Match Reports

Report: Crystal Palace 3 Albion 2

By James Hilsum • 14 April 2018

  • Wilfried Zaha (2) and James Tomkins on target for Crystal Palace
  • Glenn Murray scores for Albion against his former club
  • Jose Izquierdo also on target for the Seagulls
  • Albion remain seven points clear of the bottom three

Brighton & Hove Albion failed to move further away from the relegation zone following a narrow 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

All five goals came in an action-packed first half, as Wilfried Zaha’s brace and a James Tomkins strike helped secure all three points for Palace, while Glenn Murray and Jose Izquierdo found the net for the Seagulls.

Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Huddersfield Town, as Beram Kayal replaced the suspended Davy Propper, while Jurgen Locadia came in for Solly March.

Palace took the lead with just four minutes on the clock, as Zaha tapped the ball home from point-blank range following Luka Milivojevic’s one-two with Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Mathew Ryan was then called into action at his near post after he palmed away Andros Townsend’s effort.

The Eagles doubled their lead with 13 minutes on the clock courtesy of Tomkins, after Ryan failed to claim the ball following two shots inside the box. That lead to Shane Duffy making a goalline clearance, before the Palace centre-back fired home.

The deficit was halved just four minutes later as Murray hooked the ball home from Lewis Dunk’s header inside the box.

After taking the corner leading up to Albion’s first goal, Pascal Gross took aim from distance and saw his speculative effort fly over the upright.

Albion almost had a chance to level the scores when Kayal played a through ball towards Izquierdo in the box, but the Colombian was denied by Wayne Hennessey.

Palace struck yet again through Zaha with 25 minutes on the clock, as he headed home Milivojevic’s in-swinging cross to restore Palace’s two-goal cushion.

Despite the setback, Hughton’s men halved the deficit again, this time through Izquierdo, who sent an unstoppable curling finish beyond Hennessy from Locadia’s audacious assist.

It was nearly 4-2 in first-half stoppage-time when Milivojevic’s strike from distance took a nick off Duffy and forced Ryan into a fine one-handed save.

Hughton freshened up the left flank at the break, bringing on Anthony Knockaert for Locadia.

Knockaert was involved in Albion’s first opportunity after the re-start, but his free-kick from the edge of the box was comfortably collected by Hennessey.

Murray came within inches of levelling the scores on the hour mark when he stretched to meet Kayal’s perfectly-weighted cross, but saw his attempt go agonisingly wide of Hennessey’s far post.

Knockaert raced forward on the counter-attack from a Palace corner and nearly picked out Izquierdo, but Patrick van Aanholt tracked back well to make the interception.

Albion continued to press forward as the ball fell to Murray inside the area, but the forward saw his shot blocked.

Knockaert continued his fine performance following his introduction from the bench, and he whipped in an enticing cross towards Leo Ulloa, but Hennessey was out first to punch the ball clear.

The Welshman was called into action again moments later as he tipped away a Dale Stephens shot from distance.

Murray had a golden opportunity to seal a well-deserved point after a much-improved second-half display, but couldn’t guide in Kayal’s cross from close range as Palace claimed all three points.

ALBION: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong (March 86); Izquierdo, Kayal, Stephens; Gross (Ulloa 71), Locadia; (Knockaert 46) Murray.

SUBS NOT USED: Krul (GK), Bruno, Goldson, Baldock.

CRYSTAL PALACE: Hennessey; Ward, Tomkin, Sakho, van Aanholt; Loftus-Cheek (Riedewald 80), McArthur, Cabaye (Benteke 71), Milivojevic; Townsend, Zaha.

SUBS NOT USED: Speroni (GK), Kelly, Wan-Bissaka, Lee, Sorloth.

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