Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha nets injury-time winner as Patrick Vieira’s Eagles come from behind to take all three points at St Mary’s
- Oriol Romeu put Southampton in front in the ninth minute at St Mary’s
- Eberechi Eze got Crystal Palace back on level terms by scoring on the hour mark
- Wilfried Zaha then netted the winning goal in the second minute of added time
- The result lifts Palace above their opponents in the Premier League table
Wilfried Zaha came off the bench to score a brilliant injury time winner for Crystal Palace at Southampton.
Left out of Patrick Vieira’s starting side after suffering a string of kicks to his ankles against Leeds on Monday, Zaha came off the bench on the hour and half an hour was enough for the Eagles’ star man.
His decisive moment came just after four minutes of added time had been announced, Zaha cleverly rolling away from Jan Bednarek and firing a low shot into the net off the post.
Patrick Vieira brought Wilfried Zaha off the bench in the second half at St Mary’s
Zaha proved to be the match-winner, scoring the game’s decisive goal in added time
He did his customary celebration after snatching all three points for the visitors
SOUTHAMPTON (4-2-2-2): Forster 6; Walker-Peters 7, Bednarek 7, Salisu 7, Perraud 7; Ward-Prowse 7, Romeu 7; Redmond 6, Tella 7 (Elyounoussi 80); Adams 6.5 (Armstrong 65, 6), Long 5.5 (Broja 64, 6.5).
Scorer: Romeu 9
Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl 6
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-3-3): Guaita 6; Clyne 7, Andersen 7, Guehi 7, Ward 6.5; Gallagher 7, McArthur 6.5, Schlupp 7 (Olise 74, 6.5); Ayew 6, Mateta 7 (Zaha 64, 6.5), Eze 7.5 (Hughes 84).
Scorer: Eze 60
Booked: Mateta, McArthur, Ward
Manager: Patrick Vieira 6
Referee: jarred Gillett 5.5
It was a big goal for Palace, earning them a first win in five, and significant one for Zaha, taking him to 12 in the league for the season, his best-ever Premier League tally.
Earlier, Ebere Eze netted his first goal since his recovery from a serious Achilles injury to draw Crystal Palace level.
Coming a week short of a year since his last it was also a notable strike for Eze and major landmark in his journey back to his best for the gifted youngster.
Eze was stopped in his tracks last season at the cruellest of times, on the day he received a text message informing him he was in England’s provisional squad ahead for the Euros.
It has been a long way back and patience has been required since his return to fitness as he did not walk straight back into the Palace side.
But this proved to be a doubly significant occasion for the 23 year-old – the first time he has started successive Premier League games this season and capped with a goal.
Eze’s effort was needed after Palace fell behind early on.
The first goal came after just nine minutes and, with Southampton the scorers, it was little surprise that there was a James Ward-Prowse involved somewhere.
Oriol Romeu put Southampton in front inside the opening 10 minutes at St Mary’s
He had a first vicious free-kick headed over but from the resulting corner Oriol Romeu’s header brushed the fingertips of Vicente Guaita and found the net via the underside of the bar.
After that both sides traded chances for the remainder of the first half and, considering there is not all that much to play for, you would never have guessed it based on the game’s occasional feistiness.
Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jan Bednarek clashed off the ball and both earned bookings though it was sufficiently aggressive for the incident to warrant a VAR check.
Romeu and Jeffrey Schlupp required a talking to from referee Jarred Gillett, Jordan Ayew flew in on Kyle Walker-Peters though, fortunately for the England defender, only made contact with the ball.
Gillett’s decision to book Joel Ward, meanwhile, was one of the more popular decision due to the Palace full-back’s Portsmouth connections. He was perhaps fortunate to not even concede a foul earlier on for tripping Shane Long.
Conor Gallagher had a good chance to bring Palace back on level terms in the first half
Fraser Forster was called into action on a number of occasions as Palace pushed for a goal
Ebere Eze did find a way through on the hour mark to make it 1-1 and set up an exciting finish
In terms of further chances, Conor Gallagher ghosted into the box but headed Schlupp’s cross wide. Schlupp was also involved before Mateta saw his near-post effort repelled by Fraser Forster and his right foot.
Forster also pawed away Ayew’s flick header from Ebere Eze’s corner before plucking McArthur’s follow up out of the air.
Ward-Prowse’s dead-ball skills continued to be a concern for Palace though Guaita was only called on to hold long-range efforts from the lively Nathan Tella and Che Adams.
Both sides continued to ask questions after the break. Ayew worked his way to the byline, saw his cross pushed out by Forster and Schlupp unable to turn in the loose ball.
Ralph Hasenhuttl was left frustrated as his team threw away their first half advantage
Long’s attempt was then goalbound until Marc Guehi flung himself in the way of it.
But Palace were in the ascendancy and when their equaliser arrived on the hour there was a growing sense it was coming.
As Zaha prepared to enter the fray, Ayew sent former Saint Nathaniel Clyne away down the right and his deep cross was half-volleyed in first-time by Eze, the ball squeezing underneath Forster’s body and in.
Palace then had good grounds for a penalty when Gallagher skilfully spun past Mohammed Salisu and was then tripped by Romeu when he lunged in but Gillett ignored his appeals.
After that, the game appeared to be drifting towards a draw but, with minutes left on the clock, there was still time for Zaha’s match-winning intervention.
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