Jordan Ayew boosted Crystal Palace's survival hopes at the expense of rivals Brighton as his second-half strike secured a 1-0 victory at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
Brighton registered 24 shots on goal - their highest tally in a Premier League game - but they paid the price for failing to convert them as Ayew notched his seventh goal of the season against the run of play to fire the Eagles to back-to-back league wins for the first time since December.
It means Brighton remain the only side in English football yet to win a game this calendar year, a run that has left the Seagulls hovering four points above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's other matches.
For Roy Hodgson, derby-day victory on his 100th Premier League game in charge of Palace lifts his side up to 12th in the Premier League, 12 points clear of the drop zone and with another season of top-flight football all-but secured.
Brighton: Ryan (4), Montoya (5), Webster (7), Dunk (7), Burn (7), Propper (6), Bissouma (5), March (5), Trossard (6), Mooy (6), Maupay (6).
Subs: Jahanbakhsh (5), Murray (6), Alzate (n/a).
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6), Ward (6), Dann (6), Cahill (7), Van Aanholt (6), Kouyate (6), McCarthy (5), McArthur (6), Ayew (7), Zaha (6), Benteke (6).
Subs: Tosun (5), Riedewald (6).
Man of the Match: Jordan Ayew.
How Palace piled pressure on Brighton
Palace headed to the south coast in search of their first top-flight victory at the home of their arch-rivals and made the brighter start, with Christian Benteke slicing a glorious chance wide inside four minutes.
Mat Ryan raced off his line to smother Cheikhou Kouyate's shot as Palace looked to cap a solid opening 10 minutes, but their failure to do so allowed Brighton to get a foothold in the game.
- Martin Montoya, Solly March and Leandro Trossard returned as Brighton made three changes following the draw at Sheffield United.
- Roy Hodgson named an unchanged side after Crystal Palace ended a seven-game winless run in the Premier League against Newcastle last time out.
Neal Maupay led the Brighton charge, drawing Vicente Guaita into action on 18 minutes before winning a corner from which captain Lewis Dunk almost bundled the Seagulls into the lead.
Wilfried Zaha typified the growing Palace frustration when he reacted to jeers from the Brighton on 27 minutes, with the Ivorian's gestures drawing a reaction from substitute Ezequiel Schelotto, who kicked the ball at the winger and was booked before playing a single minute.
Brighton should have taken the lead soon after, a free-flowing counter-attack ended with Leandro Trossard squaring for Solly March in the Palace area, but the winger lashed his gilt-edged effort into the side-netting.
Palace responded before the break, but the breakthrough continued to elude the Eagles, with Gary Cahill heading another glorious chance into the turf and over the bar on 39 minutes.
Brighton produced a dominant second-half display in search of the breakthrough, but it never came. Dunk's towering header was blocked on the line by team-mate Maupay and Trossard curled a shot wide before Maupay volleyed the Seagulls' best opening straight at Guaita after the ball ricocheted into his path.
The hosts came to rue their missed opportunities on 70 minutes as Benteke's clever reverse pass released Ayew through on goal, and the Ghana international's first-time finish breached Ryan's defences.
It was a setback that knocked the stuffing out of Brighton and one from which they could not recover, with Palace coming the closest to scoring again when the woodwork denied Zaha a second in stoppage time.
What the managers said…
Brighton boss Graham Potter: "I thought we were on top of the game, I thought we were the better team. They didn't do too much to get their goal, which is disappointing, against the run of play. It's a sore one for us. But that happens in football, if you don't score then you leave yourself open to something. We did enough in the game to get something. That's life sometimes. We have to accept it, we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to take the fight, we have to show our quality, that's where we are at."
Palace manager Roy Hodgson: "We made that [Ayew's] loan permanent at the start of the season because we knew what he could do. He's scored a large proportion of our goals and still contributing to the team in so many other ways. His contribution without goals is enormous, that work-rate, that desire, that constant thorn in the opposing team's defence."
Stats: Ton-up for Hodgson
- Brighton remain the only side without a Premier League win in 2020 (D5 L3), with the Seagulls last enjoying a top-flight victory against Bournemouth on December 28th.
- Roy Hodgson oversaw 100th Premier League game in charge of Crystal Palace (W34 D27 L39), the first club he's reached the milestone within the competition.
- Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew has equalled his best-ever goal return in a Premier League season - also netting seven goals in 2015/16 with Aston Villa and in 2017/18 with Swansea.
Hodgson pleased Zaha kept his head
Albion substitute Schelotto sparked a minor first-half melee when he kicked the ball at Palace winger Zaha after he responded to jeers from the home crowd.
Zaha appeared to spit in the direction of Schelotto, who was booked for instigating the fracas. Asked about that incident, Eagles boss Hodgson replied: "I'm just glad that Wilf didn't lose his head, that's important.
"Luka (Milivojevic) did well to come in and stop that. But if that's the worst thing that's going to happen in a derby game of this nature, then I think we've done quite well."
Man of the Match - Jordan Ayew
Jordan Ayew's goals this season have won Palace 12 points. Only Andy Johnson in 2004-05 (15) won more in a single Premier League season for the Eagles.
Brighton travel to Wolves and Palace host Watford in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm.