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Crystal Palace vs Brighton 21/22

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well.

We are back with yet another derby at home, but this time it isn’t a London one. On Monday 28th of September, possibly the most anticipated Palace game of the season had arrived, and it was time for the M23 derby! The rivalry between the two clubs goes back over 40 years, and each game is still as intense to date.

Brighton was going into the game with the hopes of going top of the table if they picked up 3 points, so even more than the average 3 points was weighing on this game, the players and fans knew this would be a big one. They had won 4/5 games in the opening stages of the season, so this added with Palace’s upgraded performances would make a great game.

This was our first evening kick-off, with the game starting at 8pm. Due to the history of the clubs meetings there was a lot of police around, and this is the main reason it was being held on a Monday evening. I didn’t see any fights break out, but we aren’t near the away stand so I’m not sure if there were any there. Vieira made two changes to the starting line-up bringing in Milivojevic to reclaim his captains armband in replace of Kouyate, and Edouard making his first start in replace of Benteke. The Palace players were welcomed to the pitch by an enthusiastic and very loud Selhurst Park. On the contrary Brighton were booed out, and this continued throughout, I guess it could be a pretty hostile atmosphere for away teams especially Brighton. The Holmesdale stand presented a banner saying, “We’re the boys from SE25”, they were the ones orchestrating the stadium throughout the game. This was Zaha’s 400th appearance for the club and his 10th year anniversary since his first Palace goal, which was ironically against Brighton.

The game kicked off at 8pm, with Brighton taking the first kick. The pressure was applied very early on from us, winning a corner directly in front of our seat. Luka has now replaced Conor on set piece duties, I was slightly surprised by this because Conor had been doing so well, but I guess Milivojevic has been showing progress in training. There were some brilliant long balls on show during the game specifically from the two fullbacks, this emphasises the attacking threat Vieira is implementing. Palace did well to play around the Brighton defence on multiple occasions, one chance falling to Gallagher who was able to drive into the box, his shot was on target but headed out of play by Dunk for another Palace corner. We were playing some lovely possession-based football in different parts of the half, once again Mitchell looking fantastic when on the attack with Wilf. Our next shot on target came from Edouard, after Andersen charged his way out of position before playing the ball out to Ayew on the wing, he could cut inside and play into Zaha, some quick one touch football between himself, Andersen (who had continued his run towards the box), and Edouard, his final shot was radio the caught by the goalkeeper. Palace dominated the first 30 minutes with Brighton creating nothing, they started to find their rhythm in the final 10 minutes, as one long ball up from the Brighton defence left Palace in a bit of danger; Welbeck had made a run through our two right sided defender and was heading towards goal, his shot lacked power and accuracy so was easy for Guaita to catch. Zaha went down the other end for a shot, but it was deflected straight into the hands of the keeper. In the 47th minute some late drama occurred, once again Gallagher was able to drive into the box and towards goal after receiving the ball from Ayew, he was shoved to the ground by Trossard, easy decision for the ref as he instantly pointed to the spot. Penalty to Palace! Zaha stepped up, highlighting how he is our number one penalty taker now, fast run up and of course the ball found its way into the back of the net, keeper sent flying the complete wrong way. To antagonise the travelling away fans even more he ran straight over to the away end with his ears cupped, to be fair to them they didn’t react as badly as I expected. The stadium erupted with noise, everyone supporting Palace in the stadium enjoyed that moment. 1-0 to Palace! There are many new players in the team, but Zaha is one of the ones that will remember the previous encounters with Brighton. As soon as the game resumed the ref blew for half time, great way to end the half for us.

For the first half Palace just won the stat battle, we were hoping for the same in the second half. Brighton started the half relatively strong but nothing the team couldn’t handle. Gallagher is such a pleasure to watch, he’s like a whippet on the pitch trying his absolute hardest to chase the ball down and win it back, he provided even more energy around the stadium on top of an already amazing atmosphere. It was a pretty physical game with lots of pauses in play, Brighton won a free kick early in the second half, the ball was whipped in onto the head of Dunk, his attempt was tipped over the bar by Guaita for a corner; but once again the keeper was ready to react and could punch it clear. Even though Brighton did become much stronger in the second half, our whole team did so well at closing them down, not giving them time on the ball and forcing them to make mistakes. A slip from a Brighton defender after a pass out from the keeper, invited Edouard to pick up the ball playing it through to Zaha who was heading towards goal, his shot forced a save from the keeper, but the linesman had his flag up and instead Brighton was given a free kick. Most of our attacking threat came from Zaha as he was confident in running at the players forcing his way into the box, but none of his chances found the back of the net. Our first substitutions came in the 71st minute, as Vieira made a double change bringing on Benteke and Kouyate, in replace of Edouard and Milivojevic. Benteke played a poor ball into midfield from a throw in, but after a heavy touch from the Brighton played the ball was back with Gallagher, he was clearly fouled by the ref waved advantage, Benteke was on the ball heading towards goal, he played it out to Ayew who was running into the box, but his shot was blazed wide. Such disappointment because we really needed a second goal for security and he should be scoring those chances, the better option may have been to pass the ball back to Benteke who was free rather than taking on the shot himself as he was being closed down by the keeper. Our final substitution was made in the 86th minute with Schlupp returning from injury to replace Ayew. Once again late drama effected the game, from our own goal kick we had somehow conceded, a poor kick out from Guaita which was way to central landing with a Brighton player who could send it straight back into our box where Maupay was able to lop Guaita who was off his line. To rub salt in the wounds he mocked Zaha’s celebration in front of the home fans, but I think we were too shocked to care. 1-1 and the final whistle was instantly blown.

So heart-breaking for us as we truly didn’t deserve to lose like that, some amazing performances were on show but sadly one mistake cost us all 3 points. I guess we can be happier to at least come away with a point, but after managing to keep them at bay the whole 90 minutes to just switch off in the final kick of the game is devastating. I think what hurt the most was seeing how happy the Brighton fans were after being practically silenced for the majority of the game. After this result at the end of the game week we are sitting in 15th place, but it’s pretty close in terms of points at the moment.

Match stats:

• Palace had a total of 46.9% possession, Brighton had 53.1%

• Palace had a total of 8 shots with 3 on target.

• Brighton had 8 shots with 4 on target.

We have another home game next week so need to put the mistake behind us and be prepared to face Leicester on Sunday.

Thank you for reading

Ellie Xx

1 commentaire

Well done Ellie another really interesting well written blog.

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