Crystal Palace surged six points clear of the Premier League drop zone in an action-packed 3-2 win over bitter rivals Brighton and Hove Albion at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
All five goals came amid a frenzied first half as Wilfried Zaha’s brace either side of James Tomkins’ second goal in three matches secured a much-needed first home win in four attempts.
The Eagles had seemed likely to claim derby honours in fine style as they twice opened up two-goal advantages, although the Seagulls were able to stay within touching distance by elevating their tally of top-flight away goals from seven to nine.
But the visitors’ vulnerability at the back proved their undoing, with Zaha and Tomkins both netting from corners inside the opening 14 minutes.
Glenn Murray was first to reduce the deficit when he netted against his former club for the second time in all competitions this term, only for Zaha to strike again in the 24th minute – his first headed goal in the Premier League.
And it proved decisive. Jose Izquierdo did bring Brighton back to within one when he skilfully scored 11 minutes prior to the interval, but it stayed that way throughout a nervy second half, Roy Hodgson’s men thankful for a poor late Murray miss as they battled to an invaluable three points in their bid for survival.