Championship wrap: Brighton outplay Palace
Brighton & Hove Albion kept touch with the playoff places with a 3-0 home win over rivals Crystal Palace in the Championship on Sunday.
Brighton began the day three points adrift of sixth-placed Leicester City and after two losses and one draw from their past three matches, a win was vital for Gus Poyet's side.
Crystal Palace came to the AMEX Stadium on an unbeaten run of three but were outplayed by Brighton, who wrestled control of the match with two late first-half goals.
Argentine forward Leonardo Ulloa – who signed for Brighton for 1.5 million pounds from Spanish outfit Almeria in January – opened the scoring on 43 minutes.
And Spaniard David Lopez doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time to delight the big crowd in Brighton.
Crystal Palace made a double substitution after the break, introducing veteran striker Kevin Phillips and Brazilian Andre Moritz in a bid to salvage the match.
But Ian Holloway's bold change did not pay off as Ulloa's second five minutes after the break effectively killed the game off as a contest.
Ulloa now has eight goals in 11 matches for Brighton and Palace could produce no response as they missed a chance to climb to second on the table.
The day's other match saw Blackburn Rovers claim a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Burnley at Ewood Park.
Burnley defender Jason Shackell gave the visitors the lead after 32 minutes but a red card to Ben Mee early in the second half swung the match in Blackburn's favour.
And although they left it late, Blackburn captain David Dunn netted an equaliser five minutes into second half stoppage time.
Blackburn – who have not won since a 1-0 FA Cup success at Arsenal – have now failed to win for eight successive matches and they sit just three points above the relegation zone.