After Leicester and Watford provided a full-blooded clash the previous evening, local rivals Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace delivered what can only be described as a disappointing encounter.

Brighton dominated the first half, with both wings being easy targets for the Seagulls' wide men. 

Crosses were repeatedly flashed in by Wayne Bridge and Will Buckley, but Dean Hammond's effort straight at Palace keeper Julian Speroni was the best that Brighton could manage. Other than this, large chunks of the game passed with no incident whatsoever, with both teams trading fouls inside each other's halves. 

After the break, the match certainly improved; perhaps not in quality but certainly in events. Wilfried Zaha, the highly-praised young England winger, started to grow into the match after being moved from the right to the left by Eagles' manager Ian Holloway. 

Despite this step-up in performance from Palace, they still could not produce a goal. They came close, however, when defender Danny Gabbidon, who ended Palace's dreadful goal drought last month, saw his header cleared off the line.

Then, midway through the second half, in what was arguably the most significant moment of the match, the leading scorer in this season's Championship Glenn Murray was carried off on a stretcher. 

After going down with no Brighton player near him (a sure-fire sign in modern football of serious injury), Murray received five minutes of medical attention, and was promptly taken off the pitch. Clutching his knee and in clear agony, Murray is expected to miss the rest of Palace's season.

Shortly after another blow for the Eagles, as young Welsh midfielder Jonathan Williams also had to be taken off due to injury.

It is still all to play for on Monday then, and a place in the Wembley final still very much up for grabs.

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