WHERE EAGLES DARE: The Palace captain scores his wonder goal
CRYSTAL PALACE finally put the ‘Wilfried Zaha hoodoo’ behind them when they beat Leicester City over the weekend. Eagles manager Roy Hodgson was pleased and relieved as the Eagles finally won a league game for over two years without their talisman, who was absent through injury.
He said: “It is quite nice to put that stat about Zaha to bed. We have played in games without him well and got a draw or lost. I don’t think Wilf’s name ever disappears from the agenda.
“People will be telling me now that of course you can win without him.”
The manager was also pleased with the clean sheet and said: “ We have had quite a few clean sheets. It was good to get one today. “It was especially pleasing because we lost our goalkeeper, which we did not know until yesterday and we also lost James Tomkins and Zaha.
“We really had to dig in during the final 30 minutes to make certain that we did keep a clean sheet. All credit to our keeper Vicente Guaita and the back four for doing that.
“Today we were lucky not to concede the equaliser. Guaita made a good save from Jamie (Vardy) whom I know from well from working together, and when it came back off the woodwork and back into the keeper’s arms it was good fortune.”
“They thrive on teams that go forward. We did not allow that today. I was hoping that as they threw more players onto the pitch we were going to get that break which would see us score the second goal.
“We ran into Harry Maguire and Wes Morgan who produced some exceptional individual defending on a few occasions.”
Palace captain Luka Milivojevic got the winner with a strike from 25 yards in the 40th minute and Hodgson added: “That goal was one worthy of winning any game which you have to be pleased about. He scores penalties and free kicks but he can also score from that sort of distance.”
Leicester boss, Claude Puel, said: “I think it was important to get a result. We did not start this game well. We had a lot of difficulty to find our play. We did not manage to find the ball on the pitch.
“We tried to change a little with Demari Gray playing behind Jamie Vardy. Our second half was better with our aggressiveness. We deserved to come back into the game.
“It was a fair result. We were unlucky. Our first 30 minutes of the game was too poor. We needed to fight today against this team. We did not have the right response in the first half.
“I think we need to continue to play and create more chances. We were unlucky with Jamie whose ball came off the keeper and onto the post. The game is about intensity and confidence. We need these first to play a full game and to give our best. “