“The game isn’t about touches in the penalty box – it’s about scoring goals and keeping them out” – Roy Hodgson reacts to Palace downing arch rivals Brighton

Roy Hodgson hailed the defensive resilience of his aspect as they pulled off a last-gasp win at Brighton – with the Crystal Palace chief brushing apart a query concerning the hosts’ dominance.

The Seagulls had 25 photographs – 5 on the right track – in comparison with the South London membership’s three.

However crucially glorious finishes by Jean-Philippe Mateta and Christian Benteke – deep into second-half stoppage time – noticed them chalk up victory over their bitter rivals.

Hodgson was requested about his aspect solely having two touches contained in the Brighton field – 50 fewer than the house workforce. He replied: “However the recreation isn’t about touches within the opposition field, is it? The sport is about scoring objectives and never letting any in. We labored unbelievably exhausting to attempt to make sure we didn’t let any objectives in.

“It was exhausting work, as a result of the opposing workforce had been very, superb at retaining the ball – they’ve some unbelievably gifted gamers.

“However we labored extraordinarily exhausting to cease them having many possibilities. Tonight we had been lucky that a few our possibilities that we did create – they usually had been each superb objectives – we took.

“The statistic that counts on the finish of the day is objectives towards and objectives for. Okay, that they had the higher of possession – that’s for positive. That they had the ball in our field extra usually and extra nook kicks. However I’m not going to apologise for coming away with what we think about to be an excellent victory.

“We needed to settle for we weren’t capable of do sufficient ourselves with the ball once we had been capable of win it again, we had been put below stress instantly, and because of this very often the ball was round our penalty space and remaining third than we may get the ball into their one.

“The primary [goal] wasn’t a flick – it was a particular strike of the ball along with his heel. And a really intelligent piece of motion to get in entrance of the defender, let the ball undergo his legs and put it away like he did. Christian’s strike on the finish was elegant. I’m more than happy for him as a result of he has discovered himself very often in taking pictures positions and it’s very often not been the shot he’s tried to execute. That was a really scientific end. It was definitely the shot he needed to play. It gave us three very important factors.”

A bit of the membership’s help had put up a banner outdoors the doorway of the membership’s coaching base within the lead as much as the fixture criticising the ways and want of the gamers.

Requested if that made the three factors sweeter, Hodgson mentioned: “No, not notably. That is what soccer is right now. Win two matches and also you’re apparently doing very properly and lose two matches after which the whole lot is unsuitable. That’s what we’ve got to just accept. However the way in which the gamers performed tonight – anybody even daring to query their dedication, want and aptitude for giving the whole lot they have for the membership – can be very, very exhausting put to justify it.”

Palace are on 32 factors  – equalling their highest tally after 25 matches of a Premier League season.

Hodgson was requested if that was vindication for his strategies.

“I don’t really feel the have to be vindicated,” he mentioned. “I don’t like to make use of that phrase, as a result of the usage of the phrase vindication would counsel one thing has been going awfully unsuitable in what we’re attempting to do in the entire of the season.

“I don’t suppose vindication is the proper phrase. We would have liked a greater efficiency. We would have liked to indicate the dedication, braveness and want that we confirmed tonight in such an necessary recreation as a result of our earlier two video games had been clearly not ok. However it’s an extended season. Sadly all of the seasons I’ve been on the membership we’ve not fairly managed to play each single recreation on the similar excessive stage that maybe we’d have preferred to have performed, as a result of that’s how soccer is.

“We requested the gamers to provide a kind of decided and hard-working efficiency that they gave and, in fact, we had been hoping that any possibilities that got here our method we might take – and that’s precisely the way in which it turned out to be.”

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