Roy Hodgson insisted that “games are decided by goals” and not “touches in the box” after Crystal Palace’s win against Brighton.
Palace took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Jordan Ayew did well as he advanced down the left before crossing it into the area.
His ball in was met by Jean-Phillippe Mateta, who held off Ben White before he sublimely backheeled it into the net.
Brighton grabbed a well-deserved equaliser in the 55th-minute. The ball broke for Joel Veltman in the area and he made no mistake as he emphatically found the bottom corner past Vincente Guaita.
Graham Potter’s were well on top but it was Palace who grabbed the winner in stoppage time.
Andros Townsend carried it down the left flank and he sent in a deep cross towards Christian Benteke. The forward peeled away from Dan Burn and he struck it sweetly on the volley as he found the bottom corner.
This ends Palace’s run of two consecutive defeats in the league. They are now up to 13th in the table and they are ten points clear of the bottom three.
Speaking post-match with BBC Sport, Hodgson admitted that Palace had to “soak up a lot of pressure” against Brighton:
“It’s always great to score in the last minute, especially when we had to soak up a lot of pressure.
“The defending was very good, they threw their bodies on the line. We worked hard to make certain they didn’t get many sights at goal. We didn’t create as many chances we’d like. The two we created from crosses were goals.
“It was important tonight because we haven’t been pleased with our defending recently. We thought we were falling short of our high standards.
“Tonight from the very start we showed we’d make it hard for them to score. The bodies were there, headers were there, blocks were there. We took maximum advantage from the counter-attack.
“But we’ve had games like that ourselves – against Brighton, against Newcastle. It’s nice to know the old adage about things evening themselves out, they have tonight.
“We get so hung up on statistics these days. The game is decided by goals. Goals are a question of how well you take your chances and defend theirs.
“Until there are prizes for corners and touches in the box, it’s very important we keep in mind that results are borne out by goals you score and goals you don’t concede. I get no satisfaction when we lose and we have more corners or touches in their box.
“[The opener was a] very good goal”, Hodgson added. “Both goals were wonderful bursts by Jordan Ayew. Christian has been short of goals, he turns up in the last minute. I’m pleased for both of them. It’s good for the future. We will need fighting performances like that. We’re not Man City, we can’t roll teams over.
“Brighton are a form team. I’m sure they’d say they didn’t get the result they deserved.”
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