Palace trailed at the break thanks to Dale Stephens’ opener, but a brilliant strike by Bakary Sako levelled the scores midway through the tie, which looked to be heading to a replay before Murray bundled the ball home with four minutes to go to send the Seagulls through at the Eagles’ expense.
Post-match, the debate raged about whether the goal should have been reviewed, but Hodgson believes that the VAR system did its job and the right decision was ultimately made.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he talked about a number of issues, including:
The winning goal: “We had suspicions at first and those were fuelled by the actions of people close by who seemed to be incensed, and to be fair from our angle it looked to all the world he’s guided the ball in with his arm, but I have to congratulate the system. When you watch it lots of times like they did from different angles, I think it would have been very harsh [if it was disallowed]. There’s still a slight thought that it brushed off his thigh and come off his arm into the goal, but to be honest if it had been my player scoring that goal then I would have been disappointed to see it disallowed.
“I think it was a genuine goal and the referee on the field was helped by the fact that he had Neil Swarbrick in the VAR studio making a judgement that could help him out, so I have no complaints about it at all.”
The VAR process: “I was led to believe from a very good briefing from Mike Riley that unless they really feel that the referee needs to look at the decision again, it’s not going to be brought down to the sidelines. Thy will watch it and communicate verbally with the referee, and there was a brief pause [after Murray’s goal] and I was under the impression that Marriner and Swarbrick were talking. Andre must’ve been asking the question ‘was it handball?’ and Neil who’s seen better angles has said no.
“I accepted it. I had a few spiteful comments to the referees on my way in but that’s just my nature I’m afraid! I regret them now.”
The game: “In the first half it wasn’t very good and in the second half it was better, and there was a wonderful goal from Sako after we started the second half brightly. We lost it for a spell where the game didn’t have any great direction, but they got back into in the second half but it seemed to me that we were heading towards a draw when the goal was scored.”
Bakary Sako: “He’s proven that he’s capable of a regular starting place. He faces competition from Benteke and Zaha but it’s good to know that he’s there as well. We’re going to need him; our squad is so unbelievably thin and it’s been thinned even more.”
Watch the post match interviews and highlights from the Brighton match now or if viewing on the App go to the Palace TV channel.