Alan Pardew heaped praise on man-of-the-match Marouane Chamakh after he inspired Crystal Palace to victory in a pulsating, goal-laden FA Cup tie at Southampton.
On a day of thrilling ties, this fourth-round clash did not disappoint as Palace twice came from behind to eventually triumph 3-2 at St Mary's.
All five goals came in the first half, with Graziano Pelle opening the scoring after nine minutes - only for Chamakh to draw parity moments later.
Scott Dann's own goal put Saints back in the driving seat, only for Yaya Sanogo to score his first goal for Palace before Chamakh rounded the goalkeeper to slot home what proved a 39th-minute winner.
Those goals were the Morocco international's first for the club in 12 appearances, capping an impressive return from a six-week injury lay-off.
"I thought he was the best player on the pitch today," Palace boss Pardew said. "When you think about (the) players Southampton have got, that's a real credit to him.
"He has been injured. The guys said to me, 'You're going to get a lift in the team when you see him play'. I've not really seen a lot of Chamakh in my time.
"He did particularly well at the back end of last year, but I don't think even then he will put in a performance as good as today. He really was very good."
Pardew also had praise for on-loan Arsenal striker Sanogo -"I think Arsene Wenger will be very pleased", he said - after what was a thrilling cup tie against his former club.
Sunday Indo Sport