Neal Maupay equalized five minutes into added time with almost the last kick of the game to steal a point for Brighton at Crystal Palace.
Before that, Wilfred Zaha’s half-time penalty seemed to have been sufficient, after Conor Gallagher was barred from behind by Leandro Trossard, leaving the former Manchester United winger in a head-to-head at 12 meters, and he made no mistake in sending Robert Sanchez the wrong way.
Brighton, without the services of key midfielder Yves Bissouma due to a knee injury, were second best for most of the evening and Palace were not under threat until the last moments.
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As it stands, Vicente Guaita’s long kick was pushed back on the Eagles’ defense by Joel Veltman and Maupay, on the rebound, lobbed the palace keeper before listening to the local fans.
Brighton remains sixth but is only one point away from first place in the Premier League while Palace remains 15th.
French Brighton striker Neal Maupay (C) scores the tying goal in the 95th minute of the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion at Selhurst Park
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT – NO BISSOUMA, NO BRIGHTON
The telltale signs were there before kick-off. Brighton were pre-match favorites due to their excellent start to the season, but when the teams were announced and Bissouma was out due to a knee injury sustained against Leicester, their price started to contract, leaving almost a 50-50 bet proposal.
The penalty incident could have happened in any game, but the domination Palace enjoyed in the first half would not have happened if the Malian midfielder had been on the pitch. Without his presence, they were light and overwhelmed by the home side, roared by the Selhurst Park ultras, who only calmed down in the last pangs of the match.
MAN OF THE MATCH – CONOR GALLAGHER (CRISTAL PALACE)
Without Bissouma there was a man running the show in the midfield and that was the Chelsea midfielder on loan. His superlative drive was evident on loan at West Brom last season and on his own it’s worth starting for any Premier League club outside of the top six. What he may have added to his game under Vieira, however, is the sense of channeling those races where it will hurt the opposition the most.
Palace’s two best chances came when the timing of his runs was too important for his opponents from Brighton and saw him shot down mid-air. In the first case it was a shot on goal and the second when Marc Cucurella knocked him down, but not before his run allowed Christian Benteke to run to the edge of the box and free. Ayew for what should have been the purpose of the seal. The way he follows could well justify a place in the top six soon, whether it’s Chelsea or someone else.
Crystal Palace: Guaita 7, Ward 7, Andersen 7, Guehi 7, Mitchell 7; Milivojevic 7; Gallagher 8 *, McArthur 6; Ayew 5, Edouard 7, Zaha 7. Subtitles: Benteke 6, Kouyate 6, Schlupp 6
Crystal Palace Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion at Selhurst Park
Image credit: Getty Images
Brighton: Sanchez 7, Veltman 7, Dunk 7, Duffy 7, Burn 6, Cucurella 7, Gross 6, Lallana 6, Trossard 5, Maupay 7, Welbeck 6. Subs: Alzate 6, Modar 5, Connolly 6.
PENALTY 45 + 1 ‘! Gallagher rushes into the box and is hit from behind by Trossard. An attacking tackle if there is one.
45 + 2 ‘OBJECTIVE FOR THE EAGLES! Zaha sends the keeper in the wrong direction and places Palace in front.
51 ‘ Milvojevic trips Maupay 30 yards from goal on the left flank and Cucurella crosses into the box where Dunk walks towards the goal but Guaita flips the ball over the bar.
78 ‘What luck! Cucurella gives the ball to Gallagher then knocks the midfielder down but not before he has given Benteke free to run down the middle and he places to the right for Ayew who slips the ball past Sanchez but a yard from the post.
GOAL 90 + 5 ‘FOR BRIGHTON! Maupay equalizes with what could be the last kick and drives Brighton fans crazy. It was a nice finish. Guaita’s long clearance was pushed back over Palace defense for the first time by Gross and the French striker on the rebound lobbed the Eagles stopper.
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