BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur was critical of the decision to award a penalty against him in the 3-1 defeat to rivals Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Scot appeared to win the ball from Seagulls winger Jose Izquierdo but referee Kevin Friend deemed the challenge to be a foul.
Former Palace striker Glenn Murray struck home the penalty to put the South Coast side on course for their first Premier League victory over the Eagles.
“I have 100 per cent got the ball,” the 31-year-old insisted. “That has never, ever been a penalty but the referee has given it so we can’t do anything about that now.”
The Eagles were second-best throughout the game and were 3-0 down before half-time, despite Brighton having Shane Duffy sent off for head-butting Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt with the score at 1-0.
A Luka Milivojevic penalty 10 minutes from full-time was merely a consolation for a Palace side that struggled to break down a resolute Brighton back four during open play.
McArthur added: “We’re very disappointed. We weren’t good enough, especially in the first half. We created some opportunities but to give them a three-goal head start is not acceptable.
“We didn’t put their goalkeeper under enough pressure, especially when they had 10 men. We were expecting to give a much better performance, especially after that win [2-0 against Burnley on Saturday].
“The only thing we have got going our way is that we have a game [against West Ham] soon after at the weekend where we can try to make it right.
“When you have that full week it’s hard, it eats away at you. We have a couple of days to deal with the disappointment but we need to make it right by winning at West Ham.”