Date:Sunday March 17 2013
17/3/13 - 12.00pm
Albion produced a performance to remember as they re-ignited their playoff bid with a thumping victory over rivals Crystal Palace.
Poyet's men exacted their long-awaited revenge with a quick-fire treble during an emphatic 10 minute period either side of half-time. Leo Ulloa headed the hosts in-front moments before David Lopez curled in a sumptuous free-kick - Ulloa then applied the finishing touch to a wonderfully worked third as the Eagles were dead and buried not long after the break.
A vociferous crowd witnessed a tentative start as chances were few and far between in the early stages - Andrea Orlandi and Kazenga LuaLua both saw long-range efforts blocked as the two sides looked to get a grip-hold. Palace soon grew into the game, and nearly went ahead through an unlikely source - Matt Upson misdirecting a header towards the Albion goal where Tomasz Kuszczak was on hand to produce a reflex stop and avert the danger.
Much talked-about winger Wilfried Zaha was beginning to cause problems in the final third, and it was his run and pass that led to the first clear-cut chance of the game, with the United loanee feeding left-back Jonathan Parr who had made his way into the area - he could only manage a tame right-footed effort, however, as Kuszczak gathered comfortably.
With the tempo beginning to pick up, Inigo Calderon volleyed high and wide, before ex-Seagulls striker Glenn Murray headed off-target. Just as the visitors were appearing to get into their stride, Albion delivered a sucker-punch with a devastating few minutes before half-time.
Will Buckley escaped down the right before lofting a delightful cross to the back-post, where Ulloa rose to scramble home via a Palace shoulder and send the bulk of the 28,000 crowd into delirium. And just as they were getting ready for a half-time breather, the Seagulls doubled their lead through a moment of set-piece magic.
Buckley skipped inside Jonathan Parr, before drawing a foul from Kagisho Dikgacoi on the edge of the area. David stepped up to bend a superb free-kick in off the bar and past a flailing Julian Speroni. The best was yet to come for the hosts, as not long after the interval they produced a terrific team-move to kill off the contest.
A slick exchange of passes on the right led to Liam Bridcutt's lofted ball into the box, with Orlandi cleverly heading the ball back for Ulloa, who fired a first-time finish past Speroni from close-range. The tie opened up further as Palace were forced throw players forward.
Indeed, the impressive LuaLua was becoming increasingly dangerous down the left, and the Congolese winger nearly set-up Ulloa's hat-rick, but Damien Delaney produced a timely block to deny the Argentine. He then had another opportunity to grab his third, forcing Speroni into a fine stop when one-on-one, with the Palace stopper also keeping out Buckley's follow-up.
The Seagulls were content to sit on their 3-goal lead in the closing stages, however, as the jubilant home crowd revelled in the victory - and a huge 3 points in their push for the play-offs.
Date:Sunday March 17 2013
Loan watch: Maksimenko's Yeovil secure promotion (Sunday May 19 2013)
Forster-Caskey gets England under-20s call-up (Sunday May 19 2013)
Poyet and coaching staff suspended (Friday May 17 2013)
Albion trio let go (Thursday May 16 2013)
Poyet up for monthly honour (Thursday May 16 2013)
End of the road for the Gus bus? (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Stats: Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Brighton 0-2 Crystal Palace (Tuesday May 14 2013)
VIDEO: It's Terrible And I'm Responsible - Poyet (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Bridcutt is fans' pick once again (Wednesday May 8 2013)
|2. Hull City||46||24||7||15||9||79|
|5. Crystal Palace||46||19||15||12||11||72|
|6. Leicester City||46||19||11||16||23||68|
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