Crystal Palace succumbed to an injury-time Neal Maupay strike as fierce rivals Brighton and Hove Albion rescued a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Monday night.
The Eagles’ talisman Wilfried Zaha had put the hosts ahead on the stroke of halftime after Leandro Trossard clumsily bundled Conor Gallagher over inside the box, but the home side failed to put the game to bed.
Struggling forward Jordan Ayew was guilty of missing a golden opportunity to double Palace’s lead following a swift breakaway, giving Maupay the chance to steal a point in the final moments on an enthralling encounter.
Despite the ultimately disappointing result for the hosts, there were plenty of positives for manager Patrick Vieira to take away.
The French tactician will perhaps be most pleased with the impressive display summer signing Joachim Andersen put in at the heart of defence, successfully repelling everything Brighton threw at him until the dying embers.
Andersen dominated Danny Welbeck for large spells and threw Maupay to the ground in the early stages, setting the tone for his domineering display in south London.
As per SofaScore, the 25-year-old received a match rating of 7.2 out of 10, the highest total awarded to anyone one his team.
During the 90 minutes, Andersen set the tone for his team’s intensity and front-footed approach, winning all three of his duels while also completing two tackles, two clearances and a whopping four interceptions.
But the Danish beast was just as competent with the ball at his feet, a key aspect for any modern-day defender at the top level. He had a huge 88 touches, made one key pass and completed all of his attempted dribbles.
It may have been Zaha who popped up with another important goal, but it was Andersen who allowed his team to dominate for large spells, constantly ending Brighton attacks and kickstarting ones of his own, proving to be Patrick Vieira’s real hero for the capital club.