Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace 2022-23Getty Images

Zaha’s industriousness eases Crystal Palace to victory over Southampton as Aribo struggles

  • Zaha shows class in defence and attack for Palace
  • Ivorian forward the architect of Saints’ downfall
  • Aribo with another poor display for Southampton

WHAT HAPPENED? Zaha was not on the scoresheet but was involved in all Crystal Palace’s dangerous moves, including the one that yielded the goal.

The Ivory Coast international dispossessed Brazilian fullback Lyanco before weaving past his markers to square the ball to Tyrick Mitchell who found Odsonne Edouard in the box and the French striker made no mistake in the 38th minute.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zaha started on the left side of the Eagles’ attack despite his poor display in the same position in last weekend’s 3-0 loss to Everton. This time he was a menace for the Southampton defence with his movement and trickery.

The 29-year-old should have opened the scoring after 15 minutes when he made space inside the box for a shot, but his effort went just wide of the right post.

Playing out wide also meant Zaha was also tasked with tracking back and he won nine of his 13 ground duels with one of those catching Lyanco unawares before the Ivorian started the move that led to the home side’s goal.

Zaha had further chances in the second half as he constantly made space for himself in the area but the Southampton defender blocked his shots. He should have ended the game with a goal had Jordan Ayew squared to him when he was unmarked in the box, six minutes from time.

Meanwhile, Nigeria international Joe Aribo had another tough afternoon for Southampton as he had no impact on the game, having started upfront alongside Che Adams. The former Rangers midfielder found himself playing deeper and was only restricted to two crosses while managing one shot as his goal drought extended to five games.

ALL EYES ON: Nigeria prospect Eberechi Eze has been one of Palace’s top performers this season with two goals and as many assists but he had a quiet game and was substituted in the 63rd minute after managing three shots, one on target.

THE VERDICT: Zaha appears more effective playing in a central position where he is required to do less defensive work and this was on show in the final 15 minutes when he switched positions as he easily found himself in good areas only to be let down by poor service.

WHAT’S NEXT? Southampton take on high-flying Newcastle United next Sunday while Palace have a London derby against West Ham on the same day.