?Brighton 0-1 Crystal Palace: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Ayew Strike Settles Feisty M23 Derby

Crystal Palace claimed the bragging rights in Saturday's M23 derby against Brighton & Hove Albion thanks to Jordan Ayew's second-half goal, moving the Eagles 12 points clear of the relegation zone.

An early altercation between unused substitute Ezequiel Schelotto and Wilfried Zaha set the tone for the game, but as far as clear-cut chances were concerned, they came few and far between throughout the first half.

Solly March missed the best chance of the game when he dragged a close-range shot wide, while at the other end Gary Cahill somehow sent a point blank header over the crossbar.

Lewis Dunk saw a goalbound effort cleared off the line by his teammate Neal Maupay at the start of the second half, before the French striker fired a volley straight into Guaita's arms when gifted a shot at goal.

Jordan Ayew

The breakthrough finally came when Ayew was able to squeeze the ball past Mathew Ryan after racing onto the end of a through ball from Christian Benteke, breaking the deadlock for Crystal Palace against the run of play.


Brighton took back control of the game after going behind, but Graham Potter's side still could find a way of breaching Crystal Palace's defences and even came close to conceding a second goal before the final whistle.


Brighton & Hove Albion

Key Talking Point

Even with technical midfielders like Davy Pröpper, Yves Bissouma and Aaron Mooy, Brighton struggled to string much together going forward throughout large chunks of the match and couldn’t make their numbers count in the final third.

Their best chances ultimately came on the counter-attack through Solly March and Neal Maupay, while there was also a heavy reliance on full-backs Dan Burn and Martín Montoya to help build attacks in transition.

Davy Propper

The visitors were almost the architects of their own downfall as they continued to present Brighton with chances at goal, but in the end, it was the hosts who shot themselves in the foot by not taking their chances and conceding an avoidable goal.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ryan (5); Montoya (6), Dunk (7), Webster (6), Burn (8); Propper (6), Bissouma (7), March (5), Mooy (6), Trossard (6); Maupay (7).

Substitutes: Murray (7), Jahanbakhsh (6), Alzate (N/A).


Dan Burn

As much as wind up merchant Ezequiel Schelotto deserves a special mention for his impact on the match for Brighton, full-back Dan Burn was one of the few standout players on the pitch for the hosts.


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Crystal Palace's front three can be difficult to track as they interchange positions quite frequently, but Roy Hodgson's side didn't get any joy down the right side of the pitch and were forced back out to the left with almost every attack.


Crystal Palace

Key Talking Point

Even after Christian Benteke fluffed his lines with an early chance, Crystal Palace continued to play through the former Belgium international with almost every attack - a key tactic they’ve used against most teams who have, on paper, better technical ability.

FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-CRYSTAL PALACE

Roy Hodgson’s side appeared to avoid giving Benteke goal scoring chances, but the 29-year-old has been vital when it comes to link-up play with Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew in Crystal Palace’s form away from home this season, which is better than the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Guaita (7); Ward (6), Dann (6), Cahill (6), van Aanholt (7); Kouyate (6), McCarthy (7), McArthur (7); Ayew (6), Benteke (7), Zaha (7).

Substitutes: Riedewald (6), Tosun (N/A).


Christian Benteke

​The former Belgium international can't buy a goal right now, but Christian Benteke has been vital for Crystal Palace going forward and he showcased exactly why in their derby win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

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The 29-year-old held the ball up brilliantly, freeing up space elsewhere for Zaha and Ayew, while his link-up play with Palace's other forwards was instrumental in the opening goal.


Looking Ahead

Clubs will be on FA Cup duty in midweek, but both these sides can look ahead to their next league match. Brighton will travel to Wolves, while Crystal Palace are hosting Watford.


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Source : 90min