MX23RW : Thursday, February 25 01:15:20| >> :600:111869:111869:

Roy Hodgson 'will not apologise' for manner of Brighton victory

Roy Hodgson 'will not apologise' for manner of Brighton victory
© Reuters
Christian Benteke's volley in the fifth minute of added time snatched the points.

Roy Hodgson said he would not apologise for the manner of Crystal Palace's performance after Christian Benteke's injury-time winner snatched a 2-1 victory at bitter rivals Brighton.

Palace showed little ambition at the Amex Stadium and looked set to escape with a scantly-deserved draw after Jean-Philippe Mateta's superb first-half opener was cancelled out by Albion defender Joel Veltman.

But the Eagles left the south coast with bragging rights thanks to substitute Benteke thumping home on the volley in the fifth-minute of added time.

After a supporter group banner questioning the club's vision was briefly displayed outside the training ground last week and having scored with their only shots on target in Sussex, defiant boss Hodgson said the scoreline was the only relevant statistic.

"The game's not about touches in the opposition box, is it? The game's about scoring goals and not letting any in," he said.

"I thought we worked unbelievably hard to try and make certain we didn't let any goals in.

"I thought we worked so very hard to stop them getting many chances and tonight we were fortunate that the couple of chances we did create – and they were both very good goals – we took.

"The statistic that counts at the end of the day is goals against and goals for.

Jean-Philippe Mateta celebrates scoring Crystal Palace's first goal of the game
Jean-Philippe Mateta celebrates scoring Crystal Palace's first goal of the game (Frank Augstein/PA)

"Okay, they had the better of possession, that's for sure, they had the ball in our box more often, they had more quality but I'm not going to apologise for coming away with what we consider to be a very good victory."

Eagles boss Hodgson, who is out of contract in the summer, urged supporters to be "careful" what they wished for in the build-up to the game following recent unrest.

Mateta's first goal for the club – a deft back-heel on the turn – and Benteke's thunderous strike moved Palace 10 points clear of the bottom three.

The victory was also a first this season in the absence of injured talisman Wilfried Zaha.

Following defeats to Leeds and Burnley, Hodgson continued: "I don't feel the need to be vindicated.

"I don't like to use that word because the use of the word vindication would suggest that something has been going awfully wrong in what we have been trying to do for the whole of the season. I don't think vindication is the right word.

"We needed a better performance, we needed to show the commitment, the courage, the desire that we showed tonight in such an important game. We needed to do that because our previous two games obviously weren't good enough."

Brighton boss Graham Potter admitted the manner of the defeat was a "blow" but said his "hurting" players cannot afford to dwell on the disappointment.

Albion, who had 25 attempts at goal to their opponents' three, remain four points above the drop zone after their club-record Premier League unbeaten run was halted at six games in dramatic circumstances.

"We certainly pushed and pushed, I thought we were the dominant team but clearly we've been heavily punished," said Potter.

"We're just sore and disappointed, as you'd imagine, because the result's a painful one but, when you analyse the game, the boys gave everything and it only looked like there was going to be one winner in the second half.

"The fact we came away with nothing is a little cruel on the players. I feel for them in that regard but we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to accept it and move forward and prepare for West Brom.

"It's a really, disappointing night for us in terms of the result. We have to put it behind us as quick as we can but we are human beings and we are hurting at the moment.

"It felt like it was just going to be a matter of time before we got something in their goal.

"To lose in that manner is a blow. It's not very pleasant, it's not nice. We have to try and use the pain to motivate us for the next game.

"Crystal Palace were in our box twice and they scored two. There was one team trying to win the game and one just trying to stay in it."

ID:436394:cQx:QQ:

Click here for more stories about Roy Hodgson

Click here for more stories about Brighton & Hove Albion

How you voted: Brighton vs Crystal Palace

Brighton & Hove Albion
59.5%
Draw
12.1%
Crystal Palace
28.3%
173
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured in January 2021
Read Next:
Hodgson: 'Palace need enormous investment to make progress'
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City25185250153559
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd25147453322149
3Leicester CityLeicester25154644271749
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham25136639291045
5Chelsea25127641251643
6Liverpool25117745341140
7Everton2412483733440
8Aston Villa23113937261136
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs24106837271036
10Leeds UnitedLeeds25112124343035
11Arsenal25104113126534
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2596102632-633
13Crystal Palace2595112943-1432
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2577111830-1228
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2551192632-626
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2574142643-1725
18Fulham25410112132-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2528151955-3614
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2532201541-2611

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!