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Palace 5-0 Brighton 2002

October 26 2002

Andy Johnson celebrates his hat-trick with Freedman and Butterfield

Andy Johnson celebrates his hat-trick with Freedman and Butterfield

Crystal Palace outfought and outsung a poor Brighton side to claim a famous 5-0 victory.

Andy Johnson scored a hatrick, with Dougie Freedman netting from the penalty spot, and Julian Gray wrapped up the game with a neat shot from the left wing.

Johnson gave the home side the perfect start, scoring from close-range in the fourth minute following Julian Grayís corner.

Tony Popovic had a "goal" ruled out shortly after, but Johnson doubled the advantage with a near post header from a Gray cross on 35 minutes.

In the 56th minute, Johnson was hauled down in the penalty box following a great run and Freedman stepped up to convert from the spot.

Four minutes later, Johnson was upended in the penalty area and put away the spot-kick himself to claim his hat-trick. Brighton's Paul Brooker was sent off for the foul on Johnson.

Gray made it 5-0 two minutes afterwards when he ghosted past two Brighton defenders and drilled home from 10 yards.

Johnson and Dele Adebola should have compounded Brightonís misery with more goals as former Eagles boss Steve Coppell had a miserabale return to Selhurst Park.

Post match comments:

Palace boss Trevor Francis said: "I think they were very lucky it was only five. We created a number of chances and on another day it could have been six or seven.

"I think the players were desperate to put the Wimbledon result behind them because they felt they let themselves and the fans down.

"The atmosphere in the changing room before the game was very good and the players were disappointed when the kick-off was delayed.

"I sent them out on the pitch to soak up the atmosphere and I think the players were very focused. We started really well and Johnsonís early goal was crucial."

Francis praised hat-trick hero Johnson: "I think they were very relieved when I took Andy off. He had very good game and they just could not deal with his pace.

"Andy's goal last week obviously gave him confidence and hopefully he can build on this performance."

Palace: Kolinko, Granville (Rubins 58), Butterfield, Popovic, Powell, Mullins, Derry, Gray Routledge (Adebola 31), Johnson (Black 75), Freedman.

Subs not used: Michopoulos, Riihilahti.

Bookings: Mullins, Powell.

Brighton: Kuipers, Watson, Mayo, Cullip, Blackwell, Hart, Oatway (Rogers 59), Brooker (sent off 54), Carpenter (Rodger 59), Zamora, Barrett (Marney 74).

Subs not used: Keeley, Hinshelwood.

Booking: Hart.

Referee: P Walton (Winwick).

Attendance: 21,796.

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