By Ed Elliot, PA
Substitute Christian Benteke struck home a dramatic late volley when Crystal Palace scored a 2-1 win at bitter rivals Brighton.
The Belgian striker scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time on Andros Townsend’s cross to bring Palace back to winning ways after successive defeats that had led to mounting unrest among fans.
Brighton dominated the action at Amex, taking off Joel Veltman after the Eagles took the lead at halftime thanks to an excellent French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta who stormed the French.
Palace showed little ambition during much of the game and tried again, in the absence of the injured talisman Wilfried Zaha to create, with the two great goals being her only attempt at scoring.
But Eagles manager Roy Hodgson is with Be more than satisfied with a result that puts his team 10 points above the relegation zone.
The defeat for the hosts stops their unbeaten record in the Premier League after six games and gives hope to their fiercest opponents for the first time in this season.
Graham Potter’s men are only four points away from the bottom three after failing to use their superiority.
Hodgson, who is out of contract this summer, challenged the fans to be « careful », which they asked for in the run-up to the game after a banner questioning the club’s vision was displayed just outside their training ground.
Once again without star Zaha, the seven Scored career goals against the Seagulls, the former England coach made five changes after the 3-0 home loss to Burnley, including a second start for Mateta and a fall from Benteke to the bench / p>
In Form Brighton controlled the opening exchanges, but caught a cold in the 28th minute when Mateta, who had been loaned from Mainz, wasted little time trying to make himself popular with Palace fans.
After Jordan Ayew through a searching When Cheikhou Kouyate’s pass was released on the right, he scored a low cross that allowed Mateta to score his first Eagles goal by holding back Ben White and getting a great finish on the turn.
The adorable opposition Opener was totally against the course of the game and sparked a cage opening phase with no significant chances.
The unchanged Albion, borne by recent victories against Leeds, Tottenham and champions Liverpool, monopolized the ball despite struggling to get the goalkeeper Palace, Vicente Guaita, to create and not test.
Palace had Brighton last February in their final game at Amex Stadium before the first nationwide Ban defeated 1-0.
😁 That was it! Veltman is sweeping his first home for the club in style to bring us back to a level rightly! #BHAFC 🔵 | 1-1 https://t.co/mXSMtruqSm
All hopes of repeating this exact score were lifted within 10 minutes of the restart, as the introduction of the halftime replacement Danny Welbeck had the desired effect.The former English striker deflected a presentable early chance off goal before he was heavily involved in the leveler.
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Pascal Gross’ shot from distance was blocked by Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell as he fought with Welbeck in the penalty area. The loose ball kindly fell for Dutch defender Veltman, who scored his first Seagulls goal in the lower right corner.
Leandro Trossard and Welbeck were unable to force their way home during a hand-to-hand fight, while the visitors more pinball survived in their area.
Albion had a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park in October thanks to a last-minute equalizer -Took a well-deserved point in a tie and looked like they would have to settle for a similar result here.
Townsend was given too much space on the left wing and although his cross initially appeared too high, it fell off perfectly so the unmarked Benteke could thunder the ball back into the farthest corner.
The late drama sparked cheers on the palace bench while the frustrated Brighton – who had 25 shots at three of his opponents – had to lick their wounds.
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