Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson singled out the ‘outstanding’ Jordan Ayew after Monday night’s dramatic 2-1 win away at Brighton and Hove Albion, while speaking to Football London.
Perhaps Graham Potter said it best.
“That’s the beauty of football although it doesn’t feel very beautiful at the moment,” the Brighton boss sighed at full-time, after a result that leaves the Seagulls nestling just four points above the relegation zone.
With 25 shots to three, 75 per cent possession and 715 passes compared to the visitor’s 250, Brighton dominated pretty much every aspect of the game against their London-based rivals at the Amex.
But, not for the first time and probably not for the last, Seagulls supporters were left ruing a series of wasted chances as Crystal Palace rode an almighty storm to secure three scarcely-deserved points against the run of play.
Joel Veltman’s second-half strike cancelled out a marvellous Jean-Philippe Mateta backheel, before Christian Benteke fired home the most unexpected of winners in the 95th minute.
While Palace fans will not have been too impressed to see their side hang on for dear life for the vast majority of Monday’s encounter, the heroic performances of Cheikhou Kouyate, Gary Cahill and Ayew, in particular, deserve plenty of admiration.
It was the latter who had Hodgson smiling in his post-match press conference, with Ayew capping another relentless, sweat-shedding performance with a fine assist for Mateta’s opener and a slaloming run in the build up to Benteke’s late effort.
“He was outstanding. Behind both goals. First was a wonderful pass from Kouyate, he did incredibly to hold off the challenge. And then running out in the last minute, giving Andros (Townsend) the chance to create,” Hodgson said.
“And his defensive work was great. It had to be. We had to be 100 per cent certain around the penalty area to keep them out. We’re obviously very pleased.”
With Palace now ten points clear of the drop zone, any lingering fears of a relegation battle appear to have been dispelled.