Wilfried Zaha: I can’t wait for Crystal Palace-Brighton at Selhurst Park – it will be a much better match in SE25

Wilfried Zaha is already looking forward to the return with Brighton at Selhurst Park – with the Crystal Palace winger also critical of some social media posts by Albion fans in the build-up to Tuesday’s 0-0 draw.

The Ivory Coast international had a chance in the first half after Christian Benteke’s shot was saved but Mathew Ryan recovered to make it a double stop.

And Zaha reckoned the match – and occasion – lacked the same intensity as when the two clubs last met at the Amex Stadium in May 2013.

“There was the rivalry banter – but it was nothing like the play-offs,” he said. “It was like a normal game.

“There was no need for any feisty tackles, it was just two teams playing a normal game. We were not in sync with each like we normally are. That is why I look forward to playing them again at home. One thing from today’s game, the pitch cuts up as soon as you change direction. We’ll see how it goes at Selhurst.

“Not the best game. Scruffy. But we will take a point away from home. I cannot complain.”

But Zaha did feel frustrated at not taking his own chance. Palace are yet to score away from home in the Premier League this season.

“My opportunity in the first half, when I think about it now I have got a million things going through my head – what I could have done. But the ball came back to me so awkwardly. It did not come back to me at an angle where I could lift it over the goalkeeper. It came straight, so I just tried to get contact on it. That was the only proper chance we had.

“It was always going to be a tense game. I am looking forward to having them at home. I think it will be a much better game.

“We were saying we just needed one opportunity. It never really came. I just wanted one chance.”

Zaha was heavily booed by Brighton fans and seemed to come in for abuse whenever he was near the home crowd.

“It does not bother me anymore. Before the game I have got fans tweeting ‘I hope Zaha breaks his leg’. There is banter and then there is going over the top. But I do not mind it.”

Zaha is happy to accept his talisman tag. Palace did not manage a win until his return from a knee injury suffered on the opening day of the campaign.

His return saw him net in the 2-1 win over Chelsea that finally got points on the board for the South Londoners.

He has added two more goals in home draws against West Ham and Everton.

“When I was injured, watching the team with no confidence hurt.

“Being around the training ground everyone’s heads were down and I am know how good we are.

“If I can do what I do to drag us out of the relegation battle then I will because we are way better than bottom half with the players we have. They may call it a one-man team but I do not feel like it is a one-man team. We will get out of this as a team.”

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