Honours even – but Brighton & Hove Albion miss out on biggest honour so far

Posted On 27 Sep 2021 at 10:14 pm

Crystal Palace 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1

A superb Neal Maupay equaliser in the last minute of added time by gave Albion a draw over a shell-shocked Palace.

But if Leandro Trossard hadn’t conceded a late first, Albion would have climbed from 92nd to 1st in English football in just 8,556 days.

Palace had the better chances in the first half as Robert Sanchez made routine saves from Odsonne Edouard – and Lewis Dunk headed away a Conor Gallagher effort.

Albion took a while to find their stride. And midway through the half Sanchez fired Danny Welbeck away but he ran into James McCarthur before he could get his shot away.

Adam Lallana, who pick up a yellow card for hauling down McCarthur, had a good chance for Albion – as did Leandro Trossard, who couldn’t convert a Pascal Gross cross.

In first half stoppage time Gallagher ran at Marc Cucurella and got a shove then another from Trossard. Wilfried Zaha converted the penalty to send Palace 1-0 in front.

Early in the second half a Gross free kick saw Dunk loop a header that forced Vincent Guaita in to a good tip-over.

Albion had few second-half chances. Steven Alzate, who had tactically replaced Dan Burn at half time, went off injured.

Alzate had slipped and let in Zaha, but Sanchez made a great save. Jakub Moder took his place.

Later on Cucurella gave the ball away to Gallagher who fed Jordan Ayew but, with Sanchez already committed, he sidefooted wide.

Cucurella and Trossard both picked up yellow cards late on and Aaron Connolly came on for the injured Welbeck.

As the clock ticked past 90 minutes Gross sent in a centre that caused Shane Duffy to clatter in to Guaita.

From the restart Joel Veltman hook the ball forward  from Guaita’s clearance and Maupay latched on to it and chipped a sublime effort over the keeper for 1-1, with almost the last kick.

So the cliches and anecdotes of Brighton and Hove Albion leading the Premier League are on hold for a week or maybe forever.

But if Chelsea don’t beat Southampton and Manchester United draw with Everton on Saturday afternoon (2 October) Albion could beat Arsenal to go top of the Premier League. Keep pinching yourselves – you are awake.

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