Wilfried Zaha scored another beauty on Saturday, but his mind was on another necessary part of his game: His health.
[ RECAP: Huddersfield 0-1 Palace ]
“I feel like I’d have to get my leg broken for anyone to get a card,” Zaha said, according to the BBC. “That’s why I lose my head. Why am I getting different treatment from other players? It is every week. I don’t know what to say.”
Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were joint-most fouled players in the Premier League last season at 2.6 times per game, and that figure was up to 2.8 before Saturday’s 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
Not known as a terrible diver, Zaha would still like to see more calls and has been vocal in his displeasure. Now he’s taking it to the microphones.
“I don’t know. I have tried to speak to the referees. there’s nothing I can do any more. It is hard. It doesn’t make you want to go on a run because someone will come through the back of you and it doesn’t allow you to express yourself. At the same time, I have to let my feet do the talking which I did today.”
As for his wonderful solo goal?
“I had one thing in my mind when I went on my run. I don’t think we had many shots but I managed to connect with it well and scored.”
- Zaha scores on return from injury
- First win since opening day for Palace
- Huddersfield without a win this season
Crystal Palace secured a valuable away win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, with Wilfried Zaha‘s moment of magic the difference at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Zaha cut in from the left and rifled home a stunner to secure all three points for Palace, while Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy went close but his volley hit the post.
The win pushes Palace onto six points for the season, while Huddersfield remain on two points.
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On his return from injury, Zaha looked sharp early on as he couldn’t connect with Andros Townsend in the box, with the away side causing Huddersfield plenty of problems.
The Ivorian winger then scored a Goal of the Season contender.
He cut in from the left and smashed a beauty into the far corner to give Palace the lead in fine fashion.
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Before half time Zaha went close but failed to get power on his low effort, while at the other end Steve Mounie nodded just over.
After the break Huddersfield put Palace under plenty of pressure as Philip Billing fired over and the home fans got behind their team.
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Huddersfield then hit the post as Aaron Mooy sent in a superb volley as the Terriers couldn’t finish the follow-up.
As the game closed out gaps opened up and James McArthur fired over from a good position and Zaha had an effort blocked.
But Palace edged the victory thanks to their main man Zaha.
Wilfried Zaha is back fit and on his return he scored an absolute stunner for Crystal Palace.
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The Ivorian winger missed the defeat against Southampton before the international break and Palace have lost all of their last 12 games without him.
He delivered an incredible solo goal on Saturday at Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, which you can watch below.
Crystal Palace have lost their last 12 Premier League games without Wilfried Zaha, so, naturally, the news that their Ivorian winger is back in training is a huge boost for the Eagles.
Palace head to Huddersfield Town on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com) in what already seems like a massive clash. The Terriers have yet to win in the Premier League this season, while Palace have lost three-straight after their opening day win.
Speaking about the possibility of Zaha coming straight back into his team this weekend, Palace boss Roy Hodgson was cautious.
“It was Wilf’s first training session today. It was debated whether he should join in, but he was determined to,” Hodgson said. “The same with James Tomkins. We’ll have to wait and see how they react to tomorrow’s training session to see if they will be available. If we listen to our medical department, both are coming back as early, if not earlier, than should have been expected.”
Right, so if you have Wilf in your PL fantasy team I’d say he will have a 75 percent chance of playing but the sounds of things. So ignore that little yellow caution sign next to him in your FPL team. Zaha is that important to Palace that they may well take a risk to start him.
Yes, it’s early in the season for that, but we saw against Southampton before the break how the entire dynamic of their attacking unit alters without Zaha.
Christian Benteke, who has yet to score this season and missed a hatful of chances in the defeat against Saints, is out injured with a knee problem. If Zaha is fit enough he will come in for Benteke through the middle up top, with new signings Cheikhou Kouyate and Max Meyer both up to full fitness and they could start for the Eagles in midfield.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek knows the hurdles he must cross to see playing time at Chelsea, it’s just a matter of execution at this point.
The England midfielder told the media that he has kept in constant contact with Blues manager Maurizio Sarri both while at the club and over the international break, and has specific instructions on how to improve.
“I’ve spoken a lot with Sarri in the past couple of weeks and he’s told me I need to learn tactically and his ways in training,” Loftus-Cheek said ahead of Chelsea’s matchup against Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge. “The quicker I get that then the more opportunities I will get to play.”
Still just 22 years old, Loftus-Cheek spent all of last season on loan at Crystal Palace, and earned a spot on the England World Cup squad. He was fantastic over the summer as Gareth Southgate deployed him in a true two-way central midfield role, utilized in distribution and attacking progression. However, he has yet to earn a consistent place in Sarri’s Chelsea first-team.
“There are a lot of games coming up,” Loftus-Cheek said, “so I think there will be more opportunities coming for players that are not playing every week. But I’m not sure when I am going to play. It is just down to me working hard in training.”
The 22-year-old has 34 career appearances for the Blues, but only six of those have been Premier League starts, and he has completed the full 90 minute in league play just twice. Eventually, playing time may become more important than where it comes from. It’s plausible that Loftus-Cheek could go looking for minutes back at Crystal Palace, as the Eagles have an open domestic loan slot available. “Possibly, but it is still far away,” Loftus-Cheek said about the possibility of returning to Palace. “There are still a lot of games to play and I just have to see what happens. Right now I am at Chelsea and my focus is at Chelsea and learning at Chelsea. That is in the future and we will deal with that when it comes.”