Brighton 0-0 Crystal Palace: Seagulls and Eagles fail to find a goal
Last Updated: 28/11/17 11:56pm
There were plenty of fireworks going off in the stands but few on the pitch as Brighton and Palace played out a goalless draw.
Brighton had goalkeeper Mathew Ryan to thank for keeping the game goalless in the 14th minute when Christian Benteke flicked the ball into Wilfried Zaha, who laid it back to the Belgian and the striker's toe poke was parried by the Australian into the path of the winger but Ryan reacted well to get up and stop his shot.
Lewis Dunk should have done better when he leapt highest to get on the end of an Anthony Knockaert corner but his header went straight at Wayne Hennessey, who gladly held onto the ball.
The only other notable chance of the opening half was when Jose Izquierdo received the ball inside the box and curled an effort on goal but Hennessey palmed the shot away for Dale Stephens to fire well wide.
Glenn Murray came closest after the break when he battled with Joel Ward in the box to get on the end of a Knockhaert corner but his header was blocked.
Set-pieces looked the most like route for a Brighton goal, as the hosts earned 10 corners during the match with Dunk and Shane Duffy missing chances after the break from set-pieces as the hosts struggled to create chances from open play.
Brighton: Ryan (8), Bruno (6), Dunk (7), Duffy (6), Suttner (7), Knockaert (7), Stephens (6), Propper (6), Izquierdo (7), Gross (6), Murray (6)
Subs: Hemed (6), March (6), Brown (6)
Palace: Hennessey (7), Ward (6), Tomkins (6), Sakho (7), Schlupp (6), Townsend (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Milivojevc (7), Cabaye (6), Zaha (7), Benteke (6)
Subs: McArthur (6)
Man of the match: Mathew Ryan
The match was punctuated by a number of pyrotechnics going off in the away end as the Palace supporters made their own entertainment to make up for the lack of interest on the pitch.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson will be pleased the returning Benteke was able to get through 90 minutes in his first game since the manager's arrival at Selhurst Park, even though the Belgian failed to influence the game.
Roy Hodgson called upon a central striker from the start for the first time in a while as Christian Benteke made the starting XI. He replaced McArthur in the team in Palace's only change.There were two changes for Brighton as Suttner and Izquierdo came into the team for Bong and March.
Brighton fans thought they should have had a penalty in injury time when Dunk seemed to be pulled down by Mamadou Sakho but Andre Marriner waved away the appeals, ensuring the game finished goalless.
The result was Palace's first away point of the season but they remain bottom of the table, equal on nine points with Swansea, whereas Brighton drop down to 10th place.
- Brighton have never lost a top-flight match against Crystal Palace, conceding just three goals in the five meetings at this level (W3 D2).
- Crystal Palace have failed to find the net in nine consecutive away Premier League games, although this was the first game in that run in which they have avoided defeat (D1 L8).
- However, this was the Eagles' first Premier League clean sheet this season; they are last of the 20 sides in the division to achieve a shut-out.
- Roy Hodgson's side have now failed to score in each of their opening seven away league games of the season; only Derby County (eight games in 2007/08) have had a longer wait for an away goal at the start of a Premier League campaign.
- Indeed, this is Crystal Palace's worst points tally after the opening 14 games of a league season (nine) since 2000/01 in the second-tier (eight points).
- Christian Benteke has now gone 10 Premier League games without a goal; he has only gone longer without scoring in the competition once before (11 games ending in January 2014 for Aston Villa).
Chris Hughton: "Did we do enough to win the game? Probably not. Certainly they didn't play well enough to win it either, so on reflection it's a decent result.
"He [Ryan] has been very good for us, especially in recent games, when he hasn't had much to do but the way he's made very good saves. I also thought we had some very good opportunities from Izquierdo and Pascal Gross on the cutback.
"The longer the game went it seemed like it was going to be a stalemate. It was going to either be a mistake or a set piece which put it into someone's favour.
"It was almost a bit of a nervous type of game. I don't think either side played to the levels they're capable of, so it didn't really go with the type of flow these games do."
Roy Hodgson: "To be fair they're flying, aren't they Brighton? It's a derby game so a clean sheet is good as we've not been blessed with those and it's the first one since I've come to the club at least.
"I think a draw is a fair result at the end of the day and I am pleased we've come through it and particular that we've kept a clean sheet which is a bigger bonus than a 1-1 or 2-2 would have been.
"There was plenty of tension in the game and both teams certainly wanted to win the game but we had to settle for a 0-0.
"It looked as though we were going to score - Christian Benteke got to the ball quickly and then when it fell to Wilf we were hoping he'd beat the 'keeper but he made a good save."
Man of the match - Mathew Ryan
The Brighton goalkeeper was responsible for the moment for real quality in the game when he made his double save early in the match, repelling both Benteke and Zaha.
The Australia No 1 also dealt with the Palace half-chances without fuss and his distribution was faultless throughout, nor was he distracted by the fireworks behind his goal.
Brighton will host Liverpool on Saturday at 3pm, while Palace will visit fellow strugglers West Brom at the same time.