This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Roy Hodgson was full of praise for Crystal Palace’s defensive effort when they attacked late to sink Brighton at the Amex on Monday night.
Substitute Christian Benteke hit home with a dramatic late volley when Palace got a 2-1 win over bitter rivals Brighton.
The Belgian forward threw a cross from Andros Townsend in the fifth minute of stoppage time to put Palace back on the winning track after successive defeats that had caused growing unrest among fans.
Brighton dominated proceedings at Amex Stadium and drew through Joel Veltman after the Eagles led at halftime courtesy of a superb heel spike from French forward Jean-Philippe Mateta.
Palace showed little ambition for much of the match and once again struggled to create in the absence of injured talisman Wilfried Zaha, with the two superb goals his only attempts on goal.
However, Eagles coach Hodgson was more than satisfied with a result that puts his team 10 points above the relegation zone.
He said BBC Sport After the game: “It’s always great to score in the last minute, especially when we had to absorb a lot of pressure.
“The defense was very good, they put their bodies on the line. We worked hard to make sure they didn’t have many views of the goal. We don’t create as many opportunities as we want. The two crosses we created were goals.
“It was important tonight because we are not happy with our defense recently. We felt that we were not up to our high standards.
“Tonight, from the beginning, we showed that we would make it difficult for them to score. The bodies were there, the headers were there, the blocks were there. We make the most of the counterattack.
“But we’ve had games like that, against Brighton, against Newcastle. It’s good to know the old adage that things work out with each other, that they have tonight.
“We are so obsessed with statistics these days. The game is decided by goals. Goals are a matter of how well you take advantage of your chances and defend theirs.
“Until there are prizes for corners and touches in the area, it is very important that we bear in mind that the results are corroborated with the goals that he scores and the goals that he does not fit. I have no satisfaction when we lose and have more corners or touches in his box.
“[The opener was a] very good goal. Both goals were wonderful blasts from Jordan Ayew. Christian has missed goals, he appears at the last minute. I’m happy for both of you. It is good for the future. We will need fighting performances like that. We are not Man City, we cannot overturn teams.
“Brighton is a fit team. I’m sure they would say they didn’t get the result they deserved. “
Benteke talks about ‘massive result’
Match winner Benteke added: “It’s a huge result. We know we played a derby against a very good team.
“It was not easy, they managed to overcome the game in the second half.
“We put our lives in the field, we tried to defend everything we could and I had the opportunity to score a great goal.
“Today were the three points, it was not easy but we got them. The plan was to be compact, we have been too open and changed tactics.
“We have a lot of good players up front, but I know my strengths, my qualities, it was about being ready when the coach needs me.”