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Crystal Palace vs Brighton 22/23

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

On Saturday 11th February 2023 Crystal Palace hosted Brighton at Selhurst Park in our first M23 derby of the season. The two sides were meant to meet earlier in the season but the game was postponed due to train strikes, this has now frustratingly been changed to a Thursday night in March which I will probably have to miss because of uni and how far the Amex is from North London.

This game was a 3pm kick off on a Saturday which given the nature of the teams when together was a surprise, but as far as I’m aware the police did manage to control the day well. It had been a long time since I went to a game with my mum and family, so it was good to be back!

The visitors came to Selhurst in 6th position in the Premier League having a great season. Despite losing Graham Potter to Chelsea they have managed to pick up points in all four games of 2023, including a 3-0 win over Liverpool at home.

Crystal Palace were coming into the game off the back of a narrow 2-1 loss away to Manchester United, where a good performance was on show especially after United went down to 10 men but the equaliser couldn’t be found. At home they had two back-to-back draws against teams in the top half of the table who both were in good form, we hoped the home record could continue for at least a point or even finally get a first win of the year!

Patrick Vieira made two changes to the line-up which saw James Tomkins and Jean-Philippe Mateta replace Chris Richards and Odsonne Edouard. He also named Albert Sambi Lokonga and Naouirou Ahamada his January signings on the bench for the first time at home, with them both making their debuts against Manchester united.

Before kick off the Palace fans in the Holmesdale stand did a display using red and blue flags with a banner along the bottom reading ‘Channel The Energy That Got Us Here’ to get everyone fired up ahead of the fierce rivalry.

James Tomkins’ second half header cancelled out Solly March’s earlier goal to end the game in a draw, continuing the Eagles four year unbeaten streak in the battle against the Seagulls.

Before the game the teams both showed their solidarity by taking the knee, continuing to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Palace started the game brightly with their passionate support behind them. They had some early possession in which the first chance of the game fell, Tyrick Mitchell after being found overlapping Jordan Ayew crossed the ball into the box, it was too high for Jean-Philippe Mateta but Cheick Doucoure did control the ball down but his shot rushed and went straight past the post.

As expected giving their current form it didn’t take long for Brighton to assert their dominance. Solly March picked up Alexis Mac Allister who was completely unmarked, his shot was a pretty weak one for Vicente Guaita to save.

Palace did have some good opportunities down both wings with Michael Olise winning his early battles, but the final balls were non-existent and often ended with possession being overturned.

It seemed really easy for Brighton to play through Palace’s midfield with lots of gaps being left. Guaita was called to action twice in quick succession to keep out shots from Mac Allister and Kaoru Mitoma.

As the half progressed Palace found it harder and harder to have any possession, and when they did have the ball lost in a few touches usually with a poor pass.

Brighton thought they had put themselves ahead via a Pervis Estupiñán top corner finish after being in by Pascal Groß who wriggled through the Palace defence, but VAR intervened and deemed the goal offside.

From a fans perspective it was annoying how long the decision took and the fact us people in the stands had no idea what was happening, VAR should definitely be shown on the screen to improve the fan experience instead of leaving us in the dark.

The Eagles pushed up together and did well to close down and prevent Brighton playing out of the back, a great interception from Ayew on two occasions allowed Palace to have chances at goal both ending with Mateta’s shots being blocked out for a corner, much better play but they just weren’t consistent enough through the game.

Marc Guehi made a vital block before half time to stop Mac Allister’s shot reaching the goal, taking the teams into the break level.

The second half started the way the first ended with Brighton having a shot, this time is was March who caused a hush in Selhurst Park as his shot rustled the outside of the net.

Patrick Vieira was forced into a substitution after Will Hughes went down injured, this saw Albert Sambi Lokonga given his home debut.

Palace were panicking when on the ball and gave it away too easily, allowing Brighton to create chance after chance until they were finally punished. It was March who broke the deadlock after receiving the ball in from the wing and converting it into the back of the net from the back post.

Just six minutes after the opening goal, Palace were given a gift to find a way back into the game. A free kick was whipped in by Michael Olise, the keeper came out to collect but dropped the ball straight into the path of James Tomkins who was in the right place at the right time and headed the ball into the back of Robert Sanchez’s empty net. The scores were back to level and finally the home team had something to cheer about, with “who are ya” echoing around the stands!

Vieirea looked to the bench to bring on some more creativity in the likes of Eberechi Eze and Odsonne Édouard, replacing Schlupp and Mateta, but neither were able to make a significant difference. Another home debut was given with Naouirou Ahamada coming on to replace Olise and strengthen the midfield.

Brighton finished the game the stronger of the side continuing to search for the winner until the final whistle, but the game did end one-a-piece with the unbeaten record against Brighton continuing for the eagles.

The performance from the Eagles was by far not the best so we will take the point with open arms!

The next Crystal Palace game, which I will be attending, is away against Brentford at the Community Stadium on the 18th February 2023, so look out for that post!

Thank you for reading

Ellie Xx


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