Brighton booked their place in the FA Cup 4th Round after Glenn Murray came off the bench to score the winner against his former employers in the first game that the video assistant referee was used in a competitive match.
Referee Andre Marriner didn’t feel that he had to use the VAR as Glenn Murray bundled the ball home in the 87th minute, despite Crystal Palace calling for a handball. Bakary Sako had equalised for the Eagles in the 69th minute cancelling out Dale Stephens opener in the 25th minute.
Yohan Cabaye led the protests at full-time with replays showing that the ball changes direction originally going wide before brushing Murray’s arm after the ball had hit his knee on its way into the net.
The Seagulls progress to face Middlesbrough away at the Riverside Stadium in the next round. Brighton made eight changes to the side that drew 2-2 against Bournemouth in their last Premier League game, but they were forced into an early substitution when Izzy Brown injured his knee colliding with Palace’s Jeffrey Schlupp.
Schlupp was also forced off injuring himself in the tackle, but it was Chris Hughton’s side who deservedly opened the scoring. Brighton took advantage of Palace’s lack of ambition going forward as the skipper Dale Stephens put the Seagulls ahead.
The former Charlton man collected a pass from Ezequiel Schelotto and breezed past a Cabaye tackle before firing past Wayne Hennessey with a slight deflection off of Damien Delaney.
Palace were without Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke and this took its toll in their final third as they struggled for any real creativity. Roy Hodgson brought on Sullay Kaikai for Andros Townsend at half-time to provide more of a spark in their attack with Bakary Sako left isolated for most of the half. However, the visitors were rewarded with a goal out of nothing after Sako plucked the ball from the air, burst past Davy Proper and fired a low unstoppable driven finish past Tim Krul with 21 minutes remaining.
Brighton came close to regaining their lead as Solly March crossed the ball straight into the path of Sam Baldock, who curled the ball beyond Hennessey but only managed to hit the post.
It appeared as though both sides were heading for a replay, but substitute Murray came on to sink his former club when Uwe Hunemeier headed the ball across the face of goal to find Murray, who bundled the ball home to win the game for the Seagulls.
- Brighton have now progressed to the 4th round in eight of their last nine seasons.
- Each of Murray’s last three FA Cup goals have come as a substitute.
- Murray has scored in back-to-back appearances for Brighton, after netting once in his previous ten.
- Sako scored his first goal in the FA Cup, in what is his seventh appearance in the competition.
- No Crystal Palace player has scored more in all competitions than Sako (5).
- Stephens scored his first goal for Brighton since netting against Blackburn in December 2016.
- It was Stephen’s first FA Cup goal since November 2010, while playing for Oldham Athletic against Accrington Stanley.
Brighton made eight changes. Tim Krul cane in to replace Matt Ryan, while Hunemeier, Connor Goldson, Gaetan Bong, Solly March, Beram Kayal, Isaiah Brown, and Tomer Hemed also started.
Crystal Palace made four changes as Delaney, Jairo Riedewald, Patrick Van Aanholt, and Bakary Sako replaced James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic, Zaha and Benteke.
Man of the Match – Beram Kayal
Kayal has been out for Brighton for the majority of the season and he returned to the side against Crystal Palace in fine fashion.
He controlled the midfield in certain periods and showed his variety of qualities giving Hughton a lot to ponder over whether the former Celtic midfielder should start in the upcoming games in the Premier League.
Brighton travel to the Hawthorns to face an out-of-form West Brom side on Saturday, who are winless since August. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace host Burnley at Selhurst Park on the same day.