Christian Benteke’s stoppage-time goal gave Crystal Palace a smash-and-grab Premier League win at rivals Brighton, who are now in danger of being drawn into a relegation battle.
The visitors had opened the scoring against the run of play, with Jean-Philippe Mateta backheeling Jordan Ayew’s cross in from their first attack of the game.
But Brighton’s dominance in possession though was rewarded with an equaliser after the break when Joel Veltman swept a left-foot effort into the bottom-right corner.
The hosts spurned several excellent chances to go ahead before Benteke superbly volleyed in the winner against the run of play in the final minute of added time.
It proved to be a remarkable conclusion to the contest with Brighton enjoying 75% of the ball, registering 25 shots on goal to Palace’s three and forcing 13 corners while conceding none.
The result sees Palace move up a place to 13th but the Seagulls remain 16th, just four points above a resurgent Fulham in 18th.
Wasteful Brighton rue missed chances
Having come into this fixture on the back of a six-game unbeaten run Brighton fans could have been forgiven for looking at the second half of the season with optimism.
However, they will now be concerned at the prospect of their side being dragged into a fight for top-flight survival over the coming months.
While Graham Potter’s side play adventurous and easy-on-the-eye football, their ability to score goals has undoubtedly contributed to their current predicament.
Ten days after frustratingly failing to convert any of their 26 shots on goal against Aston Villa, they at least went one better this time around courtesy of their Dutch international defender Veltman.
But Potter will desperately hope that his forward players can now step up and provide the firepower that they will need to edge to safety.
The likes of top scorer Neal Maupay, who has scored just three goals in his last 19 Premier League appearances, endured another difficult evening, while Danny Welbeck, Lewis Dunk, Pascal Gross and Adam Lallana were all wasteful when presented with good opportunities.
More to follow.
Brighton & Hove Albion
- 33BurnBooked at 53mins
- 34VeltmanBooked at 84mins
- 13GroßSubstituted forJahanbakhshat 81′minutes
- 17AlzateSubstituted forWelbeckat 45′minutes
- 10Mac AllisterSubstituted forLallanaat 68′minutes
- 25EzeSubstituted forMcCarthyat 90+1′minutes
- 9J Ayew
- 14MatetaSubstituted forBentekeat 75′minutes
- 3van Aanholt
- Kevin Friend
Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Crystal Palace 2.
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Crystal Palace 2.
Hand ball by Dan Burn (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Crystal Palace 2. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.
Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace).
Substitution, Crystal Palace. James McCarthy replaces Eberechi Eze.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Tyrick Mitchell.
Attempt blocked. Danny Welbeck (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Gary Cahill.
Attempt blocked. Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.
Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Joel Ward.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Alireza Jahanbakhsh replaces Pascal Groß.
Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a headed pass.
Foul by Dan Burn (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Christian Benteke replaces Jean-Philippe Mateta.