Brighton 3, Crystal Palace 1: Murray penalty, Duffy red card and Balogun scores with first-touch as Albion see off arch-rivals

It was never going to be a quiet affair was it? Glenn Murray struck against his former side, Leon Balogun scored with his first touch and Shane Duffy saw red for a headbutt - that was all inside six first-half minutes.

Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 9:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 8:28 am
Florin Andone celebrates after putting Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 up on the stroke of half-time on Tuesday night. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Substitute Florin Andone made in 3-0 to Brighton & Hove Albion before half-time to put the hosts on their way to a memorable Premier League win against their arch rivals Crystal Palace at the Amex.

Roy Hodgson may have been awarded the freedom of Croydon on Monday night, but it was the hosts that released the shackles in the so-called M23 derby.

The former England boss was awarded the accolade at a special ceremony just 24 hours earlier, but he had to watch a free-running Brighton ease to victory despite playing almost 65 minutes with ten men.

Muted celebrations from Glenn Murray against his former side after putting Brighton & Hove Albion ahead from a soft penalty. Pictures by PW Sporting Photography

Murray stroked Albion ahead on 24 minutes from a soft penalty and in the aftermath of appeals for a second just two minutes later, Duffy saw red for pushing his head into Patrick van Aanholt.

After the manic few moments, a reshuffle saw Balogun summoned from the bench and any returning calmness was extinguished as the Nigerian smashed home with his first touch.

Palace had one cleared off the line, before Andone showed a great bit of persistence to chase down a seemingly lost cause to fire home a third in first-half injury-time.

They did pull one back late on, Luka Milovojevic converting, what was this time a definite penalty, but the home side held strong for the final few minutes.

Glenn Murray is mobbed after putting Brighton & Hove Albion ahead from the penalty spot. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Albion went into the game having lost just one of their past nine home Premier League matches with four wins and four draws.

The Seagulls had also scored in each of their last seven league fixtures - their longest top flight scoring streak.

The visitors ended an eight-game winless run in the division by beating Burnley at the weekend and were bidding for back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Brighton made two changes from the side that won 2-1 at Huddersfield with Murray returning to face his former side and Martin Motoya also coming into the starting XI at the expense of Andone and Bruno. The latter, who was not included on the bench, limped out of Saturday's win, although Chris Hughton had said the defender was fit again.

Leon Balogun celebrates after scoring with his first touch against Crystal Palace. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Alireza Jahanbakhsh remained sidelined with hamstring trouble, while Dale Stephens served the final match of three-match ban.

There was a good tempo to the hosts' play in the opening ten minutes as they worked the ball from left to right with speed, but failed to find any space in a tight final third. The only chance was a half one; Murray heading well off target from a Duffy cross.

Palace's first venture forward came on 16 minutes as van Aanholt got away down the left and put a cross straight at Andros Townsend, but his aimed and firm header flew wide from eight yards.

The opener came on 24 minutes in a crazy few minutes. First the Palace backline got themselves in a mess and James McArthur's was penalised for a challenge on Izquierdo in the box.

Jose Izquierdo races away down the left-hand flank with Aaron Wan-Bissaka giving chase. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot despite minimal contact, but Murray needed no further encouragement to send Wayne Hennessey the wrong way and put Albion ahead.

Two minutes later, Murray again went down in the box, but penalty appeals were this time waved away. While the striker was down receiving treatment, Duffy pushed his head into Aanholt's face right in front of Friend, who had little choice but to show the defender a straight red card.

Pascal Gross was immediately sacrificed for Leon Balogun and with his first touch the defender fired Albion into a 2-0 lead from the corner, which was a result of the earlier penalty appeals.

Murray, clearly injured from that incident, was then replaced by Andone with the capacity crowd given a moment to catch their breath.

Not for long though. At the other end, some superb defending by Bernardo saw him somehow clear Luka Milvojevic's shot off the line.

Albion weren't done though and deep into first-half injury time. Andone sprinted down the left and capitalised on a mistake by James Tomkins to cut back onto his right foot and coolly slot into the far corner.

Benardo in action against Crystal Palace. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Anthony Knockaert was introduced early in the second half for a struggling Izquierdo for what was a much more subdued half.

Palace had half efforts from Max Meyer, Townsend and substitute Alexander Sorloth, but none troubled Mathew Ryan.

Albion were happy to soak up any pressure, while counter when possible and in truth it was difficult to tell which side if any had the extra man.

The visitors were given half a chance of a revival with nine minutes to play as Balogun chopped down Zaha on the far side of the box and Milovojevic sent Ryan the wrong way from the spot.

Brighton: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; March, Propper, Bissouma, Izquierdo (Knockaert 48); Gross (Balogun 29); Murray (Andone 35). Unused subs: Steele, Bong, Kayal, Locadia.

Palace: Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Sakho, Tomkins, van Aanholt, McArthur (Schlupp 74), van Aanholt, Meyer, Townsend, Kouyate (Sorloth 57), Zaha. Unused: Guaita, Ward, Ayew, Kelly, Puncheon.

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Attendance: 29, 663.