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January 23 2021 1.18am

Bright stuff for Eagles

April 14 2018

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace secured a valuable three points in their fight against relegation with a 3-2 win over Brighton.

The victory puts Palace onto 34 points and they now hold a six-point buffer above the cut-off with four matches remaining.

All the goals came in a blistering first half that had fans from both teams in this M23 derby gasping for breath with excitement.

Palace got off to the perfect start by netting after just five minutes from a well-worked corner. Luka Milivojevic found Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who returned the ball to the Serbian, and his low shot was parried by keeper Matt Ryan with Wilfried Zaha on hand to tap over the line.

Nine minutes later, the Eagles extended their lead with a goal from another flag kick. Andros Townsend sent it to James Tomkins at the far post, his header was saved by Ryan, James McArthur fired the loose ball goal-wards but it was blocked by Shane Duffy and Tomkins rifled in.

Brighton pulled a goal back on 18 minutes after Lewis Dunk beat Mamadou Sakho to a Pascal Gross corner and his header was flicked home from close range by Glenn Murray.

The Eagles made it 3-1 in the 24th minute as Zaha dived in to head in Milivojevic's brilliant lofted pass into the penalty area.

With just their second attempt on goal, Brighton grabbed another goal when Jurgen Locadia sent through Jose Izquierdo on the left and he evaded Joel Ward's tackle to curl into the far corner.

After the break Murray was inches away from netting another with a stretched effort that went just past the upright as the away team pushed for an equaliser.

Wayne Hennessey blocked a strike from Dale Stephens, before Murray had another golden effort to score but couldn't divert his shot on target. Palace managed to ward off further Brighton pressure to claim a huge derby win.

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Cabaye (Benteke 71), Loftus-Cheek (Riedewald 79), Townsend, Zaha.

Not used: Speroni, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Lee, Sorloth.

Brighton: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong (March 85), Locadia (Knockaert 46), Stephens, Kayal, Izquierdo, Gross (Ulloa 71), Murray.

Not used: Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Baldock.

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