Only Jack Butland to thank as Crystal Palace lumber to Brighton draw

Chairman Steve Parish began the night talking of his surprise at how quickly the Eagles had progressed under Patrick Vieira since their change of direction in the summer, but little of it was on show here.

Brighton dominated from the off and would have been ahead before the break were it not for Jack Butland, making just his fourth Premier League appearance for Crystal Palace. The ex-England keeper saved wonderfully from Leandro Trossard in a one-on-one before saving Pascal Gross’ first half penalty.

After years of struggling for confidence and chances – especially after a big mistake at Millwall last weekend – it was a fine showing from Palace’s second choice keeper.

It was not one, however, that was being matched across the pitch.

Palace have done so much to move forward under Vieira. They came to the Amex under Roy Hodgson last season and sat extremely deep, managing just two touches in the Brighton box. The Eagles snatched a smash and grab 95th minute win that night, but it was not how Palace wanted to play going forward.

“They play high so we thought come a bit deeper, but it didn’t really work and we paid for that,” said Conor Gallagher.

“It was a really difficult game, I don’t think we played well. They were the better side, on the ball we weren’t good enough at all. We didn’t feel confident, they pressed well and made it difficult but it was disappointing.”

They have become exciting and progressive, using Brighton as an example, but discarded that philosophy here. The south Londoners did almost pull off another surprise win as Gallagher capped a superb flowing move on the break to stun their hosts.

But Brighton continued to push and finally struck when Neal Maupay’s late cross was diverted through the legs of Butland and in via the boot of Andersen.

The Seagulls were more than deserving of their point, but still haven’t beaten Palace in their last six despite their dominance. Given their lack of cutting edge, perhaps a more aggressive, familiar approach from Vieira’s Palace would have seen them leave with all three points.

“I think it is fairly obvious that at times they had most of the ball and were causing the issues” said Butland.

“To concede a late goal like that when we defended so well, it feels like a loss but it is a good point.

“We’ve shown great character throughout the season, I think we’ve got that. But that is football, they pressed us and scored in the manner they did.”


By Malvi