Brighton 3-0 Crystal Palace- Match Report

Ulloa at double for Seagulls

Leonardo Ulloa fired Brighton to a 3-0 victory over fierce rivals Crystal Palace to deny them the chance to go second in the npower Championship.

The Argentine striker, a January signing from Spanish side Almeria, was compared to ex-Albion favourite Bobby Zamora by manager Gus Poyet this week.

And, like the QPR striker, he is already certain of a place in Brighton folklore with two derby day goals to sink their historic foes.

David Lopez also scored a superb free-kick as the Seagulls secured a first home win over Palace in 25 years - since when the south-coast club have have had three different homes.

They also suffered ignominy of Palace inflicting a first defeat at their new Amex Stadium last season.

But this time Eagles headed back up the A23 empty-handed after a chastening loss which dented their hopes of automatic promotion, while Brighton moved to within goal difference of the play-offs.

Much was expected of Palace's Manchester United-bound winger Wilfried Zaha and 30-goal striker Glenn Murray, who left Brighton two seasons ago.

But the duo were well shackled as Brighton's frontmen instead stole the show.

Palace did almost take the lead midway through the first half - via a Brighton player.

Yannick Bolasie swung in a free-kick from which Seagulls defender Matt Upson's diving header towards his own goal forced a fingertip save from Tomasz Kuszczak.

But the breakthrough came at the other end two minutes before half-time, thanks to the determination of Ulloa.

The 26-year-old headed Liam Bridcutt's pass into the path of Will Buckley and then raced 40 yards to meet the winger's cross from the byline and bundle in a far-post header.

Two minutes later Brighton doubled their advantage after Kagisho Dikgacoi felled Buckley on the edge of the area, Lopez curling the free-kick off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.

Palace made a double substitution at half-time, throwing on Andre Moritz and Kevin Phillips in a bid to salvage something.

But the game was up just four minutes later when Bridcutt's deep cross was headed back across goal by Andrea Orlandi to leave Ulloa with a simple finish in front of goal.

Ulloa could have had a hat-trick - his second in successive home matches - but was denied by Damien Delaney's last-ditch tackle and a fine save from Speroni.

But Brighton's newest hero settled for two as the Seagulls reignited their play-off bid and more importantly, as many in the record 28,499 crowd would doubtless say, got one over on the Eagles for a change.

Source: PA

Source: PA