Wilfried Zaha scores winner for Crystal Palace

Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha grabbed the winner for his Crystal Palace side to beat Southampton 1-0 and kick-start their new Premier League season with a victory. 

Zaha scored the only goal of the game in the 13th minute when he volleyed in a cross from teammate Andros Townsend, and registered his 37th goal in the Premier League. 

The 27-year-old also scored again in the 82nd minute, but had the goal ruled out for offside by VAR. 

Zaha has on more than one occasion been linked with moves away from Palace, but Manager Roy Hodgson hopes to keep him at the London club. 

“He thinks it would be nice if some club came in and paid the market price. Let’s see what transpires, for me hopefully nothing,” said Hodgson after the match.

“I think he still hopes a big club comes in and takes him from us.”  

Zaha’s other African teammates – Ghana internationals, Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp, and Senegal’s Cheikhou Kouyate all started the game for Crystal Palace at an empty Selhurst Park home ground. 

But their 22-year-old forward Eberechi Eze, came off the bench as a substitute for Schlupp in the 81st minute to make his Premier League debut. 

The British-born Nigerian joined Palace in August from QPR on a five-year deal worth £19.5m. 

The game also saw a red card for Southampton defender Kyle Walker-Peters – following a foul on Palace’s right-back Tyrick Mitchell, but it was downgraded to a yellow after referee Jonathan Moss reviewed the incident using the pitch-side monitor.

Zaha and Palace will travel to face Championship side Bournemouth on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, before their second league fixture against Manchester United away at Old Trafford on Saturday. 


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