Palace were on the back foot for long periods, but looked like holding on for victory – having taken a 10th-minute lead courtesy of Zaha’s penalty, which turned out to be the home side’s only shot on target.
The spot-kick was rather harshly awarded as Tariq Lamptey was judged to have dragged down Michy Batshuayi in the box, but replays showed there was little contact on the Palace striker.
But substitute Alexis Mac Allister netted a 90th-minute equaliser, latching on to fellow substitute Aaron Connolly’s lay-off to drill home a rasping first-time finish from the edge of the area.
Hodgson said: “I always think that with a player of his ability, he has got more to offer. We have so much faith in his ability and always feel, with a bit of luck, there’s more there to give.
“What I will be preaching to him for the rest of the season is that a player of your ability has got more to give and it is not sufficient to just score a few more goals than last season.
“I want to see him create havoc in the opponents’ defence and he didn’t really do that today.”
Brighton pushed for a winner in 10 minutes of injury time but in captain Lewis Dunk’s desperation to pounce on a loose ball, he caught Gary Cahill with a stud-high challenge and was sent off.
The draw moves Palace up a place to 12th, while Brighton stay 16th in the table.
Palace punished late on
Palace came into the game showing inconsistent form, claiming victories in their opening two league games before back-to-back defeats. A draw now extends their winless run.
They defended resolutely for 89 minutes and looked like coming away with a smash-and-grab victory thanks to Zaha’s penalty – but have now kept just one clean sheet in their past 13 games.
Hodgson will have been impressed by the performance of holding midfielder Jairo Riedewald, given a first start at Selhurst Park since January.
The Dutchman has struggled to show his best form since joining Palace from Ajax in 2017, but was much improved in this contest.
Deployed in front of the backline, Riedewald won possession eight times, more than any other player on the pitch, and misplaced just one of his 23 passes.
And it was his delightfully threaded through ball that led to Batshuayi thundering a finish into the roof of the net, but it was disallowed by a marginal offside decision.
Otherwise, though, Palace’s lack of attacking intent meant they had to settle for a point.
Seagulls break down the Eagles… eventually
Brighton had more possession (65%), made more passes (539) and had more shots (20) at goal than their opponents, so will have mixed emotions after the game – delighted at salvaging a draw but aggrieved at not having scored more.
Graham Potter’s side play attractive football, their passing is neat and crisp but attacks fall apart too often in the final third or they fail to work the goalkeeper.
Just three shots were on target, with Mac Allister’s goal punishing Joel Ward’s clearance, but the other two efforts from Neal Maupay were comfortable for Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to deal with.
The Seagulls finished 15th last season, seven points clear of the relegation zone, and they may be looking over their shoulders again if finishing and results do not improve.
Brighton have won just one of their opening five matches this season and will have to make do without captain Dunk for the next games after he received a straight red card for a horrible challenge on Cahill.
‘I was pleased’ – what they said
Brighton manager Graham Potter: “Putting the ball in the net was missing. We created chances and were the dominant team. You can see that quite clearly.
“The scoreline affects it a bit because we were 1-0 down, but I was pleased. They scored one goal from their only entry into our box. One slight mistake will go against you and you have to respond. We did that well.”
Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill: “On the basis of the game and the time we conceded, we are disappointed. We played direct a bit too much. We showed good character. We controlled the game in the first half in spells.
“To concede late on with a direct ball down the middle is disappointing. We made it difficult for them. We had to be patient.”
Palace travel to Fulham in the league next Saturday (kick-off 15:00 BST), while Brighton host West Brom on Monday, 26 October (17:30).
Dunked for an early bath – the stats
- Since Opta began recording shot data in the Premier League in 2003-04, Crystal Palace are the first team to have had just one shot in a match in the competition and for that shot be a penalty.
- Brighton have lost just one of their past 10 away games in the Premier League (W3 D6 L1), picking up four points from a possible nine on the road in 2020-21 (W1 D1 L1).
- Brighton attempted 19 more shots than Crystal Palace – their highest positive shot differential in a single Premier League match.
- Crystal Palace have failed to win any of their past seven Premier League games on Sunday (D4 L3), since beating Bournemouth 5-3 in May 2019.
- Players from Ivory Coast have scored 25 of their 28 Premier League penalties to date (89%), boasting the highest conversion rate of any nationality from the spot in the competition’s history (with a minimum of five taken), with only Drogba, Dindane and Bony missing from 12 yards.
- Since the start of the 2017-18 season, only Arsenal (19) and Watford (18) have conceded more goals from the penalty spot in the Premier League than Brighton (16).
- Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has scored more goals against Brighton in all competitions than he has any other opponent (seven).
- Brighton’s Lewis Dunk was sent off for the second time in his Premier League career and for the first time since December 2018 against Bournemouth.