Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Crystal Palace: Solly March winner keeps up European push

Solly March scores
Brighton have scored 10 goals in the first 15 minutes of games this season

Brighton maintained their pursuit of European football with a narrow Premier League win over struggling rivals Crystal Palace.

Solly March’s goal proved decisive for the Seagulls and punished a Palace side who spurned three good chances to take control of the game in the opening 10 minutes.

While Wilfried Zaha, Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise were unable to make the breakthrough for the Eagles, March delivered a clinical finish into the bottom left corner from Kaoru Mitoma’s incisive pass.

Roberto de Zerbi’s side always looked the more accomplished after that and move level on 42 points with sixth-placed Liverpool, while they are six behind Tottenham in fourth, with two games in hand.

The result will only deepen concerns at Palace of a relegation battle after a dismal 11-game sequence without a win that leaves them 12th but just three points above the bottom three.

In that period, they have managed to score just four top-flight goals and manager Patrick Vieira cut a frustrated figure in the technical area as his side’s attacking shortfalls were again exposed.

However, he could have few complaints about the performance of goalkeeper Joe Whitworth on his Palace debut – a memorable night for the 19-year-old as he deputised for the injured Vicente Guaita.

The teenager, who grew up as an Eagles supporter and was also a club ball boy, was given little chance by March’s unerring finish but kept his side in the game after the break by superbly saving Pervis Estupinan’s low shot and an Alexis Mac Allister header.

More to follow.

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