Crystal Palace legend Wilfried Zaha on beating Manchester City, praise for Chelsea loanee + red card verdict

Wilfried Zaha has called for his Crystal Palace team-mates to keep being ruthless after beating current Premier League champions Manchester City 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Zaha, who replaced Christian Benteke in the starting line up, scored his 50th Premier League goal for the South Londoners just six minutes into the contest, linking up with Conor Gallagher before slotting a left-footed shot past Ederson.

The Eagles have thrown away points from winning positions in recent outings, drawing games against Brighton, Arsenal and Newcastle despite being in the lead in all three fixtures.

Asked by Palace TV how psychologically important the victory at the Etihad was after four draws on the bounce and last-minute equalisers, Zaha said: “Mentally, it’s massive. The last couple of weeks, we have played well, but last minute we just draw, and it’s not good enough.

“The way we want to play, the mentality that we have, we want to win – I want to win. We need to have this mindset where we’re ruthless – we can’t just let teams back in the game when we have worked so hard. Managing to win this game, I feel like it will help the lads massively.

“I’m happy. We came up here and did what we needed to do. We know how good they are, and our aim was to stop them from playing. Us scoring early doors just set it up so well for us today.

“It was difficult. It was going to be difficult because it was just waves and waves of attacks, but if you manage to defend well, you will get opportunities. They defend so high – that’s why we managed to get the second goal eventually. I feel like you just have to keep on going because if your head is not right for a second, they can just get back into the game.”

Zaha praised the influence of Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher after the game, with the 21-year-old setting up the Ivorian forward for the opener and wrapping up all three points in the 88th minute with a right-footed shot off the post.

“The energy that he has is unreal, and it helps so much having someone that goes back and helps us going forward as well,” Zaha said of Gallagher. “Having him up there and linking up with him was amazing – it helps quite a bit.”

Zaha was a persistent threat for Palace all afternoon, with his duty as the lone striker to drive the team up the pitch and create havoc amongst City’s defence. Pep Guardiola’s side were reduced to 10 men when Aymeric Laporte brought down Zaha on his route to goal.

“I don’t know what the whole dispute was about because I was away, one on one with the goalkeeper, and he’s taken me out. That was a blatant red card,” said Zaha.

 


 

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