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Crystal Palace suffer crushing 3-0 defeat away to rivals Brighton

PUBLISHED: 10:25 18 March 2013 | UPDATED: 10:25 18 March 2013

Brighton's Leonardo Ulloa (top centre) leaps to score the first goal for his side, Brighton. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Brighton's Leonardo Ulloa (top centre) leaps to score the first goal for his side, Brighton. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Crystal Palace once again missed the opportunity to move into second place on Sunday after a crushing 3-0 defeat away to bitter rivals Brighton.

The corresponding fixture in December saw the same result in reverse, with The Eagles then topping the Championship table.

However it was The Seagulls who did the damage at the Falmer Stadium, with two quick goals just before half-time proving insurmountable.

Matthew Upson’s misplaced clearance was clawed away by Brighton goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak to spare his defender’s blushes before Leonardo Ulloa bundled in Will Buckley’s cross at the other end of the pitch.

Just two minutes later and Kagisho Kikgacoi’s foul on Buckley gave David Lopez the opportunity to curl home a free-kick from the edge of the box.

Ian Holloway made a double substitution at the break, bringing on Kevin Phillips and midfielder Andre Moritz to inject some life into his fading Palace side.

But his efforts proved futile as just five minute in Brighton added a third through Ulloa again, who smashed home a volley from six yards.

The victory was Brighton’s first at home to The Eagles in 25 years and sees the away side remain in fourth place - three points from Hull City in second place.

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