Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace: First Premier League M23 derby ends goalless

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace: First Premier League M23 derby ends goalless

The bitter rivalry, spanning back to the 70s, made its Premier League debut but neither side could force a winner

Sam Smith
Brighton and Hove AlbionRyan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner;Propper, Stephens; Izquierdo, (March, 71), Gross (Brown, 81), March; Murray .
Crystal PalaceHennessey; Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Schlupp; Cabaye (McArthur, 65), Milivojevic; Loftus-Cheek, Townsend, Zaha; Benteke.
REFEREEReferee: Andre Marriner. Booked: Izquierdo ('48)

The M23 derby failed to live up to its pre-match hype as Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace settled for a 0-0 draw at the Amex Stadium. 

The obscure rivalry between the South Coast side and the south Londoners dates back to the 70s; sparked by a feud between the then managers of the respective clubs, Alan Mullery and Terry Venables

This fixture produced some evidence of the sheer bitterness between the club but, in reality, it was a battle between two Premier League sides needing points to keep their respective aims alive. 

The match was overshadowed by crowd trouble, with Palace fans forcing their way into the ground without tickets which led to some supporters with tickets being denied entry. Several pyrotechnics were also set off in the away end during the game. 

Zaha and Gross go close in timidly-played first half

Wilfried Zaha's brace against Brighton in May 2013 sent Palace to the Championship Play-off Final and he was targeted as a threat by Brighton before the game. The Ivory Coast winger beat Bruno Saltor on Palace's left early on but his cross evaded Christian Benteke

Zaha should have given the Eagles the lead 15 minutes in but was denied by an excellent save from Maty Ryan, who had risen to his feet quickly after parrying Benteke's effort. 

Eagles goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was forced to make a save soon after, although this one far more routine than his opposite number's. Lewis Dunk powered a header towards goal and the Welshman dived to his right to hold onto the ball. 

The first half was typical of a derby: some players appeared nervous, plenty of mistakes were made, neither side seemed to want to take a risk, and chances were minimal. Pascal Groß had Brighton's best opportunity as the first period was coming to a close - teed up in space by Anthony Knockaert but his tame effort was straight at Hennessey.

Set-pieces trouble Eagles in second period

Brighton had ended the first half on top and they began the second period similiarly. Chris Hughton's side had two opportunities from successive corners as James Tomkins had to head away to deny Glenn Murray a tap-in against his former side. Shane Duffy then had a flick deflected wide from Groß's delivery. From the resulting corner, Palace broke and Yohan Cabaye forced Duffy into a last-ditch blocked. 

Palace struggled to cope with Brighton's set-pieces throughout the game and Duffy headed should have done better than head just over the bar midway through the second half. Dale Stephens then had an effort drift just wide from long distance. 

Zaha, a constant threat, then linked up with Ruben Loftus-Cheek before firing wide with ten minutes left. Palace's best chances were coming from counter-attacking situations; they spent the majority of the game allowing Brighton to attack before breaking forward, with Benteke, Zaha and Andros Townsend providing a direct threat. 

Loftus-Cheek was then forced to head off the line as Duffy powered another header towards goal. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder then had an effort of his own, cutting inside but shooting straight at Ryan. 

Tomkins then had a speculative volley dip wide in stoppage-time but the game edged towards a stalemate.