Brighton striker Neal Maupay explains why beating Crystal Palace would mean so much

Brighton striker Neal Maupay experienced his first taste of Brighton's rivalry with Crystal Palace last season and is fired up for Sunday's showdown with their old rivals at Selhurst Park

Sunday, 18th October 2020, 10:33 am
Neal Maupay celebrates his goal at Crystal Palace last season

The former Brentford striker was on target for Brighton when the two teams played out a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park last season.

The Frenchman opened the scoring on the 54th minute that evening when he lashed home Leandro Trossard's cross and celebrated in front of the Palace fans before sliding on his knees towards the delighted Albion contingent.

It was a deserved lead for Albion but Roy Hodgson's stubborn team forced their way back into the match and Wilfried Zaha ensured the points were shared when he blasted home an equaliser.

It was however Maupay's first taste of the Brighton vs Palace rivalry and the striker, who already has four goals from his four matches this season, wants to produce another battling performance for the fans this Sunday.

Brighton were soundly beaten 4-2 at Everton prior to the international break but Maupay feels the short breather from Premier League action will benefit the team.

“We’ve had a bit of a break since our last match and that means we feel fresh and ready for Sunday," he said,

“The team has worked hard on the training field and now the next challenge for us is this weekend, against Crystal Palace, which is a big game for the fans.

Neal Maupay scored his fourth goal of the new season at Everton

"I had the chance to sample it last season and it was an amazing memory for me.

“We want to get the three points for everyone at the football club - as a player these are the sort of matches you work hard for.”

Maupay was Brighton's top scorer last season as he notched 10 goals in his first Premier League campaign following his £16m arrival from Brentford.

This term he scored twice in the 3-0 win at Newcastle and was on target in the painful 3-2 home loss to Manchester United and also scored following a Jordan Pickford howler at Everton.

Maupay, 24, is delighted to feature on the scoresheet but feels Albion's three points from four league matches is a disappointing return.

“I’ve started the season well with goals and assists, which is good for my confidence, but I’m part of the team and my goals don’t mean anything if we don’t win.

“Now I want to score some winning goals to help the team get some points.

“The whole team believes in our ideas and what the manager wants from us. We feel that if we can execute that on the pitch then we’ll be successful.”

Albion have tweaked their team and their system this season. Experienced campaigners Dale Stephens, Glenn Murray and Shane Duffy have departed, while the likes of Ben White, Steven Alzate and Aaron Connolly are really beginning to establish themselves in the first team.

“Sometimes it just takes time, this league is so tough," said Maupay. "The emphasis is on points and results in this division and we’re confident those will come.

“It’s good to be involved in a process where there’s a clear direction, it gives you something to work towards each day.

“It has been a bit tough for us so far this season, we’ve faced some really good sides. But I feel that everything we do as a team is good and we’re improving all the time. We’re on the right track.”