Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has praised returning forward Wilfried Zaha for his pivotal role in his side's 2-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea. The Ivorian international ran the Chelsea defensive line ragged in the thrilling encounter, scoring the winning goal with a expert finish just before the stroke of half-time.
Speaking triumphantly after seeing his side claim their first points of the season, via Sky Sports, Hodgson paid tribute to his side for the unprecedented victory, singling Zaha out for special praise with his dazzling performance. An upbeat Hodgson stated:
"Him (Zaha) and Andros Townsend combined extremely well throughout the game. Wilf's pace and his desire to go past people with and without the ball, those are incredible qualities.
"All of us coaches want centre-forwards that can do that and I was most impressed that he played 97 minutes - if you include the stoppage time - and still he was running at the end.
"He chased a pretty-hopeless-looking ball at the end and we got something from it. That meant we kept the ball in their half of the field and those are the things you really appreciate as a coach."
Hodgson will hope that having Zaha back and firing on all cylinders will see his side rally against the odds to beat relegation this season, and a victory over the Premier League champions could prove an excellent springboard to achieve this aim. Palace will travel to Newcastle United next weekend, hot on the trail of a second Premier League win on the trot.