Palace forward Jordan Ayew ‘feeling fine’ after missing Brighton draw with Covid

Palace were denied all three points at Selhurst Park after Albion substitute Alexis Mac Allister scored a 90th-minute equaliser.

Jordan Ayew has tested positive for Covid-19
Jordan Ayew has tested positive for Covid-19

Crystal Palace forward Jordan Ayew says he is “feeling fine” and not suffering any symptoms after missing the 1-1 derby draw with Brighton due to a positive coronavirus test.

Palace were denied all three points at Selhurst Park after Albion substitute Alexis Mac Allister scored a 90th-minute equaliser to cancel out Wilfried Zaha’s first-half penalty.

Ghana forward Ayew, who scored the winner when the rivals met in February, was notable by his absence.

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson revealed after the game that Covid-19 was the reason for the omission, with the player later sharing news of his self-isolation on social media.

“Sadly I have tested positive for Covid-19 and have begun quarantine in line with the health guidance,” tweeted Ayew.

“Thankfully, I am feeling fine and do not have any symptoms.

“I will be cheering on the boys from home and look forward to being back on the pitch soon. Stay safe.”

Ayew had been away with his country during the international break. Manager Hodgson expressed frustration at the situation.

“Unfortunately he tested positive in our last test on Friday for Covid. He’s been away with Ghana, which we weren’t exactly delighted to have to accept he had to do,” said Hodgson.

“Like several other Ghanaian players, I believe, when they’ve gone back to their clubs they’ve tested positive. And now we have the guidelines before we see him again.”

Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister (centre) celebrates his late equaliser
Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister (centre) celebrates his late equaliser (Peter Cziborra/PA)

Without Ayew, Palace looked set to return to winning ways after successive defeats following Zaha’s 19th-minute penalty, awarded for Tariq Lamptey’s adjudged foul on Michy Batshuayi.

The spot-kick was the Eagles’ only attempt on goal all afternoon and dominant Albion deservedly levelled when Mac Allister drilled home his maiden Premier League goal late on with the help of a deflection.

There was still time for further drama as Brighton captain Lewis Dunk was shown a straight red card three minutes into injury time for a two-footed lunge on Gary Cahill.

Hodgson was frustrated his team were unable to hold out and secure bragging rights.

“Unfortunately these things happen. It was quite a big deflection which took the ball past (Vicente) Guaita and gave them the equalising goal which I am sure they will say they deserved,” he said.

“There was no quarter given, both teams fought hard. We came so close to taking the glittering prize but we were robbed of it right at the very end.

“But we weren’t robbed, if you like, of a result because in terms they asked a lot of questions of our defence.

Wilfried Zaha (centre) gave Palace the lead
Wilfried Zaha (centre) gave Palace the lead (Mike Hewitt/PA)

“We answered those questions but unfortunately it only lasted until three or four minutes before the end.”

Despite being reliant on a late leveller for a point, Brighton boss Graham Potter was frustrated not return to the south coast victorious.

Potter felt Palace’s penalty was “soft” and also urged defender Dunk to learn from his “reckless” red card.

“(I am) really pleased for the players that we get something from the game in terms of a reward because we tried everything. But probably a little bit disappointed we didn’t get three points,” said Potter.

Speaking about the spot-kick, he continued: “When I saw it live I thought it was a little bit soft, to be honest.

“If you’re going to play devil’s advocate, Tariq’s hands are up a little bit so you always give somebody the possibility to throw themselves down or the referee a chance to give a penalty.

“We’ve still got to decide whether it’s foul or not. I’m not sure, it didn’t look like it was. But that’s life.”

Lewis Dunk saw red late on
Lewis Dunk (left) saw red late on (Mike Hewitt/PA)

Skipper Dunk now faces a three-match ban for his dangerous challenge on Cahill inside the hosts’ box.

Potter was critical of the tackle and has already reminded the player of his responsibilities.

“We have to be honest, I think it was a reckless challenge. It was excessive force and it was a red card,” said Potter.

“He’s just trying to follow through and block something but it’s not a good challenge and we have to learn from that and be better.

“I spoke to him. He knows it’s not good, he knows he’s made a mistake, he knows it’s not what we’re about.

“He’s not a bad guy, he’s not got any intent to hurt anybody. He’s a fully-committed footballer that’s got it wrong, simple as that, and we have to hold our hands up when we do that. We have to accept it, apologise and then move on.”

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