NEAL MAUPAY hit a leveler with almost the last kick of the game to break Palace hearts.
The Eagles thought they had won the derby when Wilfried Zaha fired a penalty just before half-time.
But when Maupay ran an optimistic punt from Joel Veltmann in the fifth minute of injury, the Frenchman kept his composure to lift the ball over Vicente Guetta and into the net.
It sparked wild celebrations from Graham Potter and his Albion bench, while traveling fans threw a blue glow on the pitch.
Moments after a brawl broke out between Seagulls keeper Robert Sanchez and James MacArthur, a confused Maupe ditched his shirt into the crowd in the distance.
It was a real smash and grab from Potter who was not at his best.
The last-gasp goal was a role reversal from Christian Benteke, who netted for Palace in their 2-1 win at Amex last season.
Brighton were bidding to reach the summit of the top flight with a win here for the first time in their 120-year history.
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He didn’t manage it, but Maupay’s heroism – which saw him finish his fourth of the season – kept up his unbeaten run in the campaign.
It was a tough one to take for Palace boss Patrick Vieira, whose side was the better of the two and had done quite a bit by the time Maupay struck.
Siegel suffered a major setback before the game, with talisman Yves Bisouma failing to recover from a knee injury.
Malian raised eyebrows last week by naming himself as the best midfielder currently playing in the Premier League.
Whether he is at that level or not is still a matter of debate.
Vieira, himself a midfield icon of our top flight, is certainly a fan and hailed the 25-year-old as “one of the best midfielders in the league” pre-match, so relieved to miss Will be
Despite the rivalry of the two clubs, there was much love between the two managers before the game.
Graham Potter described how “fantastic” it was to see legendary players like Vieira enter management.
While his French counterpart claimed that Potter was “a good example” to him, in how he changed Brighton’s style after succeeding the successful pragmatist Chris Houghton.
The two owners had a warm embrace before kick-off – but it didn’t take long for the rough and tumble after play to begin.
New-boy Joachim Anderson quickly prepared himself for Palace’s militants by dragging Maupay to the ground after Palace was given a free-kick for a handball.
While Joel Ward was crowded and he gave a full-fledged challenge to send Danny Welbeck to fly.
Palace dominated the first half with their new possession game, but did not gain much in terms of chances.
Odsonne douard was given his first start and on the 20th minute when he received the ball to the edge of the field, his shot was straight at Robert Sánchez.
Despite their confidence from the start of the campaign, Brighton struggled to make it through.
Leandro Trossard finally made his first attempt in half an hour as he flicked Pascal Gross’ cross wide to the near post.
Then came a flash point as Welbeck ran a long punt off Sanchez, but Vicente couldn’t fire his sunken effort behind Guetta.
The former Manchester United and Arsenal man, however, was demanding a penalty, claiming that Ward had fouled him while running into goal.
Replays suggested it was clumsy, but referee Andre Mariner was not convinced.
However, the Mariner was won by a foul at Gallagher at the other end at half-time.
Gallagher’s positive run in the box was a real moment of attacking quality in the first half and when Trossard stopped him after Mark Cucurella’s already munched, Chelsea indebtedness hit the deck.
Zaha then did what he always did when playing Brighton, sending Sanchez the wrong way from the spot, scoring eight of his goals in 14 matches against them.
They patted their ears in celebration as Seven Eighths of Selhurst Park turned icy.
It was a bad end to a poor half for the visitors and Potter responded by bringing in Steven Alzette for Dan Byrne at the break.
But the young Colombian did not last more than 20 minutes as he damaged his ankle under the weight of Jordan Ayu and had to replace himself with Jacob Moder.
Brighton’s injury problems escalated when Welbeck went down and was forced out.
Palace should have ended the game when a driving run from Gallagher saw deputy Christian Benteke feed Ayu, but Ghana fired wide.
The hosts then somehow starved themselves to death, when Maupe kept a cool head – prompting everyone to lose theirs.
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