Super sub Christian Benteke hails ‘massive’ result for Crystal Palace against arch rivals Brighton after his stunning 95th-minute volley earned vital win against the run of play for Roy Hodgson’s side
- Christian Benteke was desperate to make an impact for Palace at rivals Brighton
- The forward came off the bench to score the winner for Roy Hodgson’s side
- Although Brighton dominated the game, the Belgian’s goal saw Palace prevail
Christian Benteke admitted he was determined to step up when Roy Hodgson needed him after the Belgian striker scored a dramatic late winner for Crystal Palace at Brighton.
With the bitter rivals level at 1-1, Benteke entered the fray as a substitute in the 75th minute and he went on to score the winner with a volley in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
The Belgian was jubilant at the full-time whistle, his goal helping Palace to win a game that Graham Potter’s side had dominated at the Amex Stadium.
Christian Benteke was desperate to step up when Roy Hodgson needed him at Brighton
Benteke told Sky Sports: ‘It was a massive result. It’s not easy. We have a lot of good players up front, I know my strengths and qualities and it was about being ready when the gaffer needs me.
‘It was a derby, you have to give your all.’
Benteke admitted that it was an ‘ugly’ game at times, but that didn’t reduce his satisfaction at having scored the winner.
The 30-year-old added that Palace were much more compact against Brighton having previously been too open.
Having been introduced as a substitute Benteke scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time
‘We know we play a derby against a good side, it wasn’t easy.
‘We scored and they managed to get into the game, we leave our life on the pitch.
‘We, and especially me, I had the chance to score a great goal. It means a lot.
‘We played against a good side and today was all about three points. We can be proud, it was ugly but we got them.
‘The plan was to be compact, recently we have been too open, we change tactics and be closer to each other.’
Benteke’s goal saw Palace secure victory against Brighton, despite the hosts dominating
Jean-Philippe Mateta, whose arrival at the club has pushed Benteke down the pecking order, put Palace ahead with a sublime backheel before Joel Veltman equalised for Brighton.
Despite Brighton having 75 per cent of the ball and 25 shots to Palace’s three, it was the visitors who managed to prevail courtesy of Benteke’s strike.
The victory saw Palace move up a place to 13th in the Premier League table. They are back in action on Sunday when they host Fulham.