Brighton claim derby spoils
Leonardo Ulloa fired Brighton to a 3-0 victory over fierce rivals Crystal Palace to deny them the chance to go second in the npower Championship.
The Argentine striker, a January signing from Spanish side Almeria, is already certain of a place in Brighton folklore with two derby day goals to sink their historic foes.
David Lopez also scored a superb free-kick as the Seagulls secured a first home win over Palace in 25 years - since when the south-coast club have have had three different homes.
Palace almost took the lead midway through the first half - via a Brighton player. Yannick Bolasie swung in a free-kick from which Seagulls defender Matt Upson's diving header towards his own goal forced a fingertip save from Tomasz Kuszczak.
But the breakthrough came at the other end two minutes before half-time, thanks to the determination of Ulloa. The 26-year-old headed Liam Bridcutt's pass into the path of Will Buckley and then raced 40 yards to meet the winger's cross from the byline and bundle in a far-post header.
Two minutes later Brighton doubled their advantage after Kagisho Dikgacoi felled Buckley on the edge of the area, Lopez curling the free-kick off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
Palace made a double substitution at half-time, throwing on Andre Moritz and Kevin Phillips in a bid to salvage something.
But the game was up just four minutes later when Bridcutt's deep cross was headed back across goal by Andrea Orlandi to leave Ulloa with a simple finish in front of goal.
Ulloa could have had a hat-trick - his second in successive home matches - but was denied by Damien Delaney's last-ditch tackle and a fine save from Julian Speroni.
But Brighton's newest hero settled for two as the Seagulls reignited their play-off bid and more importantly, as many in the record 28,499 crowd would doubtless say, got one over on the Eagles for a change.
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