Zaha double helps Eagles to derby delight

Crystal Palace prevailed after a crazy first half versus Brighton and Hove Albion to bank a crucial victory in their fight against the drop.

Crystal Palace surged six points clear of the Premier League drop zone in an action-packed 3-2 win over bitter rivals Brighton and Hove Albion at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

All five goals came amid a frenzied first half as Wilfried Zaha's brace either side of James Tomkins' second goal in three matches secured a much-needed first home win in four attempts.

The Eagles had seemed likely to claim derby honours in fine style as they twice opened up two-goal advantages, although the Seagulls were able to stay within touching distance by elevating their tally of top-flight away goals from seven to nine.

AS IT HAPPENED: CRYSTAL PALACE VS BRIGHTON

But the visitors' vulnerability at the back proved their undoing, with Zaha and Tomkins both netting from corners inside the opening 14 minutes.

Glenn Murray was first to reduce the deficit when he netted against his former club for the second time in all competitions this term, only for Zaha to strike again in the 24th minute – his first headed goal in the Premier League.

And it proved decisive. Jose Izquierdo did bring Brighton back to within one when he skilfully scored 11 minutes prior to the interval, but it stayed that way throughout a nervy second half, Roy Hodgson's men thankful for a poor late Murray miss as they battled to an invaluable three points in their bid for survival.

Key Opta Stats:

  • Crystal Palace ended a run of four top-flight home games without a victory (D1 L3), netting three goals in a league game at Selhurst Park for the first time since May 2017 (4-0 v Hull).
  • Brighton have conceded in each of their last 12 Premier League games – the longest current run without a clean sheet in the division.
  • This game saw five first-half goals, the most in any Premier League game this season.
  • Wilfried Zaha has scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since March 2015 (v QPR and Stoke).
  • In completing his first-ever Premier League brace, Wilfried Zaha netted his first-ever headed goal in the competition.
  • Zaha has now bagged five goals against Brighton in all competitions, more than he has managed against any other side, with four of those goals coming in his last three against the Seagulls.
  • Brighton have conceded 14 goals from corner situations this season, more than any other side.
  • Glenn Murray has scored three goals in the last two league meetings between these two sides in the league at Selhurst Park (excl. play-offs), scoring twice in a 3-0 win for Palace in December 2012
  • Murray is the fifth player to score against Crystal Palace in the Premier League having previously played for them in the competition, and the first since Leon McKenzie in April 2005 (for Norwich).