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BRIGHTON manager Graham Potter has “no expectations of referee and VAR” after watching his side secure a point against Crystal Palace thanks to a 90th-minute equaliser.
Wilfreid Zaha’s first-half penalty left Potter questioning the decision to award the spot-kick. His side were reduced to 10 men when captain Lewis Dunk was sent off, something the former Swansea boss had no problems with.
Thankfully for the Seagulls, Alexis Mac Allister’s first goal for the club was timed to perfection.
But it was VAR’s decision to not overturn the 19th-minute penalty for what was deemed a Tariq Lamptey foul on Michy Batshuayi which left Potter bemused.
“I have no expectations of referees and VAR, that way I won’t be disappointed,” said Potter. “You can drive yourself insane trying to work it all out. I can’t control that.”
Potter had no problem with the decision to send off his captain. “The challenge was reckless and excessive. It wasn’t a good challenge and it was a red card.”
On video referees, Palace boss Roy Hodgson felt Michy Batshuayi’s goal was rightfully chalked off.
“The Batshuayi decision was correct even though it was very close. The Liverpool decision yesterday was harder to take but there was daylight in between Michy and the last defender.”
Brighton started the game the brighter of the two teams with them inevitably dominating possession during the opening exchanges and Adam Lallana’s early effort which flew wide announced Brighton’s intentions and offered a warning shot to the home side.
Brighton continued to carry the fight to Palace, with further chances falling to Yves Bissouma and Ben White within the first 15 minutes of the game, but it was the Eagles who went ahead against the run of play.
Andros Townsend, picking up the ball on the right, made space for himself to whip in a delicious cross from the right with Batshuayi the only Palace body in the box.
As the on-loan striker tried to jostle for position, young right back Tariq Lamptey seemed to put his hands on the Palace striker’s shoulders and his resulting tumble prompted official Stuart Attwell to point to the spot immediately.
Zaha stepped up to dispatch the penalty past Mat Ryan, sending the Brighton goalkeeper the wrong way to give the home team the lead.
VAR made its customary appearance on 52 minutes when it seemed Batshuayi had doubled Palace’s lead after good work from Jairo Riedewald.
The Dutchman skipped past a couple of Brighton players before playing in the Belgian striker who showed poise and composure before firing high into the Brighton net from eight yards out.
The effort was rightfully ruled out for offside by the linesman with VAR confirming the decision was correct.
Much of the second half was played within the Crystal Palace half, with Brighton pushing for the equaliser, and their efforts were eventually rewarded when Mac Allister thumped in a strike from the edge of the box after Joel Ward failed to clear a long punt upfield.
Neil Maupay pounced on the Palace defender’s error and it fell into the path of the Brighton substitute whose strike seemed to take a slight deflection off Gary Cahill on its way past Vincent Guaita.
The final minutes of the match saw the Brighton captain Dunk dismissed for a reckless challenge on Gary Cahill while trying to force the ball over the line for a Brighton winner following a goalmouth scramble.
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