In the Premier League, a late acrobatic header by Danny Welbeck rescued Brighton a point and prevented rivals Crystal Palace from winning at Selhurst Park.
The Seagulls, who had dominated the majority of the second half, deservedly levelled the score when substitute Welbeck flicked the ball over Dean Henderson and into the top corner after meeting Pascal Gross’ deep cross.
At the stroke of halftime, Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew scored the game’s opening goal, and the hosts were eight minutes of extra time away from snapping a six-match winless streak.
Michael Olise had been given the ball by Brighton custodian Bart Verbruggen; the forward’s long cross was received by Ayew, who completed at the back post.
Welbeck’s equaliser, which marked his first goal since September’s triumph at Manchester United, gave the visitors the best opportunity to secure the victory.
A peculiar circumstance brought them within striking distance when Palace custodian Dean Henderson, to Welbeck’s good fortune, blocked a cross that struck the forward’s head. Thus, this match at Selhurst Park concluded in a 1-1 draw for the fifth time in succession.
Supporters of Brighton will be hopeful that their team’s late performance against one of their traditional adversaries will spark a turnaround in their recent slump.
Since December, when they won just two of their previous twelve league matches, Roberto De Zerbi’s squad has gone a club-record 22 consecutive league games without maintaining a clean sheet.
Following a first half marked by limited opportunities for both teams, Welbeck’s powerful header was blocked by Ayew following the re-entry, and Jan Paul van Hecke’s effort was also blocked by a wall of Palace defenders following Henderson’s error on a corner kick.
A penalty appeal was also ejected appropriately for the visitors when Jack Hinshelwood fell to the ground under duress from Ayew; referee John Brooks observed the teenager trip rather than a challenge. However, Brighton came perilously close in the 55th minute when Lewis Dunk, unmarked in the area, was able to connect with Gross’ wide free-kick but directed it wide of the far post.
They were rescued by Welbeck, who secured a share of the points with his second goal of the season. Palace supporters will persist in contemplating hypothetical outcomes.
Despite halting a four-match losing streak at Selhurst Park, the Eagles have secured a solitary home victory of the season, against the Wolves in September, securing a point.
Roy Hodgson’s squad primarily withstood Brighton’s early pressure, with the exception of a few half-chances created by Jean-Philippe Mateta. Palace readily defended deep and maintained their lead after gaining the advantage.
Mateta substituted for Eberechi Eze Just prior to Welbeck’s equaliser, but Dutch defender Van Hecke brilliantly thwarted his effort.
Palace, which are nine points above the relegation zone and nine points behind eighth-placed Seagulls, maintain their 15th position in the table with a seven-game winless streak.
Head coach Hodgson remarked, “In our last three matches, we have faced three of the league’s top teams and performed adequately.” “Without Liverpool, we ought to have earned two points; we have already acquired two.” As the weeks pass, our strength increases.”