Poyet hails 'greatest day' of his managerial career

Gus Poyet's team ran out 3-0 winners. Photo: PA

Gus Poyet celebrated the best result of his managerial career after Brighton sank derby rivals Crystal Palace 3-0.

Leonardo Ulloa scored twice, either side of David Lopez's free-kick, to deny the Eagles the chance to go second in the npower Championship.

Poyet said: "It's my best day here as manager.

"The day we went up from League One was special. But this is the best day by far.

"I become a fan of the club I am working at or playing for, it's how I am.

"And at this football club you know one thing - you need to beat Palace.

"This was a day to stop time and stay here forever. I would like it to be the last game of the season, or a last at a club, or the last of your career."

Argentinian striker Ulloa, a £2million January signing from Spanish side Almeria, was the architect of Brighton's win.

Palace had created the better of the game's few chances until the 43rd minute, when Ulloa nodded Liam Bridcutt's pass into the path of Will Buckley and then raced 40 yards to meet the winger's cross and bundle in a far-post header.

Two minutes later Brighton doubled their advantage, Lopez curling a free-kick off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.

And four minutes after the break any hope of a Palace comeback disappeared when Bridcutt's deep cross was headed back across goal by Andrea Orlandi to leave Ulloa with a simple finish in front of goal.

It meant the Seagulls secured a first home win over their fierce foes in 25 years, since when the south-coast club have have had three different homes.

They also suffered the ignominy of Palace inflicting the first defeat at their new Amex Stadium last season.

But this time Eagles headed back up the A23 empty-handed after a chastening loss which dented their hopes of automatic promotion, while Brighton moved to within goal difference of the play-offs.

Palace boss Ian Holloway was left to reflect on a pretty miserable afternoon.

"We didn't take our opportunities in the first half, it was pretty tight, and then all of a sudden we are two down at half-time," he said.

"We changed things at half-time, but then they scored one of the worst goals that this lot have let in.

"It's very disappointing for us, we could have gone second.

"And the roof here is too short. My coat's ruined. I'm soaking wet. I've had better days."