Derby delight as Brighton thrash Crystal Palace to snap winless skid
Brighton snapped their recent four-game winless run in the Premier League and added another thrilling chapter to their chaotic, up-and-down 2023-24 season on Saturday, hammering Crystal Palace 4-1 in the M23 derby.
The Seagulls were beaten 4-0 by relegation battlers Luton Town on Tuesday, but showed no signs of a hangover despite the thoroughly dismal display.
Brighton were on the front foot straight away and wasted no time to open the scoring either. Roberto De Zerbi’s side won a corner inside 120 seconds, and they made Palace pay. Pascal Gross served up a tasty ball to the near post, where Lewis Dunk rose highest and glanced a header just inside the far post to send the south coast faithful into early raptures.
From there, it was more of the same as Brighton dominated possession (76 percent in the first half) and eventually turned their control of the game into a 2-0, and then very quickly 3-0, lead before halftime. Jack Hinshelwood headed home the next goal — his third in the PL this season — after Tariq Lamptey floated a cross to the back post in the 33rd minute.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
The Seagulls then proceeded to win the ball back immediately after the ensuing kickoff, dribble it straight up the field and score again. It was Gross who carried the ball into the penalty area and slipped it to Facundo Buonanotte near the penalty spot. The 19-year-old Argentine dug the ball out with a first-time, left-footed curler into the top corner and wheeled away to celebrate with the delirious home crowd.
Palace pulled a goal back in the 71st minute, as Jean-Philippe Mateta got on the end of Joachim Andersen’s cross and thumped his header past Bart Verbruggen. It was just the fourth shot of the game by Crystal Palace, but their third on target.
Joao Pedro restored the three-goal advantage and made it 4-1 in the 85th minute, though, as Brighton turned on the style and flair. Danny Welbeck received the ball atop the penalty area and rather than trapping it, he flicked a clever backheel into space for Pedro, who made the darting run from right to center and slotted home with ease for his eighth PL goal this season.
Michael Olise off injured for the second straight game
Michael Olise, alongside Eberechi Eze, was sensational in Palace’s 3-2 victory over Sheffield United on Tuesday, but the duo was forced off with matching hamstring injuries late in the second half. Eze was deemed unfit to play on Saturday, but Olise was named to the bench. With his side down 3-0 at halftime, Roy Hodgson summoned Olise for a creative spark, but the 22-year-old lasted less than 10 minutes an apparent (re-)re-aggravation of the injury. The Eagles were beyond woeful without their two star men on the field, which could very well become the new normal for a while, pending scan results.
Brighton will head to north London to take on Tottenham next Saturday (10 am ET), while Crystal Palace will try to right the shit next Monday (3 pm ET) when they host Chelsea at Selhurst Park.
How to watch Brighton vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday (February 3)
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
OUT: Eberechi Eze (hamstring), Rob Holding (ankle), Cheick Doucoure (achilles - out for season), Joel Ward (hamstring)