Sunday was rather a good day for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, with the 26-year-old having a hand in all five of the Eagles’ goals against Bournemouth at Selhurst Park.
In a game with little other than positional prize-money riding on it for either side, the Ivory Coast international played with a sense of freedom and verve which had Palace fans across the stadium purring, with his contribution for our fifth and final goal of the day undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.
Having provided the cross for the first, played in Wan-Bissaka in the build-up to the second, forced Jack Simpson into an error for the third and assisted Patrick van Aanholt for Palace’s fourth, Zaha’s run and pass for our fifth was a thing of pure beauty. Only 30 seconds beforehand, the academy graduate had fouled and got into a scuffle with Cherries’ midfielder Jefferson Lerma which saw him pick up a booking, much to the joy of the travelling supporters situated on the side of the pitch.
Wilfried Zaha was involved in all 5 goals today, but this was the pick of the bunch. pic.twitter.com/NCWevz3Dl1
— jay (@cpfcjay) May 12, 2019
In trademark fashion, WIlf cupped his ears towards them before promptly picking the ball up in his own half, evading a sliding tackle from Clyne and riding an attempted rugby tackle from the aforementioned Lerma before dinking a pass across the box for Townsend to sweep home. He celebrated the goal as if he had scored it himself before being taken off six minutes later to a standing ovation from all four corners of the ground.
There has been no concrete news regarding Zaha’s long-term Palace future but if yesterday is to be his last appearance in red and blue, he couldn’t really have done much more to go out on a high. Let the rest of the country continue to call him an “overrated diver”, in reality he’s the man that makes Palace tick and has been for years now.