Spectacular Knockaert breaks Palace resistance
A moment of brilliance from Anthony Knockaert settled a fiercely contested local derby as Brighton & Hove Albion beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park to edge further clear from the Premier League relegation zone.
The Frenchman moved inside his marker to fire a curling 74th-minute left-foot winner from outside the area as Brighton completed the league double over their great rivals for the first time since 1983-4.
But Knockaert was fortunate to still be on the pitch after only receiving a yellow card for a crunching challenge on Luka Milivojevic after just 28 seconds — the quickest booking in the Premier League for 10 years.
Brighton opened the scoring on 19 minutes when 35-year-old Glenn Murray — promoted off the bench after Florin Andone was injured in the warm-up — volleyed home after Scott Dann misjudged his headed clearance.
The goal was Murray’s 100th league strike for Brighton and seventh in this fixture, three of which he scored for Palace.
Brighton, impressively marshalled at the back by Lewis Dunk, were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when Dann wrestled Shane Duffy to the ground but then conceded from the spot after the break when Davy Propper fouled Andros Townsend.
The ever-reliable Milivojevic converted the penalty for the 17th time as a Palace player before Knockaert had the final say as Brighton registered back-to-back league victories for the first time this year to join Palace on 33 points in the standings.
Afterwards Knockaert, who was substituted immediately after his goal, described it as “a special day for us and the fans”.
Knockaeart said the referee spoke to him at halftime about his two-footed challenge on Milivojevic which led to his early booking. “We both went for the same ball. I was a bit late,” he said.
Murray said he was delighted to get a start — and his goal. “I got drafted in just before the game after Florin Andone felt his groin go in the warm-up,” he said.
“The 100 goals and things like that don’t bother me, it’s something to look back on but I’m just delighted to get the three points.”