Brighton player ratings vs Crystal Palace: 5s for out-of-form trio; 8s for super subs

Danny Welbeck’s superb header rescued a point for Brighton against arch-rivals Crystal Palace.
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The veteran showed what Albion have been missing whilst he’s been out injured with an inch-perfect header from Pascal Gross’ cross, which found the top corner.

Jordan Ayew’s header had given the hosts the lead at the end of a drab first-half, in which Brighton struggled to test goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

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The goal came after Bart Verbruggen gave the ball away when under pressure. The hosts’ talisman Michael Olise played a one-two with Will Hughes before finding Ayew with a perfect cross and the unmarked striker made no mistake with his header.

Danny Welbeck’s superb header rescued a point for Brighton against arch-rivals Crystal Palace. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Danny Welbeck’s superb header rescued a point for Brighton against arch-rivals Crystal Palace. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Danny Welbeck’s superb header rescued a point for Brighton against arch-rivals Crystal Palace. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The half-time substitutions made by Roberto De Zerbi – who brought his players out early after the break – proved to be game-changers.

Danny Welbeck and Facundo Buonanotte came on as Brighton made big improvements and forced Henderson into a number of good saves – and goal-mouth scrambles.

You felt a goal was coming when Welbeck rose highest to turn a sublime Pascal Gross’ cross into the top corner on the 82nd minute – and silenced the home supporters.

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The visitors had chances to win the game but had to settle for a point at Selhurst Park.

Bart Verbruggen – 6: Made a few comfortable saves but was at fault for the first goal with a poor clearance. You could argue the pass from Gross put him under pressure but the keeper should have dealt with it. Comfortable after that moment.

Jack Hinshelwood – 6: The youngster popped up in some good attacking positions – but he squandered big chances. He kicked the ground as he attempted to put his laces through a shot in a great position. Missed another chance at the back post from Gross' cross. Replaced by Adam Lallana with 15 minutes remaining.

Jan Paul van Hecke – 8: A rock at the back once again. What a player he is. Best moment was a last-ditch block to deny Eberechi Eze a certain goal. The Dutchman even had a shot of his own blocked after a goal mouth scramble. Wanted a penalty after a drive into the box late on.

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Lewis Dunk – 7: Had to stand firm against some dangerous Palace moves in the first-half. Missed big headed chance from Gross’ free-kick. Bamboozled by Jean-Philippe Mateta’s dummy as Palace looked to strike the killer blow on the break – but Van Hecke saved his blushes. Important header back to his keeper in injury-time.

Igor Julio – 7: Stood up well at left-back against the dangerous Olise and blocked a few crosses. So slick in possession. Booked for pulling the shirt of the tricky Olise in the second-half. Penalised for a foul-throw which you should never see in professional football – let alone the Premier League.

Carlos Baleba – 5: Blazed a shot over the bar early on. Got away with a booking after late foul and then was given a yellow minutes later for another clumsy challenge. Roberto De Zerbi wasn't taking any risks and took the midfielder off at half-time for Facundo Buonanotte.

Billy Gilmour – 6: Important block from Mateta's shot. Low driven shot well saved by Henderson as Brighton fought for an equaliser. Nice idea with low driven cross but too power on it. Shot high and wide at the end of injury-time.

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Simon Adingra – 5: Had an effort well saved by Henderson. Robbed of the ball by Mitchell on more than one occasion. Perhaps didn't get at the defender enough. Replaced at half-time.

Pascal Groß – 7: Put too much on a pass to Kaoru Mitoma when forward was in acres of space. Shot from distance palmed away by Henderson. Cross just too high for Hinshelwood. Uncharacteristic wasteful free-kick. Normality restored minutes later as he put it on a plate for Dunk but he captain couldn't direct his header on target. The assist-machine set up Welbeck’s equaliser – because of course, he did.

Kaoru Mitoma – 5: Things just are not clicking for the Japan international right now. His touch let him down when he made a dangerous run forward. A couple of tame shots on goal. Couldn't control ball in the box and lost his footing minutes before the equaliser. He injured his ankle in the process and was helped off the pitch. Later seen with a protective boot and crutches, which is very concerning, and throws his availability for the Asian Cup in January into doubt.

João Pedro – 6: The Brazil forward was marshalled well by the Crystal Palace defence in the first-half. Dropped into a deeper role in the second half and linked up the play well. Put an effort from distance over the bar, which was wasteful. Won the ball back in his own half to start a slick counter attack.


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Facundo Buonanotte – 8: Really good impact.Played like man with a point to prove after he was introduced at half-time.Won a couple of fouls with driving runs and made himself a nuisance. Mitchell was booked for foul on the youngster. Brilliant run and pass to Mitoma on the counter. Shot blocked. Got back well to do his defensive duties.

Danny Welbeck 8: Beautiful back-heel to Hinshelwood deserved a better finish. His superb header rescued a point for Brighton. Class is permanent. Brighton have missed the experienced striker badly and his return is a huge boost.

Adam Lallana – 7: Kept things ticking over nicely when he came on. On the pitch for less than ten minutes when Brighton scored.

Jakub Moder – N/A