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Zaha puts Palace ahead from the spot
Ayew misses sitter to double home side's lead
Maupay scores dramatic, late equaliser as Palace fall asleep
When Brighton’s supporters woke up on Monday morning, they must have wondered how it would feel to be top of the Premier League. Never in the club’s history had they reached the summit of the English footballing tree, and many of them would not even have allowed themselves to dream of such a feat.
As it turned out, they still do not know how it feels. Sometimes, though, the joys of a single match and a single moment can feel just as sweet an achievement, and not one fan in the away end would have been thinking of the league table when Neal Maupay silenced Selhurst Park with the final kick of an absorbing, breathless night.
In those moments, when Maupay wheeled towards the furious Crystal Palace supporters, it mattered not that Brighton had failed to win the three points they needed to move into first place. The Frenchman’s goal instead brought only one point, cancelling out Wilfried Zaha’s first-half penalty, but to Brighton this felt like so much more than a draw.
You could see it in the reactions of their players, who unleashed 90 minutes of frustration in their celebrations. Maupay, never one to miss a chance to goad the opposition, cupped his ears to the Palace fans and fired a provocative glance towards Zaha, their goalscorer.
“When I scored, I looked at Zaha and smiled at him,” said Maupay. “When he scored his penalty, he celebrated and he gave some to our fans. I will not say what he said and what I said, but you know how it is on the pitch with players sometimes. You give banter on the pitch sometimes and it was the perfect time to give him something.”
Inevitably, it all spilled over. The players clashed on the pitch at the final whistle, while Brighton’s then had to duck their way past the abuse of home fans who stormed across the stands, towards the tunnel.
Such is life in this strange rivalry. There always seems to be drama when these two meet, and it always seems to be late. Perhaps Zaha should have known that, instead of revelling so joyously in his first-half goal on his 400th appearance.
At least, from his point of view, he has prevented Brighton from topping the table. The winger was simply not going to allow that to happen on his watch, and certainly not on his own turf. Along with the inexhaustible Conor Gallagher, he led the charge for Patrick Vieira’s side – the better team on the night.
“To concede a goal like that is brutal,” said Vieira of Maupay’s equaliser. His anguish would have been exacerbated by the fact that, just before, Jordan Ayew had wasted a clear opportunity to extend Palace’s lead. “Missing that chance was important,” Vieira admitted. “We are really gutted, really disappointed. Conceding a goal in the last kick of the game, it is something that is difficult to accept.”
For Palace, this was a night that offered perhaps the best chance yet to prove how much they have changed since Vieira was appointed.
The Palace who claimed a remarkable smash-and-grab Amex win in the reverse of this fixture last year, despite seemingly not touching the ball for 90 minutes, preferred to sit in their shape under Roy Hodgson and counter when they could. This Palace are an entirely different proposition, however, and it was clear from the start that Vieira wanted far more attacking ambition.
With Gallagher leading the way, they were dominant. The Chelsea loanee was the game’s brightest star and it was he who won the penalty in the first half. Leandro Trossard made the clumsy challenge, and Zaha finished with typical precision. Brighton created few chances. Maupay required only one, though, and his stoppage-time lob was a work of goalscoring art.
“When you’re 1-0 down going into the 96th minute and you score, it feels like a win,” said Brighton manager Graham Potter. “It isn’t, it’s just a point but it’s a well-earned point. The spirit is amazing. The togetherness of the team, the character of the team. These are all the things you need.”
A stand-off between Sanchez and Zaha pushing and prodding each other ends the game.
Palace should have buried the game with Ayew's chance but lost their concentration and composure right at the death and were punished.
90+5 min Palace 1 Brighton 1
Guaita takes the free-kick and clears halfway but passes it straight to a Brighton player who lumps it first-time forward, Maupay steals a march on Andersen and Guehi to get to the ball as it bounced on the 18-yard line and Maupay popped it over the onrushing Guaita.
Palace 1 Brighton 1 (Maupay)
90+4 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Guaita claims a foul when going up with Duffy for a header, winning the challenge by punching the ball away before Duffy collided with him.
90+2 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Gallagher, who has been booked, is warned for a second time for timewasting by trying to delay Brighton's restart. Brighton eventually knock it forward but Palace squeeze their space and the ball drifts harmlessly out.
90+1 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
We'll have five minutes of added time because of the injuries to Alzate and Welbeck. They begin with a Palace corner which Benteke's close control does not allow him to keep it in the quadrant as he wanted to do.
89 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Brighton free-kick on the left, 35 yards out. Veltman whips it in with his right, Duffy gets up to win the header but it's more of a glancer than a full blooded thump and the ball bobbles tamely to Guaita.
87 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Zaha buys another free-kick. There's no one to match him.
86 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Jeffrey Schlupp is coming on for Ayew.
84 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Gallagher scythes down Cucurella after an impetuous lunge to try to recover the ball after a leaden touch.
82 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
80 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Brighton still in this after that let off but Palace carry the most threat on the break. Trossard has to shove an accelerating Zaha over in full flight to stop him bombing away down the left, for which he is booked.
78 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Ayew misses a sitter after Gallagher picks off Cucurella's pass in the centre-circle and races ahead. He slips it up to Benteke moments before Cucurella wipes him out in a two-footed slide which eventually earns him a yellow card. Benteke takes it to the left of the D before laying it off to his right for Ayew with the keeper preoccupied with Benteke. The right winger thunders a right-foot shot from 12 yards into the backboards. A groan you could hear in Purley echoes around Selhurst.
77 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Welbeck has to go off with a leg injury and on comes Connolly.
76 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Benteke wins the near post defensive header and Gallagher snaps in to stop a shot from the edge of the area.
74 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Brighton corner when Moder runs Ward down the left. Up come Dunk and Duffy.
72 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Zaha pushes Veltman in the chest after the Dutch full-back failed to apply the brakes before colliding with Palace's talisman, whose poor control had gift-wrapped a throw-in for Brighton.
71 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Double substitution: Benteke and Kouyate replace Edouard and Milivojevic.
69 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Benteke is putting his match shirt on and standing up. Vieira has his arm on his shoulder and is talking directly and intently into his ear.
67 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Moder makes an immediate impact by flooding behind Mitchell to receive an angled pass, skitter towards the box and ping over a cross that Guehi hacks behind. No change from the corner, though. Palace clear.
65 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Brighton make their second substitution: Moder replaces Alzate and Brighton switch to a diamond in midfield with Lallana at the base, Trossard at the tip and Moder to the right, Gross on the left.
64 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Alzate rolled his left ankle when Ayew fell on top of his outstretched leg. That would hurt like hell.
63 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Alzate is down clutching his left ankle. Moder is readied to replace him.
61 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Zaha uses the stop-start-sprint trick to spurt into the box from the left but his right-foot shot is blocked by Alzate and deflected behind. Cucurella bicycle kicks a clearance out for a throw when Palace try to chip it down the right from the corner.
59 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Gross stands up a diagonal cross to the back post from the left instead of playing Trossard clear down the right. Guaita sidesteps across to catch before Maupay can reach it.
57 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Palace defend the free-kick solidly and break down the left, Lallana races back to make the crucial sliding tackle at the cost of a corner that Sanchez catches under pressure from McArthur.
56 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
McArthur stops Lallana getting a shot off after his one-two with Trossard at the edge of the box but Brighton get the free-kick when Veltman is fouled before he can bundle the ball back into the box.
54 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Palace break from the second corner with Edouard and Zaha belting through the middle and the aggressive press forces an error from Sanchez as he passes to Alzate, who wasn't expecting it and slips. But Edouard's throughball to Zaha was delayed and the latter was offside when he tried to bend a shot up and over Sanchez which the keeper clawed away with a string right-arm diving to his left.
52 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
One corner begets another when Gallagher closes down Lallana's shot.
51 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Brighton free-kick on the left. Cucurella floats it towards the penalty spot and Dunk meets it, imparting enough power to send it towards the crossbar. Guaita takes no chances and tips it over.
50 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Aaagh. Now Cucurella is back at left-back. Milivojevic trips Lallana as the Brighton midfielder cannily draws the foul in his won D with some nifty footwork.
49 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Gallagher peels away from Cucurella and offers an outlet deep down the right but his cross is easily picked off.
47 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Correction Alzate has gone to left-back in a four with Cucurella ahead of him on the left of midfield.
46 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Alzate slots into midfield as Palace kick off, giving it more bite than Lallana can provide. Gross's cross from the right is picked off by Ward.
Alzate replaces Burn and Brighton revert to a flat back four.
Here's the goal
Sky is focusing on a two-footed challenge 30 seconds before the award of a penalty by Ward on Welbeck. The right-back did win the ball but then demolished Welbeck in the tackle, recklessly and harmfully I would say. But Andre Marriner waved play on.
Deserved on the balance of possession and domination of territory for Palace who are a team transformed under Patrick Vieira. Brighton have had their moments but the midfield hasn't really managed to get a hold, Cucurella doesn't like people running at him and they are not using out-balls to Trossard and Zaha nearly enough.
45+1 min Palace 1 Brighton 0
Does the keeper who dives to the right and he slots it into the bottom left corner.
Palace 1-0 Brighton (Zaha, pen)
45 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Palace penalty for Trossard knocking over Gallagher, with a shoulder barge after Cucurella pushed him. Brighton protest it was shoulder to shoulder but he slammed into him.
43 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Longish spell of Palace possession and probing but they can't get within the last 25 yards as Brighton retreat to banks of five, three and two.
41 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Milivojevic chips a pass from the centre down the inside left. Edouard sneaks between Dunk and Duffy but he can't get the power on the header when they come together to knock it over Sanchez.
39 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Brighton corner on the left earned by Cucurella's adventurous run. Edouard wins the header unchallenged in the centre of the box, nodding it out to the edge of the area where Gallagher is quick enough closing to disrupt Lallana's effort to smash a half-volley at goal. He gets the power but too much lift, flaying it miles over.
37 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Zaha receives a pass on the left side of the Brighton box, brings it down and then shoots straight at Sanchez.
35 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Chance for Brighton when the long pass is finally bend up the inside-left channel, veering infield, for Welbeck to chase. He follows it into the box, a nose ahead of Ward and Andersen but he stumbles and then the ball is too far ahead of him to get proper lift on it and scoop it over the onrushing Guaita. He says Ward fouled him but it doesn't look lie it. His trailing leg caught Ward's.
32 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Lallana, better the further upfield he is, wins the ball and invites Veltman to have a run at Zaha, which he does before shifting it inside to Maupay whose path to goal is blocked by two players. He checks and moves it out to the right but the cross from Trossard is too wild and hard to bother Palace.
30 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Trossard has a near-post shot after Welbeck manages to keep the ball in on the left - a call disputed by Palace fans - then shift it to Lallana who knocks a cute pass to the byline down the right for Veltman. The full-back crosses at the second attempt and Trossard makes a run across Guehi but can't work the angle to get his effort on target.
28 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Booking for Lallana who can't get a grip as a central midfielder in a two for shoving Gallagher over after getting frustrated that a free-kick wasn't awarded to Burn.
26 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Milivojevic takes the free-kick and attempts to gull Sanchez with a quick, snide one to the near post but batters it into the hoardings.
24 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Too few attempts by Brighton to stretch the legs of Welbeck and Trossard as Brighton keep playing it short and themselves into trouble. First Gallagher closes down and snaps like a bear trap to hurry a Brighton clearance then they pounce on Cucurella's panic after miscontrolling it with his chest and he concedes a free-kick 30 yards out on the right.
22 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Ayew heads on Milivojevic's crossfield chip to Ward whose attempt to slip Ayew back in to the byline is juts too heavy and the right-sided forward can't get there before it trickles out of play.
20 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Veltman v Mitchell and Zaha looks like the game defining battle.
18 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Nice touch from Edouard to cushion the ball in the D, spin and shoot but it's straight at Sanchez who flops to his knees to gather.
15 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
The Holmesdale is making its usual racket as Palace send the ball from right to left to Mitchell who beats Veltman to cross. Duffy sticks out a leg to block its path to Edouard and Gross closes down Milivojevic's shot from 22 yards.
13 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Plenty of possession for Palace but little penetration this last couple of minutes until they finally chip the ball up the left for Mitchell who works it to Palace but Brighton close him down quickly and shepherd the ball out of the area.
10 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Palace are very quick into the press, a clear indication of the difference between Royball and Patball. Brighton think Ward is Palace's most vulnerable player and are looking to send the ball behind the right-back and get him on the turn and haring back after Welbeck.
8 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Dunk heads Gallagher's right-foot curler from the left over the bar for another throw that Milivojevic bends straight down Sanchez's throat.
6 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Mitchell gallops up the left and whips over a left-foot outswinger that Edouard nods backwards. Ayews snaps into the contest, nicking the ball away from the dozing Lallana and then striking a right-foot shot that hits Dunk and goes out for a corner.
4 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Cucurella cuts out Ward's pass and sends Welbeck up the left to run at the Palace right-back. He beats him with a shimmy up the whitewash to take the ball on to his right and spear it to Maupay who is block-tackled by Guehi, the ball bounces up and strikes him on the hand. Palace free-kick but the whistle did not prevent Andersen grappling with Maupay and shoving him on to the floor.
3 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
Zaha and Gallagher combine up the left and keep the ball in the corner flag, drawing Dunk out to concede a corner that Duffy heads clear.
1 min Palace 0 Brighton 0
After the players take the knee, we're off and Andersen sends Maupay one way then cuts back on to his other foot to lose the centre-forward and switch the ball inside, provoking some loud mockery of Maupay.
Palace keeper and referee/linesmen all wearing all black. You don’t even have to be #colourblind to realise that’s not a smart choice.
— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) September 27, 2021
Out come Brighton
Wearing a shade of green that is more teal than mint. Palace in their red and blue, off-centre stripes.
Not sure what formation Brighton will be using in the absence of the injured Yves Bissouma. Sky thinks 3-4-3 which was my guess with Burn being selected as well as Cucurella.
Your teams in black and white
Crystal Palace Guaita; Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell; Milivojevic, McArthur, Gallagher; Ayew, Edouard, Zaha
Subs Butland, Kouyate, Kelly, Clyne, Schlupp, Hughes, Olise, Mateta, Benteke.
Brighton Sanchez; Dunk, Burn, Duffy; Veltman, Lallana, Gross, Cucurella; Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck.
Subs Steele, Lamptey, Connolly, Mac Allister, Moder, Alzate, March, Roberts, Richards.
Referee Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
And two for Brighton
Burn and Gross start, crucially no Bissouma.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) September 27, 2021
Two changes for Palace
Milivojevic and Edouard start:
And welcome to live coverage of a relatively modern but fierce rivalry between South London's and the south coast's finest,
DolphSeagulls vs Glazi Eagles for the right to hold supremacy over Crawley. In the intervening years we've had Alan Mullery, Steve Coppell and the five penalties in 1989, defecation gate and an awful lot of jostling, enmity and abuse. Today, though, we have Messrs Potter and Vieira in the midst of impressive rebuilding jobs and Brighton in a position to go top of the Premier League tonight with a victory and Palace with the opportunity to leapfrog up to 12th.
0 - @OfficialBHAFC have never spent a night at the top of the English top-flight - something that each of the other 19 current @PremierLeague clubs have done. Opportunity.
Should they beat C.Palace tonight, they'll end the night in 1st place. We look at the data on @OptaAnalyst.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 27, 2021
Vieira has held up Potter as a role model for his managerial career during the build-up, noting that both faced similar predicaments when replacing Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton respectively. "What is really positive is that Graham took over a club with a manager who was successful but playing in a different way.
"He managed to keep that success with his philosophy in place and how he wants to play the game. I think this is a good example for me of what I want to do in this football club. It's about me coming with different ideas but keeping the foundation that Roy has been building."
Two goals from Wilfried Zaha earned Palace a memorable 2-0 win at the Amex in 2013 on their way to Premier League promotion and they have remained in the top-flight ever since.
After coming through the club's academy, the 28-year-old relishes the chance to face Brighton and has scored seven goals in 13 appearances against them, but can also find himself targeted in an attempt to get him to lose his cool.
"Wilf has been here a while now and he understands this kind of game, so his experience will be important for the team," Vieira insisted.
"I don't want him to change, I want him to play with the same kind of passion because he is a winner and I want that kind of winning mentality to be translated to the rest of the team. This is his personality and I like to see him like that on the field."
Potter, meanwhile, searching for a first win in the fixture, says he has only discovered the intensity of the rivalry since his arrival at the Amex Stadium in 2019 and admits the pain of his two defeats and pair of draws (!) still lingers.
"I've become more aware since I've been in the job," he said. "It's a strange one, because in the first year there were crowds, people were around more, there was more interaction with people from outside and you get more stuff: 'Make sure we beat them', that type of talk.
"Because we've been in bubbles since then, you have less of that. It's not quite the same.
"The first game at Selhurst Park, the atmosphere was great. You feel it at the ground and that was probably the moment where you think 'OK, this is a nice, tasty match'. And it's exciting. For both sets of supporters it's just wonderful to be there, to experience the game."
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