It was time for the players to step up in this fixture after disappointing in recent seasons, and it was worth the wait after a battling performance saw the visitors return to South London with all three points.
29th February 2020
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Crystal Palace
American Express Community Stadium, Village Way, Brighton BN1 9BL
REFEREE – Martin Atkinson
ASSISTANTS – Daniel Cook, Neil Davies, Jarred Gillett (fourth official)
VAR – Kevin Friend, Andy Halliday (assistant)
Yellow cards – Ezequiel Schelotto (27), Christian Benteke (33), Martin Montoya (57)
Jordan Ayew (70)
Palace to a man put in a team performance to be proud of. It was not pretty and it certainly was not easy but they stuck together and put in a real shift to give us fans something to savour – a win against our rivals that will leave a smile on our faces for some time come. Not only that, it puts Brighton in real trouble with 10 games of the season let to play. This goes a long way to making up for what happened over the two games last season, normal service resumes in this fixture.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
Only referral was after the spat on the touchline between Zaha and Schelotto which ended with the full back being booked.
BOB’S POINT OF VIEW
Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.
“My pre-match thoughts were that this was a must win home game for Brighton whilst an away point would have been a satisfactory return for us. The game panned out as expected with Brighton dominating possession without being a consistent threat. They lacked the necessary cutting edge to cause us real damage with only the odd long range effort troubling Guaita. Much credit to our defensive set up keeping danger at arms length for long periods of the game.
Unlike the poor loss at the Amex last season, every single Palace player was fully committed and focused on ensuring we performed throughout the full match duration. Consequently, no major defensive lapses in concentration occurred. The game was eventually decided with a neat finish by Ayew following a slide rule pass from Benteke.
Although, with added time there were nervous minutes to follow, we came closest to scoring again after Zaha struck the post. All credit to every player for what was a battling team performance but special mentions to Dann and Cahill who formed an excellent partnership ensuring we kept an invaluable clean sheet. A mention in dispatches too for our fantastic supporters. They were the proverbial 12th man from beginning to end. One more win required to ensure safety. Up the Palace!”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (9) – Made the saves to keep us in the game which are proving to be gold dust.
2 JOEL WARD (7) – Solid as usual. Even though it is clear he is getting slower with each passing season, he played his part in the victory.
6 SCOTT DANN (8) – An absolute mountain at the back for the whole game.
24 GARY CAHILL (9) – Great chance at the far post but his header bounced over the bar. Excellent game for the skipper.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7) – Decent but did not have a huge impact even if some of his defending left a lot to be desired. Hard to be critical of anyone though after this result.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – First big chance of the game fell to him but he could not get the ball out of his feet.
22 JAMES MCCARTHY (7) – Very good first half in the middle of the park but a hamstring pull let him down. Replaced by 44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (8) on 46 minutes who surprisingly came on ahead of Milivojevic but proved why with a terrific half.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – We needed his engine for this game when there were stages where it looked like we might lose the midfield battle.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7) – Almost snatched a second but his effort came back off the post after a great break. Always a threat, lively throughout and public enemy once again.
9 JORDAN AYEW (7 – GOAL!) – Not one of his best games but he caused trouble and popped up with the crucial winner. Palace have not lost when he has scored so far this season.
17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7 – ASSIST! BOOKED!) – Brilliant play to set up the winner. Led the line well and was always involved in any attack that Palace made. Replaced by 20 CENK TOSUN (7) on 87 minutes who almost assisted a second which would have settled any late nerves.
13 Wayne Hennessey, 34 Martin Kelly, 4 Luka Milivojevic, 7 Max Meyer, 10 Andros Townsend
1 Ryan, 22 Montoya, 15 Webster, 5 Dunk, 33 Burn, 24 Propper, 8 Bissouma, 18 Mooy, 11 Trossard, 20 March, 7 Maupay
Substitutes – 6 Stephens, 13 Gross, 16 Jahanbakhsh (replaced Montoya on 78 minutes), 17 Murray (replaced Murray on 66 minutes), 21 Schelotto, 27 Button, 46 Alzate (replaced Bissouma on 82 minutes)
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “I’m very proud. Both teams were totally aware of how important this game is. It was a hard-fought derby. Both teams will feel they did everything they could possibly do. We knew we’d have to dig in and fight plenty of battles out there. It is a remarkable victory because this is a fixture where we haven’t done so well in recent years, and it’s nice to break that hoodoo. It’s good to get back-to-back wins and we’ve got two important games coming up. If they go well, we can kiss relegation goodbye.”
GRAHAM POTTER – “It’s a sore one for us. That’s football, you have to put the ball in the net. We created stuff, we tried, had shots, had chances, they didn’t have too much. I feel for the boys. We have to dust ourselves down. There’s enough quality there. We showed enough to say that we can move forward, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Vicente Guaita (8.4) while Solly March (6) had the most shots. The most tackles were by Cheikhou Kouyate (8) as Yves Bissouma (5) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.81 – 7.09
- Total shots: 23 – 12
- Shots on target: 8 – 3
- Possession: 66.5% – 33.5%
- Pass success: 83 – 68
- Dribbles: 12 – 5
- Aerials won: 31 – 18
- Tackles: 26 – 23
- Corners: 8 – 7
- Dispossessed: 18 – 20
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 12th in the Premier League with 36 points from 28 games, a point behind Everton in 11th and two points ahead of Southampton in 13th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
07/03/2020 Watford (h – 3pm)
14/03/2020 Bournemouth (a – 3pm)
21/03/2020 Liverpool (a – 5.30pm)