BRIGHTON 4-1 CRYSTAL PALACE: Roy Hodgson is on the brink of losing his job after Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls ran riot in the M23 derby at the Amex Stadium this Saturday
Furious Crystal Palace supporters chanted for Roy Hodgson’s head as Brighton claimed the M23 derby bragging rights by tearing their wretched rivals to shreds.
Roberto De Zerbi’s spirited Seagulls were a wounded animal after their shock 4-0 pasting at Luton Town in midweek and just like the Hatters – they raced into a 3-0 half-time lead following a flurry of goals from captain Lewis Dunk, Jack Hinshelwood and Facundo Buonanotte.
Palace, who also lost skipper Marc Guehi and substitute Michael Olise to injury to compound a catastrophic afternoon for Hodgson, looked virtually powerless as Albion went for the throat – despite an improved second-half showing.
And you couldn’t help but feel a slice of empathy for the seemingly-doomed 76-year-old Palace boss when he stood all alone on the touchline as chants of “we want Hodgson out,” boomed from the quickly-emptying away end.
However, you cannot shy away from the hard facts – without the magic of Olise and the absent Eberechi Eze, Palace look like a side capable of sliding dangerously towards the drop-zone.
Last March, Patrick Vieira was dismissed by Palace two days after a narrow 1-0 defeat at the Amex and barring a remarkable show of faith, Hodgson now looks poised to follow suit.
But take nothing away from merciless Brighton, who were in front inside three minutes when Dunk towered over Joachim Andersen to power home Pascal Gross’ inviting corner.
It was 2-0 in the 33rd minute when another local lad – Hinshelwood – leapt brilliantly at the back post to head Tariq Lamptey’s cross past the helpless Dean Henderson. Still, Brighton had the grit between their teeth and they had a third less than 60 seconds later when Buonanotte finished a slick move with aplomb – sparking jubilant, celebratory scenes.
The match felt dead and buried as Palace trudged off with their tails between their legs as anti-Steve Parish flags were erected by the travelling faithful amid loud boos. Palace regrouped after the interval though – inspired by their two debutants Daniel Munoz and Adam Wharton – to avoid a total whitewash.
Olise – subbed on at half-time – lasted just 10 minutes after he felt a twinge in his hamstring. He headed straight down the tunnel. Jean-Philippe Mateta did power home a header at the near post in the 71st minute following Andersen’s cross to restore hope but Brighton would later kill the game on 84 minutes through top-scorer Joao Pedro.
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He played a fine one-two with Danny Welbeck, whose cute flick was gratefully dispatched by the Brazilian. Remarkably, it could have been five deep into stoppage time when the ball just evaded Ansu Fati for a tap-in at the back post. Dismal Palace have now shipped nine goals in their past two away matches and have now failed to win in their last six against Brighton.
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