Manager Ian Holloway was full of praise for Glenn Murray after the striker got out of his sick bed to help Crystal Palace beat 10-man Brighton 3-0.
Murray scored twice to take his tally for the season to 17 goals from just 16 league games. Owen Garvan added another from the spot, Palace's second penalty of the day, while Brighton played 83 minutes with 10 men after Lewis Dunk's early red card for bringing Yannick Bolasie down when he was through on goal.
Bolasie was impressive throughout while Murray's goals grabbed the headlines and his decision to let Garvan take the second spot-kick instead of going for the hat-trick himself.
"He is a fantastic footballer," said Holloway. "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 to be honest Glenn is right up there with all of them.
"He was ill this morning and he wasn't going to play but we managed to get him out there. I am delighted with the professionalism of my lads even down to Murray giving up the penalty for his hat-trick as he has missed a couple recently."
Murray broke Brighton's stubborn resistance by heading in Bolasie's corner before the break and added a second from the spot when he was brought down by Tomasz Kuszczak. Murray was then shoved over by Gordon Greer for the second penalty which Garvan dispatched.
Aside from Craig Mackail-Smith hitting the post at the start of the second half, Brighton offered very little and manager Gus Poyet was honest in his assessment.
"I would say it was unexpected," he said. "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 - it put a big task ahead of us, but that's football I suppose.
"It was an absolutely perfect decision, it was a red card. If we scored you have got a different game but it was not a day for anything to come for us, not even a bit of luck or mistake from one of them or the referee."
- Sports & Recreation
- Glenn Murray
- Owen Garvan