Wilfried Zaha played at something close to his best this afternoon against Stoke, terrorising thier defenders and getting the winning goal as his reward for a truly impressive individual display.
Allowed a far greater degree of freedom against Stoke than he has been for much of the last few weeks, Zaha flourished in front of an adoring Selhurst Park crowd. Joined in his attacking exploits by Jason Puncheon, Lee Chung-Yong and Fraizer Campbell, all of whom worked extremely hard throughout, we saw Zaha operating in his naturally best position all day.
Clearly energised by the space he was being afforded, Wilf took the game to the visitors from the very beginning, with his goal acting as a sign of what may be on the way from him, should he be able to control his nerves in front of goal as he does in training.
It’s a subject the academy graduate spoke about earlier this week, admitting that the adrenalin and expectation of the moment often overwhelms him when in a real game environment, but today, he was as composed as ever when faced with Stoke’s keeper in front of the Whitehorse Lane end.
Thankfully, his goal was enough to see us through to the fifth round of the cup. After scoring in both stages of the competition so far, he’ll be hoping to do the same all the way to the final.