Albion 4 Crystal Palace 1

Roy Hodgson walked across, offered a handshake to home coaching staff and said a polite “well played”.

Roberto De Zerbi gave him a sympathetic pat on the shoulder.

Then the Crystal Palace boss headed to the changing room as Albion’s celebrations started and the lights dimmed behind him.

The home side enjoyed this win to the maximum, their fans sang along with Freed From Desire and all was well again.

In a few ways, this felt very like the win over Chelsea last season.

Same half-time score, same final result, same pattern of scoring, the same sort of high-powered start, a similar “game over” celebration by the scorer of the fourth goal – Joao Pedro this time rather than Pascal Gross.

The same uncertain feeling going into the game and a similar lack of league goals, even if they have been flowing in the FA Cup.

De Zerbi was fired up before, during and after the game.

"We scored five in the FA Cup," he replied when asked whether he was relieved to get back on the Prem goal trail.

“It’s important the FA Cup in England or not? Yes or no?

“And we scored four goals in Stoke City – nine goals in two games in the FA Cup.

“In West Ham we could score more or less six.

“With Wolverhampton in the first half we made a mistake two metres from goal. I remember very well that game.

“We were unlucky sometimes. It can happen sometimes to not find the solution to score.

“But I think you have to analyse the game and the quality of the play and the performance.

“If we analyse the result, what was the score – 0-0? Okay, bye.

“You have to analyse the game, not only the result."

The game here was Albion got the same sort of left-sided spark from Tariq Lamptey as they did when giving Kaoru Mitoma his first start in that Chelsea match.

Pervis Estupinan is a big player to leave out but Lamptey gave a depth and outlet they did not have at Luton.

They scored rather than conceded the early goal, Lewis Dunk rising to head home a corner forced by Lamptey and delivered by Gross.

They maintained control against a Palace side who did not have the energy shown by Luton.

And Joao Pedro knitted it together as a conduit between those playing from deep and those at the sharp end.

He was heavily involved in a chance which Facundo Buonanotte headed at Dean Henderson, then the move from which Lamptey stood up a cross and Jack Hinshelwood rose high at the far post to nod back across the keeper.

Delirium – and even more so when Albion won the ball straight back and Gross weaved magic before allowing Buonanotte to curl inside the post.

As he ran towards the South West corner and did a knee slide, it felt like that David Lopez free-kick against Palace all those years ago which quickly followed the Leo Ulloa opener.

Albion stepped off the gas in the second half. Palace were better although some of their fans had left by the time Jean-Phillippe Mateta scored with a superb header.

But the home team and crowd got going again and the exclamation mark the game deserved came via Joao Pedro’s adept finish from Danny Welbeck’s flicked return pass.

Both bosses had patrolled their parts of the touchline throughout the match – with the focus  on them even more than usual for different reasons.

De Zerbi had worried some fans with his rather gloomy reaction to the transfer window.

The flag bearing his image was passed across the North Stand just before the game.

His name was sung with gusto at various stages during it.

One aspect of those De Zerbi replies at his press conference on Friday which had perhaps been overlooked was that he said he would continue to show the same energy and passion, despite what looked and sounded very much like significant disappointment at a lack of reinforcement in midfield.

Those comments coupled with the manner of defeat at Luton had cast doubts over what the months ahead might hold.

But isn’t that football sometimes? Kicks you in the teeth when you think all is going well, gives you a lift in darker times.

De Zerbi had sensed the reaction from his team would be good.

He said the visit of Crystal Palace was the perfect game when some might have feared it was potentially the worst.

This time, the superiority was reflected in the scoreline and the outcome was the best win for the Seagulls over the Eagles.

Not the biggest win Brighton have enjoyed in the fixture but to find a four-goal haul you have to go back to the days when this was Dolphins v Glaziers.

As for Hodgson, one could mention he was without Eberechi Eze and had been told Michael Olise could not start, as well as losing Marc Guehi early on.

But what about Albion’s injury list?

After his decision to introduce Olise had back-fired, Palace fans chanted: “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

Albion supporters chimed in by saying they wanted Hodgson to remain in charge and then calling for him to give them a wave.

He will do his best to oblige them on the first of those but did not on the second.

Hodgson said later: “Wonderful, wasn’t it? Is it nice? No, it isn’t.

“Yes, my years of management have given the me resilience to cope with that.”

Hodgson’s predecessor Patrick Vieira was sacked after a defeat at the Amex.

Whether he follows suit need be of no great concern to Albion fans.

They are more interested in the home technical area.

Okay, they probably didn’t see De Zerbi smile.

He doesn’t tend to do that during matches and his early complaint over a non-handball decision earned him a yellow card.

But he was celebrating after goals, celebrating a win after his selection and tactical plans came off.

“I have a big, big, big respect for Roy," the Albion boss said.

"He is an example or me, for all young coaches.

“We have to remember they played without Eze, Olise and they lost Guehi after 20 minutes.

“Playing without three important players is very tough.

“Especially if you find the Brighton we watched today - because we had the poison today.”

Well played indeed!