Crystal Palace 1 – 1 Brighton. Brighton missed an opportunity in their push for European football as they were held to a Premier League draw at rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The influential Solly March opened the scoring for the visitors, directing Pervis Estupinan’s searching delivery into the top corner after getting in front of Tyrick Mitchell at the back post.
The hosts levelled six minutes later thanks to a glaring mistake by Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who dropped a routine catch from Michael Olise’s delivery, allowing James Tomkins to head home from close range.
The result leaves Roberto de Zerbi’s Brighton four points behind fifth-placed Tottenham – beaten heavily by Leicester on Saturday – with two games in hand, while Palace sits 12th in the table.
However, the Seagulls will look back ruefully on this match after failing to capitalise on their dominance and the numerous excellent goalscoring chances they created.
Estupinan was deemed by VAR to be narrowly offside after scooping a right-footed finish past Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita during an entertaining but goalless first period.
Brighton’s smooth and fluent style was in total contrast to the hosts, who seemed intent on making it a scrappy affair.
But while all three of Palace’s best chances arrived from their opponents’ mistakes – two blocked Jean-Philippe Mateta efforts and Tomkins’ goal – it was nevertheless enough to earn them a hard-fought point.
While Brighton extended their unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions, the league table would have had a more favourable complexion for them had they been able to secure the victory that their football deserved.
They could have been out of sight by half-time had their finishing matched the invention and quality they exhibited in their build-up play.
On his return from suspension, Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister engaged in a personal duel with Guaita, who superbly denied him on three occasions and also displayed his athleticism to prevent in-form winger Kaoru Mitoma from curling in his fourth goal in as many games.
Adam Webster also headed wide from a glorious position, as did Mac Allister late on when it seemingly appeared easier to score.
Palace, who managed just one effort on target and had just 25% of possession, should be credited for their resilience to remain in the contest.
Patrick Vieira’s side scrapped and hustled for every loose ball and Tomkins, captain Marc Guehi and Guaita were key figures in their recovery.
source – BBC