London: A moment of brilliance from Anthony Knockaert settled a fiercely contested local derby as Brighton & Hove Albion beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park to edge further clear from the Premier League relegation zone.
The Frenchman fired a spectacular 74th-minute winner from outside the area as Brighton completed the league double over their great rivals for the first time since 1983-4.
But Knockaert was fortunate to still be on the pitch after only receiving a yellow card for a crunching challenge on Luka Milivojevic after just 28 seconds — the quickest booking in the Premier League for 10 years.
Brighton opened the scoring on 19 minutes when 35-year-old Glenn Murray — promoted off the bench after Florin Andone was injured in the warm-up — volleyed home after Scott Dann misjudged his headed clearance.
The goal was Murray’s 100th league strike for Brighton and seventh in this fixture, three of which he scored for Palace.
Brighton, impressively marshalled at the back by Lewis Dunk, were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when Dann wrestled Shane Duffy to the ground but conceded from the spot after the break when Davy Propper fouled Andros Townsend.
The ever-reliable Milivojevic converted the penalty for the 17th time as a Palace player but Knockaert had the final say as Brighton registered back-to-back league victories for the first time this year to join Palace on 33 points in the standings.
Meanwhile, Wall Street financiers Josh Harris and David Blitzer are seeking to sell Crystal Palace after about three years under their ownership, according to people familiar with the matter.
The two have talked with at least one US-based financial firm about buying the team, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The company has retained PJT Partners Inc. to handle the sale.
A spokeswoman for Harris declined to comment, as did PJT Partners. Blitzer didn’t respond to an email seeking comment on the team being for sale.
Harris, a co-founder of Apollo Global Management, and Blackstone executive Blitzer also control the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the NHL’s Devils and the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey, where the hockey team plays.
Harris and Blitzer had been among the owners who unsuccessfully sought to keep an even share of the league’s international TV money. Bigger clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal won the right to get a bigger share, saying their international popularity drives viewership.