Six things we learned from Brighton's draw with Crystal Palace

It was tense and cagey as Brighton and Crystal Palace met for the first time in more than four years. Here's six things we learned from the 0-0 draw.

Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 11:21 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:18 am
Jose Izquierdo challenges Ruben Loftus-Cheek as Davy Propper looks on. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Another draw at the Amex

Home form is going to be key to Albion's hopes of staying up in the Premier League and their home stats can be read either way this season.

Two wins from seven games in the Premier League doesn't sound great but one defeat from seven for a newly-promoted side suggests a strong start at the Amex.

Lewis Dunk heads goalwards. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

There are positives and negatives to a run of four successive home draws at the Amex but the viewpoint from Albion players is they are points gained.

Liverpool are the visitors on Saturday and a fifth consecutive home draw certainly wouldn't be the worst result for Brighton to take into the trip to Huddersfield a week later.

Rocking atmosphere

The noise inside the stadium was cranked up a notch as the arch rivals met for the first time since 2013 and for the first time ever in the Premier League.

Anthony Knockaert on the run. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Palace players were booed whenever they were in possession in the early stages, while flares were let off to loud bangs from the away end.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton commented in the build-up to the game that the atmosphere has got better and better during his time at the club and it was again rocking for much of the match.

As much as Albion fans tried to suck the ball into the net during the second half, Palace stood firm and a draw was the fair result.

Tense and cagey

With so much riding on the game, the nervous tension from fans made its way on to the pitch.

Players on both sides tried too hard at times, which resulted in sloppy passes and needlessly giving the ball away. In the opening five minutes of the second half, neither side was able to keep hold of the ball for more than a few seconds.

BBC Sussex summariser Warren Aspinall said: "Another Albion move breaks down in the final third. I know I sound like a broken record, sloppy passing.”

Brighton looked most threatening from set-plays, while Wilfried Zaha looked Palace's most lively player but luckily left his shooting boots at home.

What a chance

Crystal Palace hadn't scored in eight Premier League away matches heading into the match and 736 minutes in total.

They had a great chance to end that run after just 14 minutes. Albion keeper Mathew Ryan made an excellent stop to deny Christian Benteke but the rebound fell to Wilfried Zaha, who appeared to have the goal gaping just eight yards out.

The Palace winger, scorer of both goals in the Eagles' 2-0 win when the sides last met, put his shot too close to Ryan, who threw himself to his right to deny a certain goal.

Zaha was pushed out of play towards the North Stand by Shane Duffy shortly afterwards, much to the delight of Albion fans, while the Palace winger just sat on the floor smiling.

Renewing acquaintances

Much of the talk in the build-up to the match had centred around Albion striker Glenn Murray.

The 34-year-old scored 56 goals in his first spell with Brighton from 2008 to 2011, before joining Palace when then Seagulls boss Gus Poyet deemed he no longer needed the frontman.

Murray went on to net 47 goals for Palace from 2011 to 2015, including three in five matches against Brighton.

He returned to Albion last summer, initially on loan from Bournemouth before making the move permanent in January. He has since scored another 27 goals for the Seagulls, including four in the Premier League.

Palace kept him quiet for the majority of the match but he almost scored late on when his header was cleared off the line by Andros Townsend.

Albion need goals from the back

Albion defenders Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy have been immense at the back this season but have yet to score at the other end.

The tall and powerful duo should be scoring more goals from set-pieces with their aerial threat and both could have found the target tonight.

Brighton forced ten corners throughout the match and that was where their main threat came from. Dunk headed straight at Wayne Hennessey from a corner in the first half, while Duffy headed over at the back post from another corner in the second period.

At the other end, they were again solid as Brighton collected a fifth Premier League clean sheet of the season - they had keeper Mathew Ryan to thank for that after an outstanding double save in the first half.