Brighton 4-1 Crystal Palace: Roy Hodgson under HUGE pressure as his side are battered by bitter rivals... and Michael Olise goes off injured to heap more woe on Eagles

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On Tuesday night Brighton were thumped 4-0 by Luton and some had quietly began to wonder whether Roberto De Zerbi’s magic was starting to wane a little.

After a run of just three wins in 16 games, had the Italian taken his eye off the ball following reports he was in the running to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool in the summer?

Take this resounding result over Brighton’s arch-rivals as proof those claims couldn’t be any more absurd.

De Zerbi’s men found themselves 2-0 down inside three minutes on that chastening night at Kenilworth Road.

Fast forward to Saturday and, perhaps still a little bruised from that experience, they were ahead just as quickly against Crystal Palace through captain Lewis Dunk.

Lewis Dunk celebrates opening the scoring as Brighton beat rivals Crystal Palace 4-1

Lewis Dunk celebrates opening the scoring as Brighton beat rivals Crystal Palace 4-1

Lewis Dunk celebrates opening the scoring as Brighton beat rivals Crystal Palace 4-1

Brighton were three up by half time thanks to Jack Hinshelwood and Facundo Buonantte (above)

Brighton were three up by half time thanks to Jack Hinshelwood and Facundo Buonantte (above)

Joao Pedro rounded off the comfortable victory by netting the fourth four minutes from time

Joao Pedro rounded off the comfortable victory by netting the fourth four minutes from time 

It only got worse from there for the visitors as the rampant hosts triumphed by the same scoreline that they had been on the receiving end of just days ago.

‘We’re very happy because (it’s) a derby and we made our fans happy,’ said De Zerbi. ‘But I’m not surprised for the reaction we showed. Our win started on Tuesday evening after the Luton game.

‘I spoke two times with the players and told them to show a reaction and pride. Everyone knows Brighton play good football but it’s not enough without value.’

MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS  

BRIGHTON (3-5-2): Verbruggen 6.5; Van Hecke 6.5, Dunk 7, Julio 6.5 (Fati 88); Hinshelwood 7, Gross 7.5, Gilmour 7, Buonanotte 7.5 (Baleba 80), Lamptey 7.5 (Estupinan 80); Pedro 8 (Lallana 88), Ferguson 6.5 (Welbeck 69, 7).

Subs not used: Steele, Webster, Moder, Baker-Boaitey.

Goals: Dunk 3, Hinshelwood 33, Buonanote 34, Pedro 85.

Booked: De Zerbi 7.

Manager: Roberto De Zerbi 7.5.

CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1): Henderson 5; Munoz 5.5, Guehi 5 (Wharton 28, 5.5), Andersen 5, Mitchell 5; Richards 6, Lerma 5; Ayew 5, Hughes 5 (Edouard 80), Schlupp 5 (Olise 46, 5 (Franca 56, 5.5)); Mateta 5.5 (Ahamada 80).

Subs not used: Johnstone, Tomkins, Riedewald, Ozoh.

Goal: Mateta 71.

Booked: Guehi 16, Franca 59, Munoz 62.

Manager: Roy Hodgson 4.

Referee: Simon Hooper 7.

Attendance: 31,345.

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His side played like a team who understood the magnitude of a fixture laced with bitterness. They hassled and harried their opponents from the first minute and were rewarded with the biggest margin of victory in this fixture since 1956.

Palace, by comparison, were tepid and went down without so much as even a whimper.

The last Palace boss to suffer defeat at Brighton, Patrick Vieira, lost his job two days later. This thumping and form of four wins in 17 games is unlikely to have done the future prospects of under-fire Roy Hodgson any good.

At full-time, defender Joachim Andersen had to be pulled away from visiting supporters who voiced their anger against the Palace hierarchy throughout the game.

‘I think (co-owner) Steve Parish has done a fantastic job for the club,’ said Hodgson. ‘People's memories should be jogged. The club was in awful state before he came. They turned them around and got us into the Premier League.

‘I think it is very harsh that people are putting banners in that way and trying to blame him for the fact we lost to Brighton.’

As the inquest began from a Crystal Palace perspective, Brighton fans were left lapping up every second of a famous derby day victory.

Dunk set the tone after ghosting in behind Andersen to head home from Pascal Gross’ corner to give the hosts a dream start.

From there, it was one-way traffic and with Eberechi Eze absent from the matchday squad and Michael Olise on the bench, Palace had little quality to help them turn the tide.

Instead the hosts doubled their advantage when Tariq Lamptey’s cross towards the back post found Jack Hinshelwood who headed home. Goals won’t come much sweeter than that for the 18-year-old academy product.

Jean-Philippe Mateta's late consolation was the only thing to smile about for Palace fans

Jean-Philippe Mateta's late consolation was the only thing to smile about for Palace fans 

The defeat has heaped more pressure on boss Roy Hodgson after a disappointing derby day

The defeat has heaped more pressure on boss Roy Hodgson after a disappointing derby day 

Only 83 seconds later, it did get even better as 19-year-old Palace debutant Adam Wharton was caught dawdling on the ball by Pascal Gross.

He glided past Andersen before unselfishly laying on Facundo Buonanotte, who curled into the far corner past Dean Henderson.

Some in the away end had seen enough and headed for an early exit. The stony expression on Hodgson’s face – bright red with rage – suggested he couldn’t blame them.

The second half brought only more misery for Palace as Olise, introduced at the break, trudged off holding his troublesome hamstring only nine minutes after coming on. Marc Guehi also limped off in the first half.

Before long cries of 'Ole' from the home end greeted each successful pass from a player in blue and white. Ironic chants of ‘Roy Hodgson, we want you to stay’ followed.

The Palace fans showed their discontent for the current Palace board during the game

The Palace fans showed their discontent for the current Palace board during the game 

Michael Olise limped off injured on a miserable afternoon for Palace at the Amex Stadium

Michael Olise limped off injured on a miserable afternoon for Palace at the Amex Stadium

‘Wonderful wasn’t it?’ quipped Hodgson sarcastically. ‘My years of management have given me the resilience to cope with that and taunts from opposition supporters is part and parcel of our lives.

‘At the moment our own fans aren’t very happy with things that are going on. I have got the strength and the resilience [to continue]. I’m certainly not going to be cowed by that sort of thing.’

There was a brief moment of respite for Palace when Jean-Philippe Mateta headed Andersen’s cross in with 19 minutes left to play.

But that was merely a momentary blip for Brighton as Joao Pedro put the icing on the cake five minutes from time after playing a neat one-two with Danny Welbeck before firing past Henderson.

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