A pair of brilliant goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Christian Benteke helped Crystal Palace to a smash and grab victory over rivals Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Monday night.
The Seagulls dominated proceedings possession and shots wise but it was Palace who took the lead when January signing Mateta backheeled gloriously past Robert Sanchez.
Joel Veltman struck ten minutes after the interval to level up proceedings, but substitute Benteke sealed a memorable victory with a sumptuous, volleyed winner. The Belgian slapped low into the far corner to give Palace their third Premier League victory in five games.
Let’s get into the player ratings from what they call the A23 derby.
Robert Sanchez (GK) – 5/10 – Had very, very little to do but couldn’t stop either goal.
Dan Burn (CB) – 5/10 – Got gassed on the outside by Ayew for Palace’s goal. Also booked for a lunge early in the second half.
Lewis Dunk (CB) – 6/10 – Another consistent performance from the Brighton captain. Strong in the air and used the ball well.
Ben White (CB) – 5/10 – Couldn’t deal with Mateta’s movement to stop the Palace striker scoring the opener.
Joel Veltman (RWB) – 8/10 – Slammed in the equaliser early in the second half, his first goal for Brighton, and was a positive attacking influence for most of the game from right wing back.
Pascal Gross (CM) – 6/10 – His scuffed shot squirmed its way to Veltman for Brighton’s goal. Decent otherwise.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 7/10 – Another consistent performance from Brighton’s best player so far this season. Mopped up the loose ball and made a few tackles.
Steven Alzate (LWB) – 5/10 – Was a little too high up the pitch for Palace’s goal which left Burn one on one with Ayew. Subbed at half time as Brighton chased the game.
Alexis Mac Allister (AM) – 5/10 – A few nice touches here and there but nothing defining. Taken off for Lallana.
Neal Maupay (ST) – 5/10 – Some loose touches in the Palace box killed a few Brighton attacks. Produced a lovely nutmeg on the touchline to carve out an opportunity for himself but shot tamely at Guaita.
Leandro Trossard (ST) – 5/10 – Buzzed around up front intelligently before reverting to the left as Danny Welbeck came on.
Danny Welbeck – 6/10 – Was a handful in the buildup to Veltman’s strike. Did give Brighton more impetus but ultimately counted for little.
Adam Lallana – 5/10 – Fired over when brilliantly placed in the box moments after his introduction. Did exactly the same thing moments later in almost the same spot in Palace’s box.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh – 5/10
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 6/10 – While his opposite number was given little to do, Guaita made four saves to keep Brighton at bay.
Joel Ward (RB) – 6/10 – Another consistent performance from Palace’s versatile defender. Made four tackles, five clearances and three interceptions in a decent all round performance.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CB) – 6/10 – Had an injury scare but shook it off to continue. Was there to snuff out a number of Brighton counters.
Gary Cahill (CB) – 7/10 – Is always at his best with his back to the wall. Cleared everything that was thrown at him.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 6/10 – Made little impression going forward but very little got past the youngster in defence. He made four tackles in total.
Jairo Riedewald (CM) – 5/10 – Didn’t use the ball particularly well but did help to make Palace’s midfield stodgy and difficult to bypass.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 5/10 – Pretty much identical to Riedewald’s showing.
Eberechi Eze (CM) – 5/10 – Given a stricter central role and didn’t have many opportunities with the ball at his feet. One awkward slip almost led to Brighton taking the lead.
Andros Townsend (RW) – 7/10 – Had a few chances to spring counter attacks but most of his good work came in defence. A few trademark step overs thrown in for good measure and his late cross set up Benteke’s winner.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (ST) – 7/10 – Produced some great movement and an instinctive backheel to gift Palace the lead in the first half. Just saw too little of the ball to make more of an impact and was brought off for Christian Benteke.
Jordan Ayew (LW) – 7/10 – His tenacious work down the right saw him blitz past Burn and tee up Mateta.
Christian Benteke – 7/10 – Sent a shot whizzing way over Brighton’s goal and stole the show in injury time with a glorious volley into the far corner.
James McCarthy – N/A