Brighton 0, Crystal Palace 0: Albion's fourth straight home draw allows Eagles to pick up first away point
Brighton & Hove Albion kept arch-rivals Crystal Palace rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table as they two sides played out a nervy 0-0 draw at the Amex tonight.
It was a result that when looking at the form book was somewhat inevitable in what has been a eagerly-anticipated derby clash between the two sides.
Albion were unbeaten at home in five games since their opening day defeat against Manchester City and this result set a new top-flight record of four consecutive home draws.
A Palace side, previously pointless on the road, meanwhile had not scored in their last eight Premier League matches, Christian Benteke was the last to notch, hitting a brace in a 2-1 win at Liverpool last April.
While the talking points off the field will rumble on - a Bruno mural in the city centre was damaged with red paint overnight, Palace fans let off a series of smoke grenades and bangers in the stadium and a large group of fans with tickets, reported not even being allowed in the stadium - talking points on it, were few and far between.
There were two changes for Brighton to the team that lost 1-0 at Manchester United on Saturday as Markus Suttner and Jose Izquierdo came in for Gaetan Bong and Solly March. Palace meanwhile made one changed with striker Christian Benteke starting in place of James McArthur.
It was a quite start on the pitch, unlike off it where Palace fans let off three pyrotechnics which filled the stadiums with loud bangs - and that also spurred their side to life as the away side should have led on 15 minutes.
A neat Wilfried Zaha knock-down from a long ball saw the arriving Benteke fire at Maty Ryan from 14 yards, but the goalkeeper then got back down to produce a reaction save to Zaha's follow-up, when the forward really should have scored.
At the other end, Albion's first opening came in the 22nd minute when Lewis Dunk arrived to meet a Pascal Gross corner with a towering header, but it was an easy take for Wayne Hennessey.
The visiting goalkeeper was called into action again on 28 minutes as Izquierdo cut inside off a neat Suttner pass, but his effort was palmed away by the stopper and Dale Stephens' follow-up was well off target.
The Seagulls finished the half off with some sustained pressure - the best chance coming from a Izquierdo break, but some indecision slowed the play and Anthony Knockaert eventually teed-up Gross, but it was a comfortable low stop for Hennessey.
Both sides continued to gift the ball away in the second half, but the visitors were awarded the first chance as a foul on the edge of the box saw Yohan Cabaye stand over a well-positioned free kick, but curl into the arms of Ryan.
At the other end, a Knockaert set-piece was tipped over and the resulting corner scrambled away, before Dunk's flicked attempt at the near post from a corner brushed the side netting.
Palace threw on McArthur for the ineffective Cabaye past the hour mark and the visitors had the next half chance as Zaha sent a dangerous cross across the goalmouth but no-one was near to get a touch.
Back at the other end, a Shane Duffy header whistled across the roof of the net from a Gross corner shortly before March replaced Izquierdo. Stephens then had a cracker from range hit the side netting, before with seven minutes left, Murray met another Knockaert corner but his header was cleared off the line by Andros Townsend.
That was how it remained as Albion dropped to tenth despite picking up their 17th point of the season, while Palace secured their ninth.
Albion: Ryan, Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Stephens, Suttner, Propper, Gross (Brown 80), Knockaert, Izquierdo (March 71), Murray (Hemed 86). Unused subs: Krul, Goldson, Schelotto, Kayal.
Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Schlupp, Milivojevic, Cabaye (McArthur 66), Loftus-Cheek, Zaha, Townsend, Benteke. Unused subs: Speroni, Fosu-Mensah, van Aanholt, Dann, Puncheon, Sako.
Referee: Andre Marriner.