Brighton 1-2 Crystal Palace: Albion's pretty football counts for little against Roy Hodgson's tactics

Ian Hart witnessed a crime at the Amex Stadium tonight as Roy Hodgson's parked bus drives back up the M23 with three points

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 11:07 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd February 2021, 11:10 pm
Robert Sanchez can only watch as Christian Benteke's 95th minute volley nestles into the bottom corner

Not quite the Bee Gees but three points for Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium tonight is quite simply a travesty.

That said, the Albion ‘treated’ their legions of armchair fans to another night of abject frustration on the sofa, as they dominated the 90 minutes with no return.

Palace clearly came for the draw, not just parking the bus but also removing the wheels. But in a one-sided first period, Albion, having over 70 per cent of the possession, their one lone attack saw Jean-Philips Mateta open the scoring with a sublime backheel on 24 minutes.

Whilst at the other end, it was a variation on a classic fairytale as the Albion huffed and puffed but just couldn’t break the Palace back line down.

It was much of the same in the second half, although Joel Veltman’s first goal for the Albion on 55 minutes gave the Albion faithful room for optimism.

And whilst Brighton threatened to get that all important winner, on 95 minutes Palace sub Christian Benteke, slotted home with only his team's third attempt of the night to steal the points.

Whilst the stats in some ways don’t lie, when Kevin Friend blew the final whistle, a final possession ratio of 75/25, a shot count of 25/3 and 13/0 on corners, it all counted for nothing.

Ultimately Brighton’s TV audience have been treated to an episode of “CSI Falmer” a crime was committed on the A27 tonight and on this showing the Albion are still cautiously looking over their shoulders at Fulham and Newcastle in the relegation dogfight.

On another night, the Albion would have steamrollered their opponents, but on the face of it night's like that currently appear to be few and far between.

The Albion need to find that cutting edge and quickly or a nervous last dozen or so games looks more than a distinct possibility.