It’s kind of unreal – Balogun reacts to quickfire goal against Crystal Palace

Leon Balogun celebrates his goal. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Leon Balogun celebrates his goal. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton defender Leon Balogun admitted it was an unreal feeling to score with his first touch moments after going on as a substitute in Tuesday’s 3-1 win against arch rivals Crystal Palace.

The Nigerian international was sent on for Pascal Gross to shore things up at the back after Shane Duffy’s red card for violent conduct just before the half-hour mark.

Within seconds of his arrival, Balogun half-volleyed home a Solly March corner to put Albion 2-0 ahead.

He said: “For me it fits this football year that I’ve had. I made my childhood dream come true by playing in a World Cup, I made another big dream come true by moving to the Premier League, now I’m scoring in the Prem, with my first touch in this game after coming off the bench.

"It’s kind of unreal, so I’m just happy.

"When I saw the ball bouncing, I thought it was going to be a tough one. Luckily I hit it right and it was a great feeling.”

Goals from Glenn Murray, Balogun and Florin Andone took Albion to victory against their arch rivals, with Luka Milivojevic’s late penalty just a consolation.

Balogun is now set for an extended run in the side as Duffy will be suspended for three matches. Reflecting on his performance against Palace, Balogun, who was named the sponsor’s man of the match, said: “I personally had the feeling that I never really got into the game, like my game. It may have been different to the viewers but you always have your personal level you want to reach.

“I don’t know if I really got it and I’m a bit sad about the penalty. It’s a dark spot on a great performance by the team having one man down.

“Even though I may not be 100 per cent satisfied, I think I still did well. I scored a very important goal and I should focus on the positives.”

HAVE YOU READ?

Six things we learned from Brighton v Crystal Palace

Brighton set another Premier League record

Lewis Dunk dedicates victory over Crystal Palace to Brighton's fans

Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace player ratings

Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace picture gallery

Shane Duffy apologises for red card in win over Palace

Chris Hughton on special win

No positives for Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson after defeat to Brighton