Brighton have been the better side by far. They should be leading, but they’re not. It’s a story as old as time.
45 min +2: “Perhaps a business teacher could use Brighton’s choice of penalty taker in a lesson on Gross profit versus net profit.” Peter Oh, ladies and gentlemen. He’s here all week. Try the rock.
45 min +1: The first of three added minutes goes by without incident.
45 min: Mitchell, Schlupp, Hughes and Olise all have opportunities to shoot as Palace shuttle the ball left to right across the face of the Brighton box. They over-elaborate and the chance to warm Sanchez’s hands is gone.
44 min: Eke goes into the book for dragging back Maupay.
43 min: … and to think we usually have to wait until the 90th minute for drama when these two meet.
NO GOAL! Brighton 0-0 Palace
41 min: Yep, it’s chalked off. Butland had the ball in both hands as he ran into Maupay, whereupon he lost control. It’s a pretty soft foul, and Butland can consider himself fortunate, his handling barely passing muster.
40 min: VAR takes a look … and sends the referee over to the screen again. This is probably going to be disallowed.
GOAL! Brighton 1-0 Palace (Maupay 39)
Gross swings the corner in from the right. Webster dives low and sends a header towards the top right. Butland claims with both hands, but clanks into Maupay and loses control. The ball drops to Maupay, who bundles home from a couple of yards!
Brighton miss the penalty
38 min: Gross scuffs a dismal effort straight at Butland, who kicks out for a corner. From which …
37 min: Before Gross can take the spot kick, a flare lands in Butland’s six-yard box. The pressure cranks up.
Penalty for Brighton
36 min: Hughes had his arm around Cucurella’s neck, and dragged him down. It wasn’t the strongest yank, but the referee goes over to the monitor, and eventually does the TV mime and points to the spot!
34 min: Lallana wins a corner down the left. A game of pinball breaks out in the crowded Palace box. The ball eventually drops towards Moder, who skies a shot from 12 yards. Goal kick … except VAR is having a wee look at the footage. What’s happened here, then?
33 min: More Brighton passing, to little effect.
31 min: Brighton string another bunch of passes together. All very pretty but ineffectual, as the ball eventually ends up back at the feet of Sanchez.
29 min: Olise is blocked off by Mac Allister as he skitters down the inside-right channel. He wants a free kick, just to the right of the D, but he’s not getting one. He stays down. Brighton refuse to knock the ball out and counter. Nothing comes of the move, but that’s got the Palace fans’ collective dander up.
28 min: Palace are really struggling to deal with Brighton’s intense press. They’ve made 39 passes in Brighton’s half; Brighton have made exactly 100 in theirs.
26 min: Mac Allister strips Gallagher with embarrassing ease. Gallagher wants a free kick, but he’s never getting it. Brighton stream forward and eventually earn a corner down the left. The set piece is hit long. Webster powers a header straight at Butland, but the whistle goes, the Brighton man having shoved Guehi in the back to get to the ball.
24 min: Brighton remain patient, though. More midfield possession.
22 min: Brighton hog the ball in midfield. Palace are having to work hard to keep them at arm’s length.
20 min: Moder reaches the byline on the right. He pulls back. Ward hacks clear as best he can. The ball drops to Maupay, who pulls a shot across goal and wide left. Brighton are on top.
19 min: Olise, the man of the match against Millwall last weekend, curls dangerously in from the left. Edouard beats Sanchez in a scrappy aerial challenge, but doesn’t bother going for the loose ball, as the flag’s gone up for offside.
17 min: Mitchell crosses from the left to nobody in the Brighton box. Cucurella takes up possession and counters, spraying a delightful diagonal ball towards Moder on the Brighton right. Now it’s his turn to whistle a harmless cross through an unpopulated box. Neat break upfield, though.
16 min: Lallana nearly dances clear into the Palace box down the right channel, but overdoes the soft-shoe shuffle and leaves the ball behind. He’s looking lively in these early exchanges.
14 min: Mitchell takes an age over a throw deep in Brighton territory. He’s so ponderous that when he eventually takes it, and the ball’s knocked back to him, he’s caught offside. The Brighton fans, initially irritated, enjoyed that.
12 min: Edouard makes ground down the left and tries a low cutback. The ball is deflected by Veltman and nearly squeaks in at the near post. Sanchez reacts brightly to claim.
10 min: Brighton should be leading. Last man Ward’s dreadful header goes straight to Trossard, who tears clear on goal. Trossard looks for the bottom left, but Butland narrows the angle and parries successfully, getting his team-mate out of all sorts of bother.
9 min: Palace take their sweet time over a throw, then a free kick in the midfield, taking the early sting out of the game.
7 min: Veltman flings a throw into the mixer from the right. MacAllister tries to flick on. Schlupp gets in the road but can only concede the first corner of the evening. The set piece is worked back to Lallana, who belts a speculative effort goalwards from 25 yards. Blocked. Palace haven’t settled yet.
5 min: Mitchell slips with the ball at his feet in his own area. MacAllister strips the prone Palace player of possession and cuts back for Trossard, who can’t get a decent shot away despite a nice shift of feet. Brighton have started the better.
4 min: Lallana and Mac Allister exchange crisp passes down the middle of the park. Lallana tries to slip Moder clear down the inside-right channel but Andersen is wise to his game and intercepts.
2 min: A slow and scrappy start on the south coast.
1 min: Some late breaking pre-match admin: Rob Jones has replaced Jarred Gillett as tonight’s referee.
Palace get the ball rolling … but only after a knee is taken. The gesture is met with warm applause. There’s no room for racism.
Here come the teams! Brighton are in their blue and white stripes, while Palace are in second-choice yellow with a blue and red sash. The visitors arrive to a barrage of boos, then the hosts are met with rafter-bothering cheers. A proper atmosphere at the Amex, the sort you’d expect when two arch rivals are about to get down to serious business. We’ll be off in a minute!
Patrick Vieira talks to Sky. “We are never satisfied. You always want more. But to be honest, we are in a good place. We have a good number of points and are playing the way I want the team to play. Inside the box in both areas, we need to improve as a team. We are a team. Of course when Wilfred Zaha is there, you are strong. But when he is not there you have players who are capable of taking responsibility. The game is about the team. They have talent. Conor Gallagher is doing well, I don’t want to put pressure on him, but he is like a Frank Lampard.”
Graham Potter has a quick chat to Sky about those late, late goals that keep cropping up in this rivalry. “We keep going to the end, which is important. We want to try to play well and get the game won earlier, but it’s not as simple as that in this league. You have to fight to the end. It’s a nice quality to have.”
Victory for Brighton tonight would see Graham Potter’s side leapfrog Wolves into eighth spot. They’d then be just a couple of wins away from the Champions League places. Should Palace claim all three points tonight, they’ll edge ahead of Southampton and Leicester and make it into the top half of the table, where they’d be right on Brighton’s shoulder.
Brighton make seven changes to the side selected for the 2-1 FA Cup win at West Brom. Robert Sanchez, Adam Webster, Marc Cucurella, Jakub Moder, Adam Lallana, Alexis Mac Allister and Leandro Trossard return. Kjell Scherpen, Steven Alzate, Solly March and Danny Welbeck drop to the bench, while Shane Duffy, Odeluga Offiah and Enock Mwepu miss out altogether.
Palace make one change to the XI named ahead of their 2-1 cup victory at Millwall. Odsonne Edouard comes in for Jean-Philippe Mateta. Eberechi Eze will make his first Premier League start of the 2021-22 campaign.
The latest edition of this geographically strange but historically passionate derby kicks off at 8pm. Make sure you stick around until 9.45pm, then, because each of the last three matches between Brighton and Crystal Palace have concluded with a perception-altering goal in the 90th minute: two equalisers for the Seagulls and a winner for the Eagles. More of the same tonight would be most entertaining. It’s the 109th A23 derby. It’s on!