Ham32810144058-1834
16Crystal Palace34810163654-1834
17Swansea3389162746-1933
18Southampton33513153353-2028
19Stoke3369183063-3327
20West Brom33312182652-2621
View full Premier League table

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