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A pair of brilliant goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Christian Benteke helped Crystal Palace crush and clinch victory over rivals Brighton at Amex Stadium on Monday night.
Las Gaviotas dominated possession and shooting in the proceedings, but it was Palace who took the lead when Mateta’s January signing gloriously passed Robert Sánchez.
Joel Veltman scored ten minutes after the break to level up the proceedings, but substitute Benteke sealed a memorable victory with a sumptuous and winning volley. The Belgian crashed into the far corner to give Palace its third Premier League victory in five games.
Brighton made 25 shots on goal, but only one was enough to overtake Guaita, while Palace only needed three to win.
Let’s get into the player ratings of what they call the A23 derby.
Robert Sánchez (GK) – 5/10 – He had very, very little to do but couldn’t stop either goal.
Dan Burn (CB) – 5/10 – Ayew gassed him on the outside for Palace’s goal. Also reserved 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 use the ball well.
Ben White (CB) – 5/10 – He couldn’t deal with Mateta’s move to prevent the Palace forward from scoring the first goal.
Joel Veltman (RWB) – 8/10 – Scored the equalizer early in the second half, his first goal for Brighton, and was a positive attacking influence for most of the game from the right side.
Gross Pascal (CM) – 6/10 – His scraped shot made its way to Veltman for Brighton’s goal. Decent otherwise.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 7/10 – Another consistent performance by Brighton’s best player so far this season. He cleaned up the loose ball and made some tackles.
Steven Alzate (LWB) – 5/10 – He was a little too high for Palace’s goal that left Burn one-on-one with Ayew. Subdivided at half time as Brighton chased the game.
Alexis Mac Allister (AM) – 5/10 – Some nice touches here and there, but nothing defining. Take off for Lallana.
Neal Maupay (ST) – 5/10 – A few loose touches on the Palace box killed some Brighton attacks. He produced a beautiful nutmeg on the touchline to seek an opportunity for himself, but he meekly shot Guaita.
Leandro Trossard (ST) – 5/10 – It buzzed to the front smartly before turning left when Danny Welbeck entered.
Danny Welbeck – 6/10 – It was a handful in preparation for Veltman’s attack. It gave Brighton more impetus, but ultimately did little to good.
Adam Lallana – 5/10 – Shot when brilliantly placed in the box moments after unveiling. He did the exact same thing moments later in almost the same place in the Palace box.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh – 5/10
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 6/10 – While his opponent was given little to do, Guaita made four saves to keep Brighton at bay.
Joel Ward (RB) – 6/10 – Another consistent performance from the versatile Palace defender. He made four tackles, five punts and three interceptions in an all-round decent performance.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CB) – 6/10 – He had a scare of injury but took it off to continue. He was there to shut down a number of Brighton meters.
Gary Cahill (CB) – July 10 – He is always at his best with his back to the wall. He cleaned up everything that was thrown at him.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 6/10 – He made little impression in attack, but very little outplayed the youngster on defense. He made four tackles in total.
Jairo Riedewald (CM) – 5/10 – He didn’t use the ball particularly well, but it helped make Palace’s midfield heavy and difficult to dodge.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 5/10 – Quite identical to the Riedewald proof.
Eberechi Eze (CM) – 5/10 – He gave a stricter central role and did not have many opportunities with the ball at his feet. An awkward slip nearly led Brighton to the lead.
Andros Townsend (RW) – 7/10 – He had a few opportunities to launch counterattacks, but most of his good work was on defense. Some signature steps were thrown in for good measure and his late cross set up the Benteke winner.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (ST) – 7/10 – He produced a great movement and an instinctive plunge to give Palace the lead in the first half. He simply saw too little of the ball to make more impact and was intercepted by Christian Benteke.
Jordan Ayew (LW) – 7/10 – His tenacious work on the right saw him pass Burn and hit Mateta.
Christian Benteke – 7/10 – He sent a shot that whizzed over Brighton’s goal and stole the show in injury time with a glorious volley into the far corner.
James McCarthy – N / A
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