Brighton boss gives a 'cheap' verdict on Crystal Palace penalty after battling draw

Graham Potter said his tema fully deserved their point as substitute Alexis Mac Allister smashed home a 90th-minute equaliser as Brighton rescued a 1-1 derby draw at Crystal Palace.

Sunday, 18th October 2020, 5:35 pm
Michy Batshuayi falls easily after the slightest touch from Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey

Graham Potter said his tema fully deserved their point as substitute Alexis Mac Allister smashed home a 90th-minute equaliser as Brighton rescued a deserved 1-1 derby draw at Crystal Palace.

With Albion on the verge of an unjust defeat to bitter rivals, Argentina midfielder Mac Allister picked a timely moment to claim his maiden Premier League goal by firing in from the edge of the box.

Wilfried Zaha had looked set to be the Seagulls’ nemesis once again by putting the Eagles on course for victory with a first-half penalty.

Alexis Mac Allister celebrates his equaliser and his first goal in the Premier League

The 19th-minute spot-kick, awarded after Tariq Lamptey was adjudged to have fouled Michy Batshuayi, was the Eagles’ only attempt at goal all afternoon and Zaha’s seventh strike in 13 outings against Albion.

Brighton ended the match a man down after captain Lewis Dunk was deservedly shown a straight red card for a two-footed lunge at Gary Cahill while attempting to force home a dramatic injury-time winner.

Potter said, "I think the point was very deserved. The game was a good one from our perspective. They scored on one of the only times they entered our box to get penalty.

"We were playing well at that point. Overall we created more chances and I'm happy for the boys that we were able to get something in the end.

Lewis Dunk is sent off following his two footed lunge on Gary Cahill

"We're playing well, I think we were the better team today, created more chances but this is Premier League. They've got some good players. We just have to keep going and try to turn performances into more points. That's the challenge."

"It looked a little soft," said Potter of the penalty. "In defence of the referee, as soon as an arm goes up you give them an excuse to give the penalty.

"But, saying that, just because the arm goes up doesn't mean it is a penalty either. He went down very quickly and I'm not sure it was a penalty.

"VAR got to see it and gave the foul. I'm not convinced, when saw it live I thought it was a little bit cheap."

Graham Potter’s side, who announced the signing of former England forward Danny Welbeck ahead of kick-off, controlled possession in south London but lacked a cutting edge until Mac Allister eventually intervened.

In addition to denying Palace all-important bragging rights, the late leveller moved Albion onto four points from five matches, with their opponents three better off.

Palace’s backline had plenty to contend with early on as Brighton dominated the opening exchanges.

But, having spurned a handful of promising openings, the visitors fell behind against the run of play.

Referee Stuart Attwell immediately pointed to the spot when Eagles striker Batshuayi went down easily in the box under a challenge from Albion wing-back Lamptey.

Ivory Coast international Zaha has scored more times against the Seagulls than any other club and he duly sent visiting goalkeeper Mat Ryan the wrong way from 12 yards to claim his fourth goal of the season.

The goal was Palace’s only meaningful foray forward of an opening period in which Albion trio Adam Lallana, Yves Bissouma and Ben White each lashed wide at the other end.

Brighton remained the more threatening after the restart and top scorer forward Neal Maupay was twice denied early in the second period.

The Frenchman’s deflected shot on the turn was kept out on the line by Eagles goalkeeper Vicente Guaita before he wasted a golden chance to level by delaying his shot and being blocked by Joel Ward having been slipped in by Lallana.

In between those opportunities, on-loan Chelsea man Batshuayi had a strike chalked off for offside, although Palace opportunities were almost non-existent.

Palace had snatched a 1-0 win at the Amex Stadium in February and looked set to hang on again here.

However, there was to be a late twist. Eagles defender Ward gifted possession to Maupay and the ball was moved on to Mac Allister, who struck a deflected effort into the left corner.

There was more drama to follow as Dunk was justifiably dismissed three minutes into seven of added time following a poor challenge which left Cahill in clear discomfort.

"It was not a good challenge," said Potter. "Not one that we want to see. We know he didn't mean to hurt anybody, but we hold our hands up and say it's not good enough from us."