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Report & Reaction: Palace fall to defeat at Brighton

Brighton and Hove Albion
March 15'
Crystal Palace

An electrifying start from Crystal Palace was not enough to prevent Brighton & Hove Albion from emerging 1-0 winners at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday evening, Solly March scoring a first-half winner.


  • Three changes for Palace, as Doucouré returns from suspension and Edouard starts
  • Academy graduate Whitworth becomes Palace’s youngest Premier League ‘keeper at 19 years and 15 days-old
  • Palace dominate early proceedings
  • Zaha, Edouard and Olise all go close in the opening 10 minutes
  • March punishes profligacy with arrowed opener for Brighton moments later
  • Doucouré tackle denies Welbeck from close range
  • Eagles fight back as Andersen volleys free-kick just wide
  • HT: Brighton 1-0 Palace
  • Whitworth denies Estupinan with excellent low block with his feet
  • Schlupp shoots narrowly wide from distance
  • Whitworth then keeps out Mac Allister's powerful header
  • Eagles mount late pressure but Brighton hold firm
  • Mac Allister shoots narrowly wide at the other end
  • Ahamada miscues finish deep into injury time
  • FT: Brighton 1-0 Palace

With 19-year-old goalkeeper Joe Whitworth between the posts – his senior Palace debut making him the club’s youngest-ever Premier League goalkeeper – Palace made three changes, with Doucouré and Edouard restored to the starting line-up.

Patrick Vieira had declared before the match that his players would play “with a lot of determination and enthusiasm” – and a dominant start for Palace featured plenty of both.

Wilfried Zaha, seeking to score in three consecutive appearances against the Seagulls, was Palace’s first player to go close. With just 45 seconds on the clock, the No. 11 collected a long ball forwards from Tyrick Mitchell and drove towards Lewis Dunk. Skipping towards the byline, his rising effort towards the near post was palmed behind by Jason Steele.

It was a sign of things to come. Just minutes later, Palace worked a set-piece well towards Nathaniel Clyne, whose curling cross found Edouard in space in the centre of the box. The Frenchman made good contact with his header – too much, in fact, as his effort glanced wide of the far post.

The chances kept on coming. Michael Olise made a clever diagonal run in behind the Brighton defence and was found superbly by Joachim Andersen. With just Steele to beat, Olise aimed low across goal with his strike, but saw it kicked away by the onrushing ‘keeper.

That all of the above happened inside the opening 10 minutes speaks volumes about the magnitude of Palace’s early dominance – but, as has so often proven the case in recent weeks, profligacy would prove costly.

With their first real attack of the match, Solly March timed his run in-between Palace’s centre-backs and, running away from goal, dug out an arrowed finish across goal which the sprawling Whitworth could do little to prevent finding the bottom corner.

The breakthrough granted the hosts renewed confidence and forced Palace to ride out a storm, with one particularly fine sliding tackle from Doucouré preventing Danny Welbeck from doubling Brighton’s advantage.

But as the half wore on, Palace began to fight back, and they could have gone in level had Andersen’s side-footed volley – having been found at the back post by Olise’s delivery from deep – not whistled right the way across Steele’s goalmouth.

With Doucouré perhaps fortunate to avoid a second yellow card on the stroke of half-time, Ebere Eze was introduced in his place at the break by Vieira, with Schlupp dropping back into midfield.

This time, it was Brighton who made the brighter start to proceedings, the hosts creating an overload on the left flank which led to Estupinan firing a low shot across goal, blocked superbly with his feet by Whitworth.

That brighter start duly faded completely when a sudden power cut caused a momentary halt in play – as well as a chanting competition between the two rival sets of supporters.

When play did eventually resume, aware that the attacking onus was now on Palace, the hosts played a more patient game on the ball in the second-half, forcing the Eagles to press higher up the pitch.

That approach almost paid dividends for Palace when Eze was able to square for Schlupp to shoot low from 25 yards, but his crisp low strike whistled narrowly wide of the bottom-right corner.

With Vieira making attacking changes, more space began to open up for the hosts as the half wore on, forcing Whitworth to be on his toes.

The 19-year-old rose to the challenge to deny a powerful near-post header from Alexis Mac Allister midway through the half, with the Argentine midfielder also finding the side-netting with a low effort the teenager appeared to have covered.

As the hosts ran down the clock, there was to be one final Palace opportunity. With Brighton getting it wrong while playing out from the back, Ebere Eze was able to poke the ball towards fellow substitute Naouirou Ahamada.

The Frenchman was on his less-favoured right-foot and, with only milliseconds to consider his options on the edge of the box, pulled a harmless finish wide of the post.

A prominent example of a game unfortunately lost in the minor moments by Palace, whose electric start and competitive display arguably warranted more on the south coast.

Palace: Whitworth (GK), Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Doucouré (Eze 45), Lokonga, Schlupp (Ahamada 80), Olise (Ayew 70), Zaha, Edouard (Mateta 80)

Subs: Goodman (GK), Ward, Tomkins, Richards, Milivojevic

Brighton: Steele (GK), Veltman, Dunk, Colwill, Estupiñan, Caicedo, Mac Allister (Sarmiento 88), March (Webster 90), Groß, Mitoma (Enciso 80), Welbeck (Ferguson 80)

Subs: Sanchez (GK), Undav, Gilmour, van Hecke, Buonanotte

Whitworth reflects on 'proud moment'


For a lifelong Palace fan, the ultimate debut presented itself: an away game against Brighton & Hove Albion. Many would have understandably cowed to the challenge.

Not 19-year-old Joe Whitworth, Crystal Palace’s youngest-ever Premier League goalkeeper, who stood up to it and produced several impressive saves – notably close-range stops from Alexis Mac Allister and Pervis Estupiñan – in front of his watching family amongst the Palace supporters.

While Whitworth was understandably disappointed after several early misses and after Solly March’s 15th-minute winner led to Brighton taking all three points at the Amex, he could also reflect with pride at the full-time whistle.

Speaking to Palace TV, Whitworth said: “It was massive for me, being a Palace fan and playing for the senior team. It was massive for my family. It’s a really proud moment.

“I’ve supported Palace my whole life. My whole family are Palace fans. I started at Palace around Under-13s at the club, worked my way up and got here today.

“I had my family watching in the away end. I’m sure my brother was loving it! It’s amazing to have them here – a big moment for me and my family.

“It was unbelievable. For [the Palace fans] to chant my name… we’re just a bit disappointed we couldn’t give them a win. They were really amazing support tonight, and kept going until the final whistle. It’s a sore [result] to take.

“It was a close game. We started well and had a few chances that we could have put away, and then Brighton came back into it. It was a bit see-sawy, but a close game, very tough – they’re a good team – and we’ll just look to put it right on Sunday [against Arsenal].”

As well as his loved ones, Whitworth paid tribute to first-team goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely, revealing: “I found out [I would be playing] at the hotel. We had a meeting and Deano [Dean Kiely] told me I was in the starting XI.

“I was absolutely buzzing, if I’m being honest – I was really excited to play, and play in front of the Palace fans at the Amex. It was a big game to start in, but I really enjoyed it.

“I felt alright. I was obviously a bit nervous coming into the game, but as soon as I started the warm-up, I was fine, and Deano made me feel really assured and calm. All the other lads did as well, and the gaffer. It was nerve-racking at the start, but I really enjoyed it, and I’m looking to build on it.

“There have been so many coaches along the way who have helped me, especially in the academy and also Deano, who’s really taken me under his wing when I’ve played with the first-team.”

Vieira's full-time thoughts


Patrick Vieira attributed Crystal Palace’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday evening to a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.

The manager reflected: “When you look at all the aspects of the game, the way that we were organised, the discipline we had, how aggressive we were... I was pleased with that.

“I think we defended well and managed to win the ball in some really important parts of the field, but what let us down was our offensive play. Not taking the opportunities we created let us down today.

“The difference between the two teams was that they had one shot and managed to score. We had a lot of opportunities, we had chances, but we didn’t score. This was the issue for us.

“It’s not about showing more positivity, it’s about showing the ingredients you need to compete and to win football matches. The players worked hard and worked well and we had those opportunities. The difference between the two teams is they took their chances and we didn’t.

“This is the frustration I have because for parts of the game, the team, the players, did well.”

Vieira added: “We decided to press higher and showed a lot of positivity in the game but again not scoring those goals, not making those right decisions in an important part of the game and part of the field, let us down. This is the biggest frustration of tonight.

“I am concerned about scoring goals. When I look at the team’s performance today and I look at the work ethic and our organisation and how the players executed our plan, I was pleased with that.

“The worry I have is when you create those chances and you don’t take them. We have to score those goals. Our front players have to change their mindset. We have to be more aggressive going forward and in the last third.”

Vieira was, however, pleased with the showing of 19-year-old goalkeeper and Palace debutant Joe Whitworth.

“It happened really quickly [for him], but Joe has a really strong personality. He has the self-belief, the calmness that allowed him to perform the way he did today.

“He showed a lot of good things and it’s even more special because he’s a young player who came through the Academy, and to play his first game at a professional level in a tough place was good for him, but we couldn’t give him the win that would've been a perfect evening for him.

“The message came from Deano [Dean Kiely], the goalkeeping coach. We let him [Whitworth] know this morning he was going to start and the message to him was just: ‘be yourself.’

“He’s been with us for a couple of months now, training with the first-team, and he understands the pressure, he understands the game really well, and today he looked really calm, really composed, and he made a lot of good decisions.

“For a first [senior] game there were a lot of positives. I’m disappointed for him because we couldn’t give him the win, but the future looks really good for him.”


This game can be so cruel.

Palace gave it their all tonight in a more fluid display, but were made to pay for missing a succession of chances in the opening minutes of the match by Solly March's admittedly well-taken winner.

We hassled, we harried, we fought and we came close - but sadly, it was not enough on the south coast, our first loss to Brighton in over 1,500 days.


A game lost by the narrowest of margins, and in the most minor of moments.

Brighton emerge 1-0 winners at the Amex Stadium tonight, and our long unbeaten run against the Seagulls is over.

90+9 mins

Penalty shout! Eze is barged in the back in the penalty area... nothing doing.

Seconds left... there goes the full time whistle.

90+8 mins

Wilf on the charge towards the penalty spot... tackled as he enters the area...

It's just slipped away from us in the small moments here.


90+5 mins


Brighton get it all wrong at th back, Eze intercepts and prods towards Ahamada. It's on the edge of the box and the midfielder's wrong foot, and he miscues his finish, the ball rolling right the way across goal... Brighton clear. Ahhhh.

Yellow card

90+4 mins

Estupinan barges over Ayew and then displays dissent - yellow card.

Eze stands over this free-kick... it's high towards the penalty spot, and Steele is able to catch.

Time running out...

Nine added minutes to be played

90 mins

March comes off for Brighton - on comes Adam Webster.

Then, the announcement above... come on lads!

89 mins

Eze turns in midfield and feeds Zaha, who takes on Veltman and drives the ball low across goal... it almost reaches Mateta in the six-yard box, but is cut out at the last.


88 mins

Mac Allister is off for Brighton - on comes Sarmiento.

The hosts are slowing things down at every opportunity here. Will Palace get that one last chance?

86 mins

Zaha has an effort charged down on the edge of the box.

It's just not quite broken for us in the same manner this second-half... but still time left! Come on, lads!

85 mins

Close from Brighton. Mac Allister wriggles his way through and shoots low towards Whitworth's near post...

The 19-year-old might have had it covered, but it's wide nevertheless.

82 mins

Eze turns well in midfield and attempts to slide in Mateta, but the ball is cut out on the slide by Dunk.

We're probing, that's for sure...

More changes

80 mins

Two changes for Palace: Edouard and Schlupp off, Mateta and Ahamada on.

Brighton replace Mitoma with Enciso, and Welbeck with Ferguson.

10 to go...

77 mins

Palace are readying a double change here... Mateta and Ahamada are ready to come on...

75 mins

Groß goes down for Brighton under pressure from Guéhi, and the hosts have the chance to shoot 30 or so yards from goal.

Mac Allister stands over it, along with March... it's the former who hits it, but his effort sails well over the bar.

Second change for Palace

70 mins

Michael Olise is coming off, and on comes Jordan Ayew.

The hosts are now looking to keep the ball near the halfway line and draw Palace onto them.

20 minutes to get back into this one. We started the game so brightly - how will we finish it?

Excellent from Whitworth

66 mins

The goalkeeper makes a brilliant stop to deny Alexis Mac Allister's powerful header at the near post from a corner.

It's a flying save which required razor-sharp reflexes - and the 19-year-old was well up to the task.


59 mins

Eze squares the ball towards Schlupp from 25 yards, and he hits a daisycutter of an effort... narrowly past the bottom corner. Steele perhaps had that one covered.

54 mins

Olise beats Caicedo to a loose ball in midfield and is chopped down - yellow card for the Brighton man.

53 mins

The clock on the screen informs me we're at 53 minutes, as play resumes.


Okay, I think we might continuing now, as both sets of players return to their positions...

The officials test the goalline technology again, and play is set to resume any moment... in the meantime, Palace and Brighton fans are having a good, old-fashioned sing-off...

Match paused

54 mins

Well... I believe we've just had a power cut!

Confusion all around as all the floodlights go off momentarily, a few flicker back on... and then we're back to full speed.

But the referee motions to the sideline that his communications have gone offline, and I think we're set for a pause in the action. The players both come over to the sidelines as the fans wave their phone torches in unison...

Big save from Whitworth

52 mins

Excellent from the teenager. Brighton create an overload on the left flank and Estupinan is in on goal, but Whitworth stands tall to kick the low strike across goal away.

Outstanding save.

50 mins

Welbeck shapes to curl a low effort from 25 yards, but Whitworth is right behind it and catches well.

A solid night's work so far from the 19-year-old on the south coast. Whatever happens in the remainder of the game, the boyhood Palace fan will never forget tonight.

48 mins

Hmm... Guéhi goes down clutching his foot, and after a few moments' treatment, is back up - but moving gingerly...

Thankfully, he's good to continue.

We're back underway

46 mins


Substitution for Palace


The two teams are back out and it looks like Palace have made a half-time change: Eberechi Eze is on for Doucouré, who admittedly ran it close to picking up a second yellow card in that opening period...


Take a look at some of the best images from the first-half below.


The first-half comes to a close with Palace behind, despite a largely promising display at the Amex.

Lots for Patrick Vieira and his players to build on in the second 45.

45 mins

One additional minute to be played here.


42 mins

Another big opportunity goes begging..

Olise swings in a high free-kick from a deep position where Andersen is waiting at the back post. It drops onto his right foot from a tight angle, and there's a crowd of bodies to fire it through... he manages it though, but it also whistles past the far post.

So close.

40 mins

Outstanding defending from Guéhi. Brighton nick it in midfield and it looks like Welbeck is going to slide in a second goal, but our skipper reads the initial pass and is there to get across his man and win a free-kick.

Danger well and truly averted.

38 mins

The hosts' turn to threaten as Groß appears to get in behind Mitchell and squares from the byline...

Mitoma turns and fires narrowly wide, but the ball had gone out moments prior and the linesman duly flags.

35 mins

Oh! For a moment...

It's another brilliant move from Palace, which rounds off with Lokonga breaking between the lines and playing it forwards for Edouard to run onto...

He's in on goal, but his first touch is too heavy, and the ball runs through to Steele who claims.

29 mins

Now then.

Olise is well and truly barged from behind by Mitoma, and all of a sudden, we have a free-kick right on the corner of the box... I suspect our No. 7 will be interested in this one given its positioning. It's ripe for a whipped strike...

It clips the top of the wall, and is behind for a corner, which Olise will take... Schlupp challenges, but the ball is cleared.


27 mins

Doucouré goes into the book - the first player to see yellow tonight - for a tackle on Veltman.

Free-kick to Brighton near the halfway line... they work it well to deliv- no, they don't, because Zaha's across to nick the ball off Groß.

He's made an excellent start to this one, the Palace No. 11.

21 mins

Great tackle from Guéhi as Veltman appeared to be set to shoot inside the box.

19 mins

That goal has changed the early course of this game, as the home team are now playing with plenty more confidence.

Brighton come close to grabbing a second moments later, March firing the ball across the six-yard area for Welbeck... but Doucouré makes an outstanding defensive tackle inside his own box.

It pops out to Mac Allister to shoot... it's a low effort which deflects off a Palace player and is eventually cleared.

Lots of time to get back into this one, though!

Brighton score - March

15 mins

First real chance, first goal for Brighton - it's Solly March.

The home team's man-in-form makes a diagonal run in between Guehi and Andersen and dispatches an arrow of a shot into the bottom corner, across Whitworth, who could do little about it.

Sucker punch.

13 mins

And now a first save for Whitworth for Palace - it's a comfortable one, a curler from Mitoma right into his midriff, but one that still needed to be made.

11 mins

I tell you what, this is an excellent start from Palace.

Zaha takes several touches on the edge of the Brighton box before squaring for Edouard, who cuts inside a defender and curls one from the edge of the 'D'... Steele gets down to save and, eventually, catches.


9 mins

At the other end, March curls a cute ball in towards Welbeck for Brighton, but Andersen gets a vital header to it to clear.

What an opening 10 minutes to this one!

Another chance!

8 mins

Wow - another big opportunity there for Palace!

It's excellent movement from Olise and quite the ball over the top from Andersen. It drops invitingly for the winger, who's one-on-one with Steele... the keeper sprawls and gets a leg to deflect away his low finish!


7 mins

What an opportunity for Edouard!

It's another well-worked corner routine, Clyne having plenty of space to whip the ball onto the head of Edouard... six yards from goal, his contact is good, but if anything he gets too much on it, and the ball evades the far post.

Big chance, that one... but an excellent start from the Eagles!

6 mins

Up the other end and Palace attack down the right, Olise sent tumbling by a bustling challenge from Estupinan. The referee plays advantage and Clyne is tackled, the ball out for a corner...

Olise will take... he goes short, and Zaha wins another corner off Estupinan...

5 mins

A bit more of a heart-in-mouth moment for Whitworth seconds later, but a decisive one, as he sprints from his goalmouth to head away a ball bouncing outside the penalty area. Well played young man.

3 mins

A first touch of the ball for Whitworth in goal, collecting a backpass and spraying the ball out to Mitchell calmly.

"Joe Whitworth - he's one of our own!" rings out around Amex Stadium, with the travelling Palace supporters assembled behind his goalmouth. What a day for him.


1 min

A chance for Palace after 50 seconds!

Mitchell plays the ball forwards earlier, Zaha attacks Dunk and, from the byline, fires a left-footed effort goalwards... palmed behind by Steele!

From the subsequent corner, the ball is only half-cleared to Doucouré, who chests down and fires a half-volley from 25 yards... past the post! Close!

Bright start from the Eagles.


1 min

Danny Welbeck sets the ball rolling for Brighton, and we're underway here at the Amex.


Here come the two teams, to a grand chorus from the assembled supporters. Those Palace fans respond with a rousing rendition of 'Eagles'.



Warm-ups have wound down, and we're now just 10 minutes away from kick-off.

A fixture whose meaning harks back decades is just moments away from commencing at the Amex, and the bouncing atmosphere reflects that accordingly. This is a big one.

Time for me to remind you that tonight's match will not be broadcast live on television in the UK – but fear not, as subscribers to Palace TV+ will be able to tune in to LIVE audio commentary of the fixture, on web and on the official Palace app. Click HERE to subscribe.

With this also being the case when Palace take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (19th March), fans can purchase a Weekly pass for just £3.49 to gain access to audio commentary from both fixtures.

Zaha speaks to the media…


“Obviously I always want to add however I can to whatever game, but yeah, it would be handy tonight!

“Sometimes I thrive under pressure and someone needs to do it and if I can, I help out the team, but I just take every game as it comes really so whoever it is, if it happens to be against Brighton I’m scoring most of the goals…

“I think it’s a difficult run of fixtures and, at the same time, when results don’t go your way, even though you work hard, the confidence goes as well, but that’s where the team has to stick together.

“The gaffer’s doing his best to keep us thinking positively, because it’s difficult – we’ve got loads of youngsters in the team and you’ve got to keep their morale up. It’s been a few tough fixtures we’ve had, but I feel like hopefully tonight we can turn things around.”


And this from Academy Performance Coach, William Rose...

What it means


What a journey this is - from ballboy to starting 'keeper!

Living the dream - every Palace fan is right behind you tonight, Joe.


In other news, Palace defender Joachim Andersen became the first Palace player to receive an international call-up for the upcoming set of qualifiers yesterday. Find out more here.

Edouard: I know what this game means


Odsonne Edouard, who starts tonight, knows what it means to play in some of football's biggest rivalries.

Try the Old Firm on for size. Edouard arrived at Celtic and was thrust into Glaswegian life. There aren’t many 19-year-olds that need to grasp the basics of a centuries old religious conflict to understand their local rivalry – taught in an unfamiliar language, spoken with an even less familiar accent.

It’s why, when Palace face Brighton & Hove Albion – fear not, he knows it’s a ‘rivalry’ and not a ‘derby’ – the centre-forward is determined that he and his teammates will leave it all on the pitch; it will be sweat, blood and tears.

“We feel more pressure in this game, because it is a game you can’t lose,” Edouard explains. “You can do what you want, but you cannot lose.

"That is the pressure. I like this pressure. I had to deal with this pressure at Celtic, but it is good because you give more.

“I know what this [kind of game] means for the fans. We have to give everything in this game – to be at 100%, or more like 200% or 300% to try to win this game. We have to try to win this game for the fans.”

Read more from Edouard here.

And the teams are in...


Academy goalkeeper Joe Whitworth makes his Crystal Palace first-team debut against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday evening, one of three changes to Patrick Vieira’s starting XI.

Cheick Doucouré returns from a one-match suspension and comes straight back into midfield, while Odsonne Edouard starts up-front. Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew make way for the duo.

With fellow goalkeepers Vicente Guaita and Sam Johnstone both absent from Patrick Vieira’s matchday squad, Whitworth becomes Palace’s youngest-ever Premier League goalkeeper – and fifth-youngest in all competitions – at the age of 19 years and 15 days old.

The goalkeeper has, however, trained with the Palace first-team squad regularly this season, and has been named on the bench on nine previous occasions in the Premier League.

As a result of the changes, Whitworth will be protected by a likely back four of Nathaniel Clyne, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guéhi and Tyrick Mitchell.

Ahead of them in midfield will be Doucouré, Sambi Lokonga and – depending on which position he starts – Jeffrey Schlupp, along with attacking outlets in Michael Olise, Edouard and Wilfried Zaha, who has scored in both his previous two appearances against Brighton.

Palace: Whitworth (GK), Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Doucouré, Lokonga, Schlupp, Olise, Zaha, Edouard<br> Subs: Goodman (GK), Ward, Tomkins, Richards, Milivojevic, Ahamada, Eze, Ayew, Mateta

Brighton: Steele (GK), Veltman, Dunk, Colwill, Estupiñan, Caicedo, Mac Allister, March, Groß, Mitoma, Welbeck<br> Subs: Sanchez (GK), Wester, Sarmiento, Encios, Undav, Gilmour, Ferguson, van Hecke, Buonanotte


The manager was also full of praise for Palace’s away support yesterday, and expects to see another fantastic turn-out on the road at the Amex tonight.

“The fans have always been fantastic to us every time we have played away from home,” the manager said. “Last year, when we went there, they were behind the team and supporting the team.

“Look at the reception when we started against [Manchester] City. Look after the result and look at the fans. The fans always respond.

“What I want – and what I expect – from the players is to give something to the fans to fire them up a little bit. What we want is to play the game with a lot of determination and enthusiasm so the fans can be behind us like always.

“The derby is always special for the fans, but the players can feel the tension as well. That’s why it will be important for us to remain calm but determined, and it will be important for us to control our emotions.

“Of course the fans will be up for it, and the players and myself will be ready for it as well.”


Team news will be revealed in 20 minutes’ time!

The return of Cheick Doucouré after his one-match suspension will add solidity to Palace’s midfield, alongside Sambi Lokonga. Jeff Schlupp and Luka Milivojevic played in midfield against Manchester City, while Vieira has already confirmed that Will Hughes and James McArthur will not be available to feature.

“[Hughes] is not going to be involved tomorrow, he is still not feeling well,” Vieira said at his pre-match press conference. “It is the same for Macca, both of them are not possible. Everyone else is okay.

“The mood in the squad is the same: there is a lot of determination. What I mean is that we felt, after the game [against Manchester City] that we defended well as a team, but going forward we didn’t play as we were planning and as we wanted to. We know this is a side of the game we want to improve if we want to win games.

“You can always read the stats in a way that suits you. What is clear is that we are not scoring enough goals. That is a fact. We have to play better and create more chances.

“It is about working a lot in the last third, about having people inside the box, about the quality of our passing. It’s about changing our mindset to be more ruthless in front of goal.”

Watch the manager’s full press conference below.

Vieira speaks to the press ahead of Brighton trip

The rivalry explained


Given the near 50-mile gap between the two clubs, Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion is unlike a traditional rivalry between clubs in close proximity to one another – but has tended to prove no less competitive down the years.

Instead, the rivalry stems from events in the early 1970s, when the two teams - once kept apart in the league ladder - began to play one another more regularly.

Find out more about the fixture’s history here.

Déjà vu


In another quirk of this season’s most remarkable fixture scheduling, there may be a sense of déjà vu for both sets of fans, as Palace and Brighton meet for the second time in just over a month.

At Selhurst Park in February, the Eagles fought back from a goal down to earn a point, as James Tomkins proved the unlikely hero when he nodded home the equaliser. The result extended Palace’s unbeaten run against Brighton to seven games – and tonight, we go for eight.

Watch highlights from last month’s game right here – and when you’re done, check out Three of our Best victories against the Seagulls right here!

Match action: Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton

How to Follow


Tonight’s match will not be broadcast live on television in the UK – but fear not, as subscribers to Palace TV+ will be able to tune in to LIVE audio commentary of the fixture, on web and on the official Palace app. Click HERE to subscribe.

With this also being the case when Palace take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (19th March), fans can purchase a Weekly pass for just £3.49 to gain access to audio commentary from both fixtures.

Otherwise, you can follow the game via this live blog and our Match Centre, where as well as a range of stats and facts, you can also find every piece of build-up to the game you could possibly need.

Then, one hour before kick-off (16:30 GMT), attention will turn to team news across all our web, app and social (Twitter and Instagram) channels.

And every club channel will fill with content post-match, right from the final whistle. Stay tuned!

Find out more about how to follow tonight's game.

Good evening...


... and a warm welcome to our live coverage of events at the Amex Stadium, where Crystal Palace are set to renew rivalries with Brighton & Hove Albion tonight!

As Palace manager Patrick Vieira said at his pre-match press conference: "Every game is important, but of course this is the special one... we know how much it means to the football club and the fans."

The Eagles admittedly go into tonight's game seeking a first win in 10 Premier League matches, and are up against a Brighton side who sit seventh in the table...

... but footballing history has taught us many a time that the form book counts for little on such occasions, particularly given the promising nature of Palace's displays of late against high-flying sides.

We're all set, then, for another exciting occasion - and you can follow all the latest live updates right here! Join me in saying...