Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira praised the professionalism of Jack Butland after their 1-1 draw against rivals Brighton & Hove Albion.
The 28-year-old made four crucial stops during the 90 minutes at the Amex, including a first half penalty save to deny Graham Potter’s side the opener when he guessed the right way to keep out Pascal Gross’ 38th-minute spot-kick.
The former England international was making his second back-to-back start under Vieira after first choice Vicente Guaita was deemed only well enough for the bench.
Butland also completed two punches and one claim during the match.
“Jack is a real professional – he is a positive professional,” said Vieira. “He has been frustrated by not playing, but he has never complained and never showed that. He has kept working hard, and when forward players want to do extra finishing, he is always the first to put his hand up.
“He is a really good character in the dressing room. Today, I was really pleased that he had that game and performance because all the work that he has been doing in the last couple of months and years paid off.
“It was good for us that he was at his best today.”
The Eagles opened the scoring through Conor Gallagher in the 69th minute, after the 21-year-old Chelsea loanee smashed home Jeffrey Schlupp’s cutback inside the area. It was Palace’s first shot of the encounter.
Brighton eventually found their equaliser in the 87th minute when Joachim Andersen turned Neal Maupay’s cross past Butland.
It was the second time the South Londoners had conceded a late equaliser against Brighton this season after Maupay scored an injury-time winner at Selhurst Park in the reverse fixture.
“When you’re looking at the way we conceded both goals at home, and away, we could do better. Today, we conceded an own goal, and it was a goal we could have avoided,” said Vieira.
“On the other side, they had the penalty, Jack made some really good saves, Welbeck had a header, so they had moments, but the draw was good for us. It was a fair result for us.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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