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First Team

Zaha: A Very Important Point For Us

28 October 2017

A late late show at Selhurst Park sealed a point as Wilfried Zaha grabbed an equaliser in dramatic style as Palace came from two down to send the home fans into wild celebrations.

Zaha’s beaming smile showed the delight in the dressing room and to come back from a two goal deficit shows the character within the group.  

“They scored two quality goals in the first half with two quick counter attacks but it was one of those days where we had to keep going.  We just had to keep our confidence and do what we were doing because at half time the gaffer told us we were not playing that badly so we just had to keep at it and in the end managed to get back in the game. “

The home fans once again played their part in getting the side back on level terms and Wilf knows that any team coming to Selhurst are aware they will come up against that vocal support from the stands.

“I am sure everyone that comes to Crystal Palace know that the crowd is the 12th man for us, they help us massively throughout every game. The support here is crazy so having them on our side helps us so much in the game and today we all saw that again."

Four minutes into the second half when Andros Townsend was tripped in the box by Angelo Ogbonna, it was once again the turn of Luka Milivojevic to step up to take a penalty for the Eagles and he didn’t disappoint, sending Joe Hart the wrong way.

Zaha had every confidence once the spot kick was given that the home side were going to reduce the arrears.

“When I saw him going up to take the penalty I knew we would be back in the game, he has scored them before so he was the right choice and he didn’t make a mistake."

As the clock counted down to the final whistle it was looking like Hart wasn’t going to be beaten in open play as he had thwarted Palace on a number of occasions so the equaliser was a sweet sight for the goalscorer.

“It was beginning to look impossible to beat him as it seemed regardless of how many shots we had at goal this afternoon he was saving them for fun. We did in the end though and managed to get a very important point for us.

“I just managed to secure the ball to get a shot at goal which no one was expecting so when I saw it roll into the net I just didn’t know what to do, Andros was literally dragging me down to start the celebrations and it was a great feeling."

The impact that Wilf had when he returned against Chelsea a fortnight ago and then his goal today means there always appears a pressure on him to be the one to give the side that extra lift. He does look to take it in his stride but he admits it affects him at times, although he’s doesn't show it during the heat of the action and he's enjoying adding an extra dimension to his game playing in the striker role.  

“Yes I do at times feel that pressure from the stands and get nervous at times as maybe people expect too much from me but I don’t mind that and I take it on and do what I have to do for the team.

“In my current position in the team I know I don’t make the normal striker runs but it’s been a bit easier because it gives you a bit more of a free role and it allows me to pick the ball up deeper from the midfielders and take on the centre back and if I go past them it is just the goalkeeper and I have enjoyed it so far."

The great scenes at the end would not have been much more intense if Palace had picked up all three points so for the lads does it feel like a win?

“Yes it does because every match is important and so is every point so us managing to get the one point is amazing,” reflected Zaha as he added another vital Eagles goal to his tally.   

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