Crystal Palace 3-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Eagles Come Out On Top In A 5-Goal Thriller
Crystal Palace inched further away from the threat of relegation, after defeating Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 at the Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The Eagles were off to a flying start and took the lead just five minutes into the game, thanks to a Wilfried Zaha tap-in after Brighton failed to deal with a set-piece situation. They went 2-0 up soon after when James Tomkins fired in from close range after a goal-mouth scramble in the 13th minute.
However, Brighton came right back into the game, as Glenn Murray pulled one back in the 18th minute, volleying home from point-blank range. Six minutes later, Palace had their two-goal cushion back as Zaha powered a header into the back of the net for his second goal of the day.
The game continued to swing both ways as the Seagulls once again managed to halve Palace’s lead, courtesy of a lovely finish from Jose Izquierdo in the 33rd minute.
Brighton continued to create chances for the rest of the game but failed to breach the Eagles goal again and the home side came away with three very crucial points.
Here’s how the Palace players fared on the day.
Crystal Palace Player Ratings
Wayne Hennessey – 7/10
Not a lot he could do about the goals but displayed great command in the box against set-pieces. Pulled off a stunning save to deny Dale Stephens late in the game.
Joel Ward – 5/10
Returning to the starting lineup, the Englishman was given a tough time by Izquierdo. Was beaten easily by the winger, leading to Brighton’s second goal and was under pressure throughout.
James Tomkins – 6.5/10
Scored the Eagles’ second goal of the game with a well-struck left-footed effort from close range. Did most things right.
Mamadou Sakho – 6.5/10
Resolute defending from the former Liverpool man, especially in the second period when the visitors piled on the pressure.
Patrick van Aanholt – 6/10
Fairly solid at the back, provided a good outlet on the left flank but the final ball let him down on a number of occasions.
Yohan Cabaye – 7/10
He sat in the middle and kept things ticking for the home team. Was neat and tidy in possession, and solid in tackles.
Luka Milivojevic – 8/10
Got the assist for the opening goal and then set Zaha up for his second with a brilliant pass. Picked up a silly booking, but was once again immense in the midfield.
James McArthur – 6/10
Provided good energy in the middle but his touches were sloppy at times. Did not offer much going forward.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6.5/10
Started off a little slow but grew with time and offered good thrust going forward, with his driving runs, especially after the break.
Andros Townsend – 7/10
Worked hard, created chances and was a lively presence in the final third for Roy Hodgson’s side. Did his defensive duties well.
Wilfried Zaha – 8.5/10
The star for the Eagles, Zaha started the game brilliantly, opening the scoring and causing all sorts of troubles for the Brighton backline with his pace and trickery. Produced a brilliant header for the third goal but faded away a bit as the game wore on.
Christian Benteke – 5/10
Replaced Cabaye for the last twenty minutes. Didn’t do anything of note.
Jairo Riedewald – N/A
Was a late sub for Loftus-Cheek.