Glenn Murray grabbed his 100th league goal for Brighton against his former club as Anthony Knockaert's spectacular strike helped them sink Crystal Palace.

James Tomkins misjudged the flight of Lewis Dunk's raking pass as Murray took it first time to fire past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita for the opening goal after 20 minutes.

Palace stormed back in the second half, with captain Luka Milivojevic netting his ninth goal this season, before Knockaert settled the tie with a superb effort.

The defeat leaves Palace eight points above the relegation zone in the Premier League's early kick-off but also means rivals Brighton close the gap on them to be level on points.

Guaita was favoured in between the sticks by Roy Hodgson as Wayne Hennessey didn't make the team to face Brighton, the trio of Michy Batshuayi, Wilfried Zaha and Townsend featuring once again.

What was billed to be a feisty affair didn't disappoint - it was only a matter of seconds before we saw the game's first controversial moment as Knockaert was booked for a dangerous challenge on Milivojevic.

Replays suggested he was fortunate to remain on the pitch.

While the game lacked quality, with both teams committing mistakes in the opening exchanges, it was Murray who opened the scoring after 20 minutes.

The 35-year-old stepped in for the injured Florin Andone to volley past Guaita and send Brighton into a gift lead at Selhurst Park, refusing to celebrate as his delighted teammates mobbed him.

The hosts struggled to find a way past their opponents as they registered six shots in the first half compared to the visitors' single effort.

But it was when Townsend shimmied past a handful of defenders that he was brought down inside the box by Davy Proepper and led to referee Craig Pawson awarding a penalty.

Up stepped Milivojevic who sent goalkeeper Matt Ryan the wrong way on 50 minutes as the momentum shifted into Palace's favour.

Despite the Seagulls looking a little less assured compared with their first half performance, it was Knockaert's touch of magic on 74 minutes which decided the tie.

The winger cut inside from the flank to evade Patrick van Aanholt and fire past Guaita into the far corner of the net.

Hodgson threw Christian Benteke and Max Meyer into the fray but neither did enough to really danger an otherwise comfortable Brighton defence.

Shane Duffy managed to head clear a tantalising ball into the box before Jeffrey Schlupp fired high and wide late on.