Danny Welbeck’s late looping header rescued a point for Brighton as they denied rivals Crystal Palace victory at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.

Having dominated much of the second half, the Seagulls deservedly levelled when substitute Welbeck met Pascal Gross’ deep cross, flicking the ball over Dean Henderson and into the top corner.

Jordan Ayew had opened the scoring for Crystal Palace on the stroke of half-time, and the home side were eight minutes of normal time away from ending their six-match winless run.

Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen had gifted Michael Olise possession and the forward’s long cross found Ayew who finished at the back post.

After Welbeck’s leveller, his first goal since scoring at Manchester United in September, the visitors looked most likely to net a winner.

They came close in bizarre circumstances when Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson punched a cross against the head of Welbeck and was fortunate to see the ball bounce wide.

It meant that, for a fifth consecutive meeting, this fixture at Selhurst Park ended in a 1-1 draw.

Welbeck goal could kickstart resurgence

Brighton supporters will hope their team’s late show against one of their traditional rivals could inspire an end to their miserable run.

Roberto de Zerbi’s side have won just two of their past 12 league matches and now gone a club-record 22 successive league games without keeping a clean sheet.

After a first half of few chances for both sides, Welbeck had a powerful header blocked by Ayew after the restart and Jan Paul van Hecke also had an effort denied by a wall of Palace defenders after Henderson had spilled a corner.

The visitors also had a penalty shout rightly waved away when Jack Hinshelwood went down under pressure from Ayew, with referee John Brooks spotting the teenager trip up on the ground, not from a challenge.

But Brighton came very close in the 55th minute when Gross’ wide free-kick found Lewis Dunk unmarked in the area, but the defender headed his effort wide of the far post.

They needed Welbeck to rescue them as he netted a second goal of the season to ensure the points were shared.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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