Dec 4 (Reuters) - - BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 3 CRYSTAL PALACE 1
Brighton & Hove Albion secured an emphatic 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Tuesday despite having a man sent off in the first half.
The home fans saw their side take the lead from the penalty spot after 24 minutes when James McArthur fouled Jose Izquierdo in the box.
Replays appeared to show the Palace man had touched the ball before the Colombian went down, but Glenn Murray converted the spot kick for his ninth league goal of the season. Only Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has a better return this campaign than the 35-year-old.
Brighton and Palace share a feisty rivalry with the fixture dubbed the ‘M23 derby’ after the road that links the two clubs and last season’s fixture was marred by crowd disturbances.
Those violent scenes were not repeated on Tuesday but Brighton were reduced to 10 men four minutes after going ahead when Shane Duffy was shown a straight red for attempting to head butt Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt.
The decision did not halt their momentum, however, as substitute Leon Balogun, brought on to compensate for the dismissal, drilled the ball in from the middle of the area.
The home side lost Murray to an injury and his replacement Florin Andone scored Brighton’s third in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time. The Romanian finished off a fast break by striking the ball into the far corner past Wayne Hennessey.
Balogun conceded a penalty 10 minutes before the end by fouling Wilfried Zaha and Luka Milivojevic stepped up to pull one back, but it was not enough to stop Chris Hughton’s side from sealing all three points to rise to 10th in the standings.
“When it was 11 v 11 we were the best side. I thought we were outstanding. It’s shame their penalty went in,” Brighton boss Hughton told BBC Sport.
However, the manager had stern words for Duffy.
“There is no hiding place for what Shane Duffy did. He knows better than that, because he is an experienced international player,” he said.
Palace have just one league victory in 10 matches and slip to 15th in the table.
“We were disappointed by the penalty decision, but we hadn’t been playing well,” Palace coach Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports.
“It’s disappointing to concede from the corner and the third goal gave us a mountain to climb. The players gave it their best shot and kept going.
“All first goals are decisive. Anyone who has seen the replay of the penalty will have seen what I have seen so there is no point commenting. That wasn’t the crucial factor. The second goal was the really decisive moment.”
Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Toby Davis