Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Brighton beat Crystal Palace and Brentford saw off Southampton as both clubs move closer to European spots

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Brighton saw off Crystal Palace 1-0 and Brentford earned a 2-0 victory at Southampton as both clubs moved closer to a place in Europe.

Palace fielded 19-year-old goalkeeper Joe Whitworth – after Vicente Guaita was ruled out on the eve of the encounter with injury – who became the youngest player to start a Premier League match in between the posts since Ben Alnwick in 2005.

After 15 minutes, Solly March drilled a shot into the back of the net when Kaoru Mitoma put him through on goal.

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Brighton were on top for most of the match from there although their keeper Jason Steele made some important saves.

Mitoma could have doubled his side’s lead in the second-half had he connected with a cross from March, and Pervis Estupinan saw an effort saved by Whitworth.

A powercut saw the match paused for four minutes, then Alexis Mac Allister came close again for Brighton from a corner.

Palace rarely threatened and are still waiting for a first win in 2023 as they sit just three points above the relegation zone, despite being in 12th.

Brighton are now two points behind fifth-placed Newcastle and are a point ahead of Brentford, who beat Southampton.

Bryan Mbeumo’s volley was wonderfully kept out by Saints keeper Gavin Bazunu, before Kamaldeen Sulemana was tackled by Ben Mee in a frantic start to the match.

In the 32nd minute, a corner from Mbeumo found Christian Norgaard, who flicked it across goal and towards Ivan Toney as the striker netted his 16th league goal this season.

Brentford have not been beaten this campaign when scoring first and that stat remained by the end of the night when Yoann Wissa scored in injury time to double the Bees’ lead and secured the three points.

Southampton remain bottom of the table, but only two points away from moving out of the drop zone.

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