Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton: Why derby draw is another step forward for Patrick Vieira’s brave Eagles

Neal Maupay scored late to earn a point for Brighton at Selhurst Park.

<p>Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)</p>

Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Brighton striker Neal Maupay scored deep into added time to deny Crystal Palace a derby victory at Selhurst Park.

Wilfred Zaha scored with the last kick in the first half to give Palace the lead but it was Maupay who had the last laugh, scoring with the last kick in the second half to salvage a draw for the Seagulls.

The equaliser will hurt Palace given how dominant they were, and striker Jordan Ayew had a chance to score a second for Palace but shot weakly into the side netting.

Maupay’s late strike means Palace have drawn three, lost two and won one of their first six league games.

So what are some of the positives from the first six games under Patrick Vieira ?

Growing team spirit

Leandro Trossard of Brighton & Hove Albion tackles Conor Gallagher of Crystal Palace leading to a penalty (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

In the second half against Brighton, Palace had their backs pinned against the wall and required everyone to put in a shift.

Zaha, Gallagher, Ayew and McArthur never stopped running and threw their bodies on the line.

Brighton came into this game having won four of their first five games of the season and a place at the summit of the table was the price for victory, but Crystal Palace dug deep,  held on and produced their best collective performance under the Patrick Vieira era.

The draw will hurt but the progress has been visible.

Against West Ham earlier in the season, they came back twice to draw 2-2 in a game that showed their growing mental fortitude.

Even against Liverpool, Palace controlled large portions of the game and hit the woodwork twice before losing 3-0 to their much fancied opponents.

All great sides have periods of growth and there is a growing belief amongst the Crystal Palace fans that something brilliant is being built by Vieira and his coaching team in South London.

In the past, Palace won games, but now, they are attempting to win in style and that will take some hits along the way.

Belief in the face of adversity

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Patrick Vieira was brought in to rip through the Palace style of play and instil a more exciting system to get the best out of the young players they have.

And after six games, the signs are clear the team is adopting a very distinct system that will create excitement and produce memorable moments.

Against Brighton, they pressed, hurried and forced errors from Graham Potter’s side, and when the going got tough with Brighton pushing for an equaliser, Palace stayed true to their style of play and passed their way out of trouble to the delight of the 24,000 home fans  packed in at Selhurst Park.

In many ways, Crystal Palace are going in the same direction as Brighton when the Seagulls replaced Chris Hughton, who was viewed as a more pragmatic coach, with Graham Potter.

This is Graham Potter’s third season, but for large parts of the game it was Vieira’s side who looked like their project was the long-term one.

The return of Eberechi Eze will give Vieira further ammunition

Eze of Crystal Palace is challenged by John McGinn (Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images)

Palace have dominated possession against Tottenham, Brentford, and Brighton without one of their best ball jugglers Eberechi Eze, who is now a few weeks away from returning to first-team training.

Luka Milivojevic has been a loyal servant and a fantastic captain who has helped this team for years, but the prospects of a midfield trio of  Eze, Gallagher and James McArthur  is one that will strike fear into mid-table teams. That is a combination of energy, skill and thrill.

Last season even under a more conservative manager Roy Hodgson, Eze showed flashes of his enormous talent, and the signs are that he will enjoy and express himself  in a more expansive system  like the one Vieira has put in place at Selhurst this season.

Conor Gallagher’s impact is proof of how exciting and effective Palace can be with a player with an exciting skill set like Eze, who is still to be added.