Brighton Match Report
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Defeat for Palace would have been more damaging to their survival hopes than Albion’s, and the home side started the sharper, pressing Albion back who seemed startled at what they were facing.
Chris Hughton would have been disappointed with the defensive shape of his side that allowed Palace into a two-goal lead inside the first fifteen minutes, with both Wilfried Zaha and James Tomkins capitalising on Albion’s lack of defensive organisation.
After Glenn Murray scored against his former side, it didn’t take long for Palace to restore their two goal lead as a lofted pass was met by Zaha who finished well with his head. Albion finally, grew into the game and Jose Izquierdo scored a fine goal to make it a contest again.
Given Albion’s startled approach to the opening exchanges, it was a relief to still be in the game at the break and hopes were high that Chris Highton would be able to further rally his man.
Locadia Not At The Races
On Grand National day, Albion’s record signing Jurgen Locadia looked to be off the pace in the first period and did not come out for the second half with Anthony Knockaert getting his first action since his rash sending off, and subsequent three-game suspension, at Everton.
With many Albion fans calling for Locadia to start up front, it seems Chris Hughton is yet to be convinced by the Dutchman. In fairness he arrived with an injury and has not had many opportunities to return to full match fitness since recovering.
It will be interesting to see how much game time is given to Locadia as the season works towards a conclusion.
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It was a game of two halves in several senses.
Whilst the first-half was a whirlwind of chances and goals at both ends, the second half saw less attacking threat, at least at first. Whereas Palace were the dominant, and better, side in the first 45 minutes, Albion improved in the second and pushed the hosts back.
Possession was not readily converting to chances, with the best coming to Glenn Murray who fired wide from a tight angle and, ware of the fixtures coming up, Chris Hughton made two attacking changes as he desperately tried to earn something from the game.
Ultimately, it wasn’t to be. Glenn Murray somehow conspired to miss from inside the 6-yard box and we had lost at Selhurst Park again. We may still sit above Palace, but that situation may not persist for much longer.
Is 35 Points Enough?
It’s the run-in from hell. Spurs and Manchester United at home. Burnley, Manchester City and Liverpool away from the Amex. Is our current tally of 35 points going to be enough to ensure survival? Chelsea’s come-from-behind win at Southampton on Saturday was a massive help to us, but it’s very much going to be squeaky bum time on the South Coast for the next few weeks…
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