- Albion seal 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace
- Glenn Murray, Leon Balogun and Florin Andone all on target for Albion
- Shane Duffy is sent off in the first half
- Luka Milivojevic scores a consolation penalty for Palace
Brighton & Hove Albion claimed another memorable derby-day victory at the Amex with a scintillating 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.
All three Albion goals came in an incredible opening 45 minutes, which saw Glenn Murray, Leon Balogun and Florin Andone on the scoresheet, despite being reduced to ten men following Shane Duffy’s sending off.
Palace captain Luka Milivojevic scored a late consolation with ten minutes remaining to take some gloss off the scoreline, but the Seagulls held on for all three points.
Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that beat Huddersfield Town on Saturday with Martin Montoya and Murray replacing Bruno and Andone in the starting line-up.
Albion applied some early pressure on the Palace goal and had a couple of early corners that caused the Palace defence problems, before Murray headed wide from Duffy’s delivery into the box.
Palace created their first opportunity when Patrick van Aanholt picked out Andros Townsend inside the box, but the latter headed wide from deep inside the box.
Murray broke the deadlock when Jose Izquierdo went down following a challenge from James McArthur, and the Seagulls frontman made no mistake in converting from the penalty spot.
The Seagulls had another penalty shout just before the half-hour mark when Murray went down under the challenge of James Tomkins, but referee Kevin Friend dismissed the appeals.
But amidst the protests Duffy was shown a straight red card after appearing to make contact with his head on Van Aanholt, and Hughton was forced to bring on Balogun in place of Gross.
The Nigerian became an instant hero in an incredible three minutes, as he latched onto March’s deflected corner with a sweet right-footed volley to make it 2-0 with 31 minutes played - while Albion were briefly down to nine men.
Murray was clearly struggling following his collision with Tomkins, and was replaced by Andone for Albion’s second change.
The topsy-turvy first half continued after Bernardo made a superb sliding block on the line to keep out Milivojevic’s strike to stop a certain goal for Palace.
The drama wasn’t over there though as Andone latched onto Bernardo’s clearance and surged down the length of the pitch before firing past Wayne Hennessey to end a breath-taking half of football.
Andone had an opportunity to get his second and Albion’s fourth just five minutes after the re-start, when he was picked out by Yves Bissouma, but the forward fired wide on this occasion.
The visitors began to pepper round the Albion penalty area without any real conviction, as another Townsend strike went wide before Max Meyer sliced his effort off target at the far post.
March continued his recent fine form with some tireless running in the second half, and had a chance to make it four, but his effort was blocked by Mamadou Sakho.
But the Eagles gained a foothold in the game when Balogun was penalised for a challenge on Wilfried Zaha, and Milivojevic sent Maty Ryan the wrong way to make it 3-1 with ten minutes left.
However, it was too little too late from the visitors and referee Kevin Friend soon blew the final whistle to confirm three points for the Seagulls, which moved them up to tenth in the Premier League table.
ALBION: Ryan; Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bernardo; Izquierdo (Knockaert 49), Propper, Bissouma, March; Gross (Balogun 31); Murray (Andone 35).
SUBS NOT USED: Steele (GK), Bong, Kayal, Locadia.
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