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October 15 2018 8.02pm

Player ratings: Brighton v Palace

January 9 2018

Wayne Hennessey

Wayne Hennessey

Crystal Palace crashed out of the FA Cup in the third round after a 2-1 defeat away at Brighton. What marks out of 10 did the players get? Mike Scott reveals.

A much-changed Palace side were soundly beaten by an even more-changed Brighton side, in a disappointing Monday night affair at the Amex. It will go down in history as the first domestic match to feature VAR, but few Eagles fans will want to remember a game when Glenn Murray was always destined to bag the winner...

Wayne Hennessey - 5

A great tip over the bar with eight minutes gone suggested that Hennessey had carried his good form from recent games into this one; after that, he had a quiet night, mixed up with some moments of uncertainty. Some pundits have suggested he could have done a lot better for the opener, when he was beaten on his near side by a powerful Dale Stephens shot that was almost straight at him, although it was strike with some serious venom. The goal seemed to knock the confidence out of him though, and he’s very much a confidence player.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah - 5

On a night when Palace had little (except for Sako) going forward, Fosu-Mensah’s wing back aspirations were promising, even if they didn’t produce a great deal. At the back, he looked much more troubled than in recent weeks, with little defensive midfield cover. He had some serious troubles with Gaëtan Bong, who got behind him plenty.

Martin Kelly - 6

Finding himself as perhaps the senior player at the back, Kelly lacked the midfield support that has made Palace such a strong unit in recent weeks in the league. Positioning was a key problem, particularly with quick moves, and he could do little to the stem the tide of Brighton dominance.

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Damien Delaney - 5

An easy scapegoat, vilified in some tweets I read, Delaney looked out of his depth. But a 36 year old who has barely featured is unlikely to flourish in a game where he had little cover in front of him. Was caught ball watching a couple of times, and criminally turned his back on a ball that was kept in play and then crossed into the box midway through the second half after he expected it to go off for a throw, but he couldn’t have had a tougher game to start in.

Jeffrey Schlupp - 5

There’s nothing worse than losing to Brighton, expect losing to Brighton and having two key players limp off injured. Schlupp was swapped out after 13 minutes and apparently left the ground on crutches. His replacement was Papa Souare (5), who looked nervous for much of the first half, but grew into the game. Left a lot of space for Brighton to exploit, but again, a man so short of first class game time couldn’t have been offered much more of a difficult time to find himself back on the field.

Jairo Riedewald - 5

Following an excellent game against City, he was much more anonymous in this game. There were a few impressive, creative passes, particularly from the middle out to the wings, but there were no truly telling through balls and for long periods he barely featured. At the back, he put in a shift, but the strong ‘two banks of four’ shape was barely evident and he and Cabaye struggled to cope.

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Yohan Cabaye - 6

Cabaye looked exhausted against Southampton after a gruelling holiday schedule, so it was a surprise to see him start this one, let alone putting in a full shift. His effort was immense, but he looked to be covering more than he could handle, with the defence not looking anywhere near as protected as usual. He did pull out some excellent passes, but there was little penetration. Very little came from set pieces either.

James McArthur - 6

With the majority of Brighton’s threat coming down the wings, McArthur couldn’t do much to halt the tide of Brighton dominance, but he did look, at times, to be the outlet Palace would need if they were going to create anything going forward. Some good link-up play with Sako was really the only promising Palace creative work.

Patrick van Aanholt - 5

An unfamiliar formation meant an unfamiliar job for Van Aanholt, with the Dutchman starting on the left wing, but the confusion behind him meant he found himself tracking back to plug the gaps in and around Delaney and Souare. He didn’t get much opportunity for set pieces with Cabaye on for the full game, while he also made few runs with the ball. A confusing night.

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Andros Townsend - 5

Brighton largely stopped Townsend doing what he’s good at. Runs were few and far between, as were crosses. He was put up front halfway through the first half, with Sako going out to the wing, but looked even less likely to affect the game. An injury he sustained may have been the reason why he looked off the pace; he was subbed for Sullay Kaikai (5) at half-time, who tried hard up next to Sako, but aside from some hold up play, looked like he couldn’t do a lot to change what was happening.

Bakary Sako - 8

There’s really only one reason it looked like Palace would get anything from the game and that was Sako. He was variously a striker, winger and a number 10 during the game – and at times was all of those things at once. The goal will surely make the goals of the round competition on Match of the Day. Aside from that, he was just a one man menace. A silver lining to an otherwise dark cloud of a night.

Palace are next up at home to Burnley. Fancy a flutter? Save money by grabbing a bet bonus code.

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