BY SAM SMITH
A stunning Anthony Knockaert goal meant Crystal Palace were the victims of a first league double by rivals Brighton and Hove Albion since the 1984-85 season.
A Luka Milivojevic penalty had cancelled out Glenn Murray’s opener – but the winger settled the Selhurst Park contest with his second-half strike.
It leaves Palace with work to do in terms of assuring their Premier League safety.
The Eagles had the better of the opening 15 minutes, in which Knockaert was also fortunate not to see red for a poor challenge on Milivojevic. Michy Batshuayi tested Mat Ryan with a deflected effort before Wilfried Zaha fired over the Australian’s crossbar.
But it was Brighton who led through former Eagle Murray, just as they did in the reverse fixture in December. James Tomkins misjudged the flight of a long ball and the striker – who was a late replacement in the Seagulls’ line-up – struck past the stranded Vicente Guaita.
A fantastic block from Lewis Dunk denied Zaha an immediate equaliser, although the visitors could have had a penalty when Scott Dann appeared to impede the Brighton captain midway through the half.
Palace were level just six minutes into the second half through a Milivojevic penalty, converted after Andros Townsend was felled.
However, the Eagles were undone by the moment of the game 15 minutes from time. Knockaert was allowed too much room to cut inside from the left but there was very little anyone could do about the Frenchman’s curled strike, which floated into the top corner via the post from 25 yards.