Stories will be told for years to come about how, on a night when there was a build up of fear and outrage among the fans, Christian Benteke volleyed in a 95th-minute winner for Roy Hodgson’s side at the Amex Stadium. In a world where fans are restricted to throwing chaotic limbs around their houses, Crystal Palace showed that there is nothing quite like beating your rivals.
There were two touches in the opposition area. There were bodies put on the line. At times, there were tweets that didn’t make sense. It’s the passion and joy of football.
Crystal Palace Showed Why There is Nothing Like Beating Your Rivals
‘The Beauty of Football’
In many respects, it was a shame that no fans were in attendance. Many of the away fans thoughts instantly turned to what it would have been like behind the goal at the Amex Stadium, where away fans are normally situated. But even, then you could turn to the home fans and capture the heartbreak and despair of Brighton & Hove Albion fans – a photographers paradise in many respects.
That is why we love football. Regardless of who you support, those are the moments that fans live and breathe the game for. Scoring a 95th-minute winner would be sweet enough, but a 95th-minute winner at the home of your arch rivals makes it all the more sweeter.
It is fair to say that Brighton deserved something out of the game. Neutrals, Palace fans and Brighton fans can probably agree on that. Yes, it was a display of guts and determination defensively for Hodgson’s men, but there was little threat going forward. Graham Potter’s side had chances, but they just couldn’t seize them.
The Eagles could only muster two touches in the Brighton area and yet scored with both with them. It was something that Potter pointed to after the game when speaking to the Brighton & Hove Independent.
He said: “They were in our box I think twice and scored two, that is the beauty of football but it doesn’t feel so beautiful at the moment. It feels painful.”
Potter’s words after the full-time whistle summed up the highs and lows of football. While Roy Hodgson was beaming with pride that his game plan worked, the Brighton boss sounded dejected.
It is the beauty of football, though, and for Crystal Palace, the beauty of beating your rivals. For the second year running, Palace arrived at the Amex Stadium as underdogs and yet snatched all three points.
Palace’s win was arguably a win for the neutral as much as a win for themselves. On a day where the United Kingdom was given hope that life could finally be returning back to normal, a day where fans were given a potential date to see their teams live after almost a year away, there was an ounce of positivity. It served as a reminder as to why we watch, why so many travelled up and down the country before we were restricted to our homes.
Above anything else, though, it showed why there is nothing quite like beating your rivals.
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