Wilfried Zaha apologised for misconduct
Wilfried Zaha apologised for misconduct. Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has apologised and says he will “learn” from his sending off for applauding a referee in a 1-1 draw at Southampton. Zaha was dismissed for sarcastically clapping referee Andre Marriner, moments after being cautioned for tangling with James Ward-Prowse. “All I can do is apologise to the team and the fans for my red card because I could have cost us. “I will learn from it for sure.” Zaha’s first goal since September had given the visitors a deserved lead four minutes before the interval, but Ward-Prowse’s third strike in as many Premier League games earned Southampton a share of the spoils. Palace boss Roy Hodgson said he had “empathy” with Zaha, stating the 26-year-old had been “fouled a lot”. “His reaction to not receiving a foul when he was clearly pushed off the ball – obviously people do get frustrated,” said Hodgson.
“But I can’t condone, unfortunately, the applauding of the referee. That is something you can’t do.
“But I can’t condone, unfortunately, the applauding of the referee. That is something you can’t do.” Mamadou Sakho missed two glorious opportunities to score Palace’s second either side of Ward-Prowse’s equaliser, the former Liverpool defender having a header cleared off the line by Jan Bednarek before sending another powerful header over the bar. The two teams remain level in the table, four points above the Premier League’s bottom three. Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said before the game that his side are capable of looking “beyond” just Premier League survival after collecting 13 points from their eight league matches since the Austrian replaced Mark Hughes at the start of December. On this evidence, though, Southampton still have plenty of work to do to secure their top-flight status. Other than routine saves from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Danny Ings either side of half-time, Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita had little to do until Ward-Prowse’s late leveller.
The 24-year-old midfielder has played an integral role in Southampton’s recent revival under Hasenhuttl, and he delivered for the hosts again to rescue a point with a composed finish from Matt Targett’s cross. Saints threw caution to the wind in search of a late winner and Stuart Armstrong’s curling effort was palmed to safety by Guaita, but 10-man Palace held on to claim a share of the spoils. Hasenhuttl’s side were perhaps lucky to finish the game with 11 men after Jack Stephens’ lunging tackle on Andros Townsend in the first half, but the centre-back was not even booked.
Mixed evening for Zaha
Palace have impressed on the road in recent months, recording eye-catching victories at Wolves and Manchester City while running Liverpool close in a seven-goal thriller at Anfield. Remarkably, 18 of their 24 Premier League goals this season have come away from Selhurst Park. Zaha – who was making his 150th top-flight appearance for the club – had last found the net in a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield in mid-September, but the 26-year-old ended his barren run with a powerful finish past Alex McCarthy from the left-hand corner of the penalty area. The Ivory Coast international undid his good work three minutes from time, however, when he was needlessly sent off. Zaha was shown his first yellow card after squaring up to the Southampton goalscorer following an innocuous-looking challenge, and he was given his marching orders seconds later after clapping sarcastically in the direction of Marriner. The former Manchester United forward will now miss Saturday’s home match against Fulham through suspension.