Thursday 17 October 2019

Palace boss Hodgson salutes in-form Zaha

Zaha scored his fifth goal is as many games in a 3-1 victory for Palace.

Wilfried Zaha scored Crystal Palace’s third goal of the game (Nigel French/PA)
Wilfried Zaha scored Crystal Palace’s third goal of the game (Nigel French/PA)

By Eleanor Crooks, Press Association Sport

Roy Hodgson has doubled Wilfried Zaha’s goal target after the winger shone again in Crystal Palace’s 3-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.

Zaha was the architect of the opener, an own goal by Phil Bardsley, and then scored the third after Michy Batshuayi had doubled Palace’s advantage just after the break.

It was a fifth goal in as many games for Zaha after 18 matches without one and he was a thorn in Burnley’s side throughout, drawing numerous fouls.

Palace boss Hodgson said: “Wilf was good. He’s always good. He’s in good form at the moment. He’s a dangerous player to have to mark if you’re a defender when he gets the ball, because he’s an extremely good dribbler and he’s got not only dribbling skills, he’s got strength to add to that.

“At the moment he’s in good goal-scoring form. He promised me some time ago that he would score at least five goals before the end of the season and I think he’s already got those five, so we’re going to up that, we’re going to double it, he’s got to get 10.

“But he’s certainly doing what he needs to do and the same goes for Michy Batshuayi.”

Palace withstood intense Burnley pressure following Bardsley’s 15th-minute own goal and the result moved them three points clear of their opponents and eight above the relegation zone.

Hodgson said: “I’m very pleased with the win, it was a very satisfying performance. It’s never easy to come and win at Burnley, especially a Burnley in good form.

“We knew the type of problems they would pose, and they did pose those problems, but I thought we dealt with them extremely well.

“I was very happy with the way we defended throughout the game and, of course, at the other end when we were able to get hold of the ball we used it wisely and scored three good goals. Were it not for Tom Heaton making a couple of good saves we might have had another.”

The result made it back-to-back defeats for Burnley after their eight-game unbeaten run came to an end at Newcastle in midweek.

Manager Sean Dyche was unhappy with his side’s performance on Tuesday, but his feeling this time was more one of frustration at a failure to capitalise on a statistically strong display.

He said: “It was a strange game and the wrong outcome for us. A very strong first-half performance, and you come in scratching your head that you’re 1-0 down. Then second half you concede early and that’s a real blow.

“Really the measure of the game was they found the clinical moments and we didn’t. The other night I said quite clearly I didn’t think our performance was good enough. Today the detail wasn’t good enough.”

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