Brighton left it late against Crystal Palace again as Joachim Andersen’s own goal cancelled out Conor Gallagher’s strike in a dramatic 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.
In a drama-filled first half, Graham Potter’s side were twice denied an opener during a crazy few minutes in which they missed a penalty and had a goal disallowed.
Pascal Gross’ poor strike from the spot was kept out by Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland after Joel Veltman was adjudged to have been fouled by Will Hughes at a corner following a VAR intervention.
There was barely any time to draw breath before Neal Maupay bundled the ball into the back of the net, but Brighton’s celebrations were soon cut short. Referee Robert Jones was once again called to the pitchside monitor and he again reversed his decision, ruling Maupay had knocked the ball out of Butland’s hands.
“I think VAR got pretty much everything right. I can see why it was chalked off and why the penalty was given. Yep, well done.”
Brighton were quickly out of the blocks again in the second half and they were inches away from the lead again when Jakub Moder’s back-heel looped up and over Butland before striking the top of the bar as Palace survived.
However, completely against the run of play, Palace snatched the lead through Gallagher. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder emphatically fired his seventh Premier League goal of the season into the right corner after Jeffrey Schlupp pulled the ball back from the byline.
- Brighton boss Graham Potter made seven changes. Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, defenders Marc Cucurella and Adam Webster, midfielders Jakub Moder, Adam Lallana and Alexis Mac Allister and forward Leandro Trossard were recalled following last weekend’s FA Cup win at West Brom.
- Forward Odsonne Edouard returned for the visitors in the only change to Patrick Vieira’s starting XI, with Jean-Philippe Mateta dropping to the bench. The Eagles arrived at the Amex Stadium sitting three positions and four points below their ninth-placed hosts.
It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for Potter, but just as they did in the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park earlier in the season, Brighton struck late, levelling with three minutes remaining. Maupay worked his way into the box past Joel Ward and his low cross was turned into his own net by Palace defender Andersen as the hosts finally got their reward.
There was still time for one final chance for the hosts as Danny Welbeck got the wrong side of Marc Guehi to meet Solly March’s cross, but arching backwards, he could only head over as Palace survived to secure a point.
The draw sees Brighton move up to eighth, while Crystal Palace also move up the table into 11th.
Brighton: Sanchez (7), Veltman (7), Burn (7), Webster (7), Moder (7), Lallana (6), Gross (5), Cucurella (7), Mac Allister (7), Maupay (7), Trossard (7).
Subs: Lamptey (6), Welbeck (6), March (7).
Crystal Palace: Butland (8), Ward (6), Guehi (6), Andersen (7), Mitchell (6), Hughes (6), Schlupp (7), Gallagher (7), Olise (6), Edouard (6), Eze (6).
Subs: Milivojevic (6), Mateta (6), Benteke (n/a).
Man of the match: Jack Butland.
‘A big result for Palace; Brighton will be gutted’
Sky Sports’ Gary Neville at the Amex Stadium
“You could sense the equaliser was coming.
“Brighton did really well after Crystal Palace had scored and to be fair, Patrick Vieira tried to make substitutions to make his side more solid, but it was a poor header from Luka Milivojevi and Joel Ward commits himself.
“It was a clever bit of play from Maupay and he pulled the ball back into a dangerous area, and Andersen gave Butland no chance.
“Conor Gallagher came out and said Palace didn’t play very well, but that was a bit of an understatement. They really struggled in that game and to get a point out of it is a big result for Palace.
“Brighton will be gutted they haven’t won that game.”
Potter: Can’t get much more dominant than that
Brighton boss Graham Potter praised his side’s dominant display, describing the result as both a missed opportunity and a point gained after the late goal to rescue a draw.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I thought we were fantastic, first half especially. Can’t get much more dominant that.
“Overall, the performance and character of the team to recover from the setback of missing a penalty and conceding, to come back, really pleasing.
“It is football and all you can do is focus on the quality of our performance which was really, really pleasing. Overall, in the game I thought we were the better team.
“I can’t be anything but pleased with how we went about our work tonight.”
When asked if it was a point gained or a missed opportunity, Potter added: “Both. At the end of the game, you have to take what you have. The thing we have to take forward is the performance.”
‘Butland was my man of the match’
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira was full of praise for Butland after his saves helped the visitors to a point.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Vieira said: “I think it is important to analyse all the game and a draw at half-time was good for us. The second half was good. I am happy with the draw and the point we took back home.
“Brighton were really dominant but they were getting frustrated because they couldn’t create many chances and they took more risks as the game went on. We were patient and we defended well, and we are going back with a point.
“Jack Butland was the man of the match. I am delighted for him. He is working hard every single day; He needed a chance, and he was at his best today and that allowed us to go home with the points.”
Analysis: Time for Brighton to move on a striker?
Sky Sports’ Ron Walker:
“If only it was a game of xG. Yet again, Brighton have dominated a game without winning it. They have started showing signs they can find the back of the net this season, and their new-found Midas touch launched them into the European places earlier in the season.
“But they still have not grasped how to routinely turn territorial dominance into goals. Neal Maupay, often criticised for his wasteful finishing, barely had a chance to prove that wrong and instead it was Jakub Moder, Leandro Trossard and Danny Welbeck who shared the burden of creating another evening of near misses.
“It was almost in the script that Palace should score from their first shot on target, showing Brighton exactly how it is done as teams have been doing to Graham Potter’s side ever since he walked into the door.
“They have such great control over 80 per cent of the pitch, but the final 20 per cent, the clincher, is still beyond them. The January window is almost midway through, and if the Seagulls are serious about turning their nice play into points for the rest of the season, it is time to act.
“This was the sixth time this season they have had an xG of more than double their opponents’ – but on the scoreline, six is also the amount of games they have managed to win all season.
“Despite a tough night for Crystal Palace, the teamsheet may be the real winner for them. At an average age of 25 years and 31 days, their 11 starters represented the Eagles’ youngest Premier League line-up since Iain Dowie managed them to a 2-2 draw against West Brom in February 2005.
“Andy Johnson was one of the scorers that day – and he turns 41 next month. Steve Parish’s vision to rejuvenate one of the Premier League’s eldest squads is going swimmingly.”
Opta stats: Brighton strike late to keep unbeaten run going…
Brighton are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games (W2 D2), taking eight points in that time, as many as they managed in their previous 11 top-flight fixtures (D8 L3).
Brighton have scored six goals in the final five minutes of Premier League games this season, a joint-high along with Chelsea and Manchester City.
Crystal Palace have enjoyed just one win in their last 12 away Premier League games (D4 L7) after winning three of the seven before that (D1 L3).
Palace have scored with each of their last four shots on target against Brighton at the Amex in the Premier League.
Brighton are back in action on Tuesday when they face Chelsea at the Amex Stadium in the Premier League (kick-off 8pm).
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace’s next game is on Sunday, January 23 when they host Liverpool, live on Super Sunday on Sky Sports; Kick-off 2pm.