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Neal Maupay details Wilfried Zaha confrontation after late Brighton equaliser

Neal Maupay scored a dramatic late equaliser for Brighton in the derby and his jubilant celebrations sparked anger from Crystal Palace goalscorer Wilfried Zaha

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Neal Maupay has explained why Wilfried Zaha confronted him following the conclusion of Brighton ’s dramatic 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Maupay scored in the 95th minute to earn Brighton a point at Selhurst Park and his goal sparked fiery scenes on and off the pitch.

Palace looked to have victory in their grasp thanks to Wilfried Zaha’s first-half penalty following a clumsy tackle by Leandro Trossard on Conor Gallagher in the box.

But the hosts were made to pay for Jordan Ayew’s poor finish from a clear opening when Vincente Guaita’s late goal kick led to Maupay’s late goal.



Neal Maupay’s celebration did not go down well with Crystal Palace
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Image:

John Walton/PA Wire)




Joel Veltman volleyed Guaita’s scuffed kick back over the Palace defence and the Frenchman raced through to lob the Palace keeper and level the derby.

He celebrated by cupping his ears to the furious home supporters in a clear reference to Zaha’s actions following his well-taken spot-kick in first-half injury time.

The Ivorian forward, who was making his 400th appearance for Palace, was clearly incensed by Maupay’s provocation and made his feelings known in front of referee Andre Marriner.

What did you make of Neal Maupay’s celebration? Have your say in the comments section below.



Wilfried Zaha confronted Neal Maupay after his celebration
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However, Maupay did not seem too concerned when he was asked to explain what had happened by Thierry Henry in a Sky Sports post-match interview.

“I think football is nothing without fans and without involvement with fans,” he said.

“It’s a derby so everyone wanted to win, of course it was really really tough.

“When I scored I looked at Zaha and smiled at him as I saw him celebrating his penalty in the first half, he gave some to our fans.



Wilfried Zaha cupped his ears in celebration after his first-half penalty
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Image:

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)




“I won’t say what he said or what I said but you know how it is on the pitch between players.

“You give a bit of banter and I think it was a good time for me and for us after scoring in the last minute, so perfect timing to give him something.”

Maupay was not the only person to “give something” in the closing stages of the match, which ended with frantic scenes both on and off the pitch.









Palace’s James McArthur and Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez were both booked for their involvement in a tussle which involved several players from both teams.

Meanwhile, there were angry scenes in the stands as Palace supporters goaded the away team as they attempted to get down the tunnel.

“With the goal going in at that time there’s emotion and passion, which you’d expect,” explained Seagulls manager Graham Potter.



Palace and Brighton players argued with each other post-match
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Image:

John Walton/PA Wire)




“There wasn’t a massive amount of security there and it’s a little bit intimidating. Everyone is OK.”

A win would have taken Brighton top of the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history, but a point sees them occupy sixth place on 13 points.

Palace are 15th having failed to hang on to what would have been their second league win of the season, which could have been wrapped up had Ayew converted a clear chance from Christian Benteke’s pass earlier in the second half.


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