Zaha inspires Palace in win over Fulham

Wilfried Zaha
Zaha scored his fifth goal of the season for Palace

Wilfried Zaha scored and made another goal to inspire Crystal Palace to victory and inflict more misery on the Premier League’s bottom side Fulham.

Palace were on the back foot for much of the encounter, with the hosts having almost 70% possession, but netted twice on the counter-attack.

Zaha’s thumping strike was saved by Alphonse Areola but in the next move the Ivorian slipped a sublime reverse ball through to Jairo Riedewald to slot in the opener.

Fulham could have got back into the contest but Ademola Lookman twice hit the woodwork in the opening period, seeing an effort tipped onto the near post by Vicente Guaita and drilling a drive across goal which rattled the other post.

The visitors capitalised in the second half as Michy Batshuayi picked out Zaha for an easy finish at the back post.

Fulham were reduced to 10 men late on when substitute Aboubakar Kamara was shown a red card for raking his studs on the back of Ebere Eze’s leg, and skipper Tom Cairney’s stunning, long-range strike proved merely a consolation.

Palace made a huge leap up the table, jumping from 14th place to fifth, while Fulham remain rooted and stay in search of their first win.

Zaha causes havoc

Palace conceded late on against Brighton in their previous game and had to be content with a point, but the win over Fulham ends a run of three without victory.

After that home draw against the Seagulls, ex-Fulham manager Roy Hodgson took aim at his star man Zaha suggesting he could have contributed more and expects his player to “cause havoc”.

The former Manchester United man responded by doing just that against the Cottagers, showcasing dancing feet and superb skills to lead Palace to their third win of the campaign.

Zaha’s step-overs and darts forward often left Fulham full-back Ola Aina floundering, while one ‘scorpion kick’ pass to a team-mate was particularly outrageous, stretching out his leg and flicking the ball over his head.

And his menace turned into a match-winning contribution too, a delightful ‘no-look’ pass carved open the Fulham defence for Riedewald’s first Palace goal.

Zaha somehow nodded a free header wide from six yards out but did get his fifth goal this term by converting Batshuayi’s lay-off, although there was concern when he collided with the post in scoring.

He managed to finish the game and could have been on the scoresheet again in injury-time, but his effort from close range was ruled out for offside.

Problems for Parker everywhere

Where do you even start with Fulham?

Their six games played since returning to the top-flight has yielded just a solitary point from a possible 18 available and Scott Parker’s side look prime candidates for relegation.

They have netted just five times but Cairney’s brilliant, 95th-minute effort avoided the prospect of going their opening three games at Craven Cottage without a goal.

Their problems in defence are even more stark with three of the back four – Aina, Tosin Adarabioyo and Antonee Robinson – all signing this season and Fulham have shipped 14 goals, more than any other team in the top flight.

Fulham enjoy keeping the ball, they had 612 passes to Palace’s 331, but badly lack incisiveness in the final third.

Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was left frustrated with a lack of service and on-loan Lookman looked sharp at times, but did not get on the ball enough in threatening positions.

Had his two shots that struck the posts gone in, it could well have been a different story.

Sub Kamara was sent on to add more attacking threat but ended up being dismissed – referee Graham Scott initially gave a yellow card which seemed fair, but changed his decision after watching the replay on the pitchside monitor.

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  1. Squad number1Player nameAreola

  2. Squad number34Player nameAina

  3. Squad number16Player nameAdarabioyo

  4. Squad number13Player nameReam

  5. Squad number33Player nameRobinson

  6. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa

  7. Squad number18Player nameLemina

  8. Squad number10Player nameCairney

  9. Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek

  10. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic

  11. Squad number19Player nameLookman

  1. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid

  2. Squad number21Player nameReed

  3. Squad number47Player nameKamara

Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number31Player nameGuaita

  2. Squad number17Player nameClyne

  3. Squad number8Player nameKouyaté

  4. Squad number6Player nameDann

  5. Squad number27Player nameMitchell

  6. Squad number10Player nameTownsend

  7. Squad number4Player nameMilivojevic

  8. Squad number44Player nameRiedewald

  9. Squad number15Player nameSchlupp

  10. Squad number23Player nameBatshuayi

  11. Squad number11Player nameZaha

  1. Squad number3Player namevan Aanholt

  2. Squad number12Player nameSakho

  3. Squad number25Player nameEze



  • 1Areola
  • 34Aina
  • 16Adarabioyo
  • 13Ream
  • 33Robinson
  • 29Zambo AnguissaSubstituted forKamaraat 66′minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 18LeminaSubstituted forReedat 79′minutes
  • 10Cairney
  • 15Loftus-CheekSubstituted forDe Cordova-Reidat 74′minutes
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 19Lookman


  • 4Odoi
  • 12Rodák
  • 14De Cordova-Reid
  • 20Le Marchand
  • 21Reed
  • 23Bryan
  • 47Kamara

Crystal Palace

  • 31GuaitaBooked at 90mins
  • 17ClyneSubstituted forvan Aanholtat 72′minutes
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 6Dann
  • 27Mitchell
  • 10Townsend
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 44RiedewaldSubstituted forSakhoat 85′minutes
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forEzeat 76′minutes
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 11Zaha


  • 3van Aanholt
  • 7Meyer
  • 12Sakho
  • 19Henderson
  • 20Benteke
  • 25Eze
  • 34Kelly

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Fulham 1, Crystal Palace 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Crystal Palace 2.

  3. Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Goal! Fulham 1, Crystal Palace 2. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Harrison Reed.

  5. Foul by Ola Aina (Fulham).

  6. Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Attempt missed. Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

  8. Attempt saved. Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.

  9. Offside, Crystal Palace. Eberechi Eze tries a through ball, but Patrick van Aanholt is caught offside.

  10. Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ola Aina.

  11. Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eberechi Eze.

  12. Ola Aina (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Foul by Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace).

  14. Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) is shown the red card.

  15. VAR Decision: Card upgraded Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).

  16. Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).

  17. Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution, Crystal Palace. Mamadou Sakho replaces Jairo Riedewald because of an injury.

  19. Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ola Aina.

  20. Substitution, Fulham. Harrison Reed replaces Mario Lemina.

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