Crystal PalaceSport

Wilf Zaha showed maturity after Leeds United targeted Crystal Palace attacker in Selhurst Park stalemate

Patrick Vieira praised Wilfried Zaha’s maturity after Crystal Palace’s 0-0 draw at home to Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United.

The visitors attempted 54 tackles at Selhurst Park on Monday evening, 30 of which were successful.

Leeds targeted Zaha in the first half and fouled him four times during the 90 minutes.

Zaha had an opportunity in the second half to secure all three points for the Eagles but was denied the winner twice in quick succession by Illan Meslier.

The 29-year-old Ivorian made his 273rd appearance in the top-flight against Leeds, which saw him become the joint-third most capped African player in Premier League history. He is level with former Arsenal striker Kanu.

When asked how he thought Zaha handled the feisty encounter, Vieira said: “I wasn’t worried at all – he’s used to it. It won’t be the first time, and it won’t be the last time.

“He showed a lot of maturity and tried to concentrate on the game and play.”

Leeds only managed one shot on target in the second half as they were more than happy to grind out a point in their fight for Premier League survival.

When asked whether Leeds’ physical approach to Monday’s game was a compliment to his side, Vieira added: ”This is the way they play. When you look at their front four, they play with intensity and try to close down.

“I was really happy today because we moved the ball quickly enough to create those kinds of overloads on the sides, and we had a couple of good crosses. Our tempo of passing was good today.”

While the point kept Palace 14th in the Premier League, they are now nine points clear of safety with five games remaining of the season.

“We can’t control the results of other teams,” said Vieira on his side’s Premier League status being assured for next season.

“What is important is ourselves and our performances. I never talked about relegation or Europe, we always talk about the process of winning football matches. When we play like we did today, we will have more chances of winning.”



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