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  • Writer's pictureBy Dan Evans

Vieira delighted with a point as Palace hold Brighton to a draw

Patrick Vieira admitted that he was more than content with a share of the spoils following Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw against Brighton at Selhurst Park.

Despite being second-best for the majority of the contest, James Tomkins equalised for the Eagles with their only shot on target just five minutes after Solly March had given the visitors a deserved lead.

A series of fine saves from Vicente Guaita ensured that Palace came away with something, and Vieira was pleased even though it means his side have now not won in seven games.

“I’m satisfied with the point,” he said. “The game was really challenging for us. Really difficult.

“I think Brighton were excellent today. We needed to be well organised. We needed to be disciplined defensively. I’m really happy with the organisation that we had today, it allowed us to get into the game.”

Guaita almost single-handedly kept Brighton at bay in the first half as World Cup stars Karou Mitoma and Alexis Mac Allister threatened to run riot.

It was therefore little surprise that his manager was grateful to the Spanish shot-stopper after the game.

“He’s an important player for us,” stated Vieira. “Even before I arrived (as manager), he has been performing for the football club.

“He’s a ‘keeper that makes important saves. Today we needed him and he responded.”

Vieira also reserved praise for goal-scorer Tomkins, who was making just his fourth league appearance of the season after an injury in training ruled out fellow defender Chris Richards.

“When you don’t play often it is difficult to find momentum,” explained the former Arsenal captain. “He responded really well, he showed a lot of professionalism in the last couple of months and today he was rewarded with the goal he scored.”

Vieira pointed to the quality of Palace’s recent opposition to explain the difficult run of results, yet he was still pleased to extend the club’s recent unbeaten record against their rivals from the other end of the A23.

Palace are now unbeaten against Brighton in the last seven meetings between the sides. As was the case on Saturday, the Seagulls have been the better side in many of those encounters, but you have to go back to March 2019 for the last time they defeated Palace.

“It’s important for us to not lose the derby game,” said Vieira, “It’s important for the club, it’s important for the fans. You have to recognise the quality of the team that we played against today.

“We stuck together in a really difficult period and made it really difficult for them.”


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