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      U21s Report: Mateta brace fires Palace into winning PL2 start

      Crystal Palace U21
      Mateta 8' 40'
      Ebiowei 38'
      Brighton and Hove Albion U21
      Ferguson 13'
      Moran 72'

      Crystal Palace Under-21s overcame rivals Brighton & Hove Albion in a fierce clash at Selhurst Park. Two goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and a slick finish from Malcolm Ebiowei saw the Eagles take all three points.


      • Paddy McCarthy named a formidable side, with six first-teamers involved

      • Brighton did well early on, forcing Owen Goodman into an early save

      • Jean-Philippe Mateta opened the scoring for the Eagles in the eighth minute

      • Brighton pegged one back almost immediately through Evan Ferguson

      • Goodman pulled off a fingertip save to deny Ferguson on the half-hour mark

      • Malcolm Ebiowei slotted home in the 38th minute to restore the lead for Palace

      • Mateta secured his brace just two minutes later

      • Half-time: Crystal Palace 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

      • Jesurun Rak-Sakyi had a quickfire double chance early on in the second-half

      • Play was interrupted due to an injury to Julio Enciso near the hour-mark

      • Andy Moran pulled another goal back for Brighton in the 72nd minute

      • Brighton hit the post and came close to levelling late on

      • Full-time: Crystal Palace 3-2 Brighton & Hove Albion

      U21 Match Highlights: Crystal Palace 3-2 Brighton

      Much like the game against Arsenal on the opening day of the 2022/23 Premier League Season, the Eagles were greeted with rapturous applause by the Palace faithful at Selhurst Park as they began their own campaign in the Premier League 2 Division 1.

      Manager Paddy McCarthy named a formidable side, featuring six first-team players. Summer signings Chris Richards and Malcolm Ebiowei started, whilst experienced striker Jean-Philippe Mateta led the line.

      Despite the support the young Eagles received, it was Brighton who emerged with a spring in their step. The visitors forced Owen Goodman into an early    save after a quick incisive breakaway within the opening five minutes.

      Jean-Philippe Mateta, who featured off the bench against Arsenal, opened the scoring for the young Eagles just moments later. He swept home Jesurun Rak-Sakyi’s cross inside the box, past a helpless James Beadle in the Brighton goal.

      The visitors pegged Palace back almost immediately. Evan Ferguson reacted quickest from the second phase of a corner to fire an effort on goal which unfortunately deflected off Jake O’Brien and nestled in the back of the net.

      Brighton were in the ascendancy after levelling the score, enjoying more of the ball and creating a number of chances - the pick of which fell to Ferguson who acrobatically vollied a ball across the box into the ground, though Goodman reacted well to fingertip it over the bar.

      Almost against the run of play, the Eagles managed to reclaim the lead. Malcolm Ebiowei capped off a fantastic counter-attacking move which started inside the Palace half, the winger latched on to a ball from Luke Plange and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.

      Within an instant Palace found themselves two goals to the good. Richards pounced on a loose ball which fell into the path of Plange, who in turn fed Mateta on the edge of the box. The striker worked the ball onto his preferred right foot and finished with ease from 20-yards out.

      The south Londoners went into the break ahead, and looked to add to the lead immediately after the restart. Rak-Sakyi came close to finding a fourth with two quickfire efforts - the first of which was a header that was turned behind, and the second a thumping shot that was parried behind.

      O’Brien also came close to adding a fourth on the hour-mark, though his stooping header from a Ebiowei free-kick found the side netting.

      With 20 minutes remaining, Brighton found a foothold back into the game. forward Andy Moran powered in an effort inside the six-yard box and with that came a huge momentum shift towards the visitors.

      Searching for a third, Brighton enjoyed more of the ball and created a number of half-chances. Goodman was called into action late on in the half, after Brighton hit the post, to deny James Furlong’s powerful shot from inside the box with a reaction save.

      The referee brought an end to proceedings after five minutes of stoppage time, sealing the first three points of Palace U21s’ season.

      Crystal Palace: Goodman, D. Boateng (Phillips, 74), O’Brien, Richards (Watson, 65), Wells-Morrison, Hughes, Riedewald, Rak-Sakyi, Ebiowei (Street, 80), Mateta (Gordon, 80), Plange.

      Subs not used: Izquierdo.

      Brighton & Hove Albion: Beadle, Turns, Tsongui (Offiah, 68), Clarke, Peupion (Miller, 89), Spong, Kozlowski (Hinchy, 61), Furlong, Moran (Tolaj, 89), Ferguson, Enciso.

      Subs not used: Cahill, Packham, Baker-Boaitey.