Moments after the Seagulls went 1-0 up through Glenn Murray’s spot-kick, defender Shane Duffy was sent off for thrusting his head at Patrick van Aanholt after referee Kevin Friend had turned down a second penalty appeal.
Brighton produced one of the best Premier League performances of the season to sweep aside Crystal Palace despite playing for 62 minutes with only 10 men.
Playmaker Pascal Gross was immediately replaced by the more defensive-minded Leon Balogun, and the substitute’s first touch was a stunning strike to double the home side’s lead.
The best was yet to come for the hosts, as Florin Andone ran 40 yards down the left to fire in the third goal in first-half stoppage time. The Romanian forward had only been on the pitch for 14 minutes, having replaced the injured Murray.
Home goalkeeper Mat Ryan had little to do until the 81st minute, when he was beaten by Luka Milivojevic’s penalty.
Chris Hughton’s side managed to subdue Palace’s attack in the remaining minutes to record a memorable win.
Seagulls defy odds after losing Duffy
Brighton fans will remember this M23 derby for a very long time.
In teeming rain at Amex Stadium they witnessed their side reduced to 10 men in the 28th minute, score three times, and comfortably keep their arch-rivals at bay.
After an underwhelming start, the Seagulls were awarded a penalty when James McArthur brought down Jose Izquierdo. Murray fired the resulting spot-kick in off the bar for his sixth goal in seven home league games this season.
The veteran striker’s evening ended a few minutes later, when he injured a shoulder in a challenge with James Tomkins in the Palace area. Friend turned down the subsequent penalty appeal, after which Duffy was sent off for his clash with Van Aanholt.
The gloom among the home support turned to cheers within seconds, when Balogun volleyed in with his first touch. That finish was excellent, but Andone’s effort just before the break was stunning.
The Romanian, a summer signing who scored in the win over Huddersfield last weekend, collected a long punt on the left-hand side and raced Tomkins to the area. The Palace defender managed to nudge the ball, but only back into the path of Andone, who fired an angled shot past Wayne Hennessey.
Despite losing one of their key defensive marshals in Duffy, Brighton’s rearguard were rarely troubled by a Palace attack that lacked ideas.
Palace waste golden opportunity
Eagles manager Roy Hodgson must be wondering how his side only managed to breach the last line of defence once with their numerical advantage.
Prior to the penalty, the closest they came to a goal was when Bernardo cleared Milivojevic’s shot off the line. The Serb did have more luck from the spot with nine minutes remaining, after Balogun had mistimed his tackle on Wilfried Zaha.
That was Zaha’s biggest contribution to a match prior to which he had a tense encounter with a Brighton fan.
Man of the match – Yves Bissouma (Brighton)
Brighton manager Chris Hughton: “When it was 11 v 11 we were the best side. I thought we were outstanding. It’s shame their penalty went in.
“There is no hiding place for what Duffy did. He knows better than that because he is an experienced international player.
“The second and third were big goals for us. The second was the one. It relieved pressure on us, then Andone’s third was special. It showed real desire.
“Murray’s shoulder is sore at the moment. We’ll see how he is in the morning.
“You know a bad run can leave you four or five without a win. To get two wins on the spin is big for us. We thoroughly deserved it.”
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “We won the second half comfortably, but not by enough goals. I didn’t have high hopes because I knew they would defend well. They came out deserved winners.
“Goals change things. It’s different at 0-0. At 1-0 and 2-0 down other factors come in. Without watching the game back, I don’t have a clear point to make about why this performance wasn’t as good.
“A win and a good performance in one game doesn’t give you the right to win the next one. At this level we take every game humbly. When we do win we are very happy, when we lose we are very unhappy. The adjectives after a while get wearying.”
Andone emulates former Wolves player – the stats
- Brighton’s win is their first in a midweek Premier League match (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) – drawing three and losing three of the previous six.
- Palace have picked up just one point from their past five Premier League away games (D1 L4), scoring three goals and conceding 10.
- Brighton have lost just one of their past 10 Premier League games at Amex Stadium (W5 D4), winning three of their past four (D1).
- Murray has scored the opening goal in five different Premier League games this season – only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (six) has done so more.
- Zaha has won more penalties (seven) and Milivojevic scored more (10) than any other players in the Premier League since last season.
- Andone is the first Romanian to score in consecutive Premier League appearances since Ionel Ganea in February 2004 – he scored against Arsenal and Leeds for Wolves.
Brighton are at Burnley on Saturday, when Palace are at West Ham (both 15:00 GMT).
Source: BBC News