By 90Min
April 22, 2018

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has hit out at the referee's decision to book him for diving during his side's 0-0 draw against Watford, claiming that he should have been awarded a penalty rather than being penalised.

Speaking to Goals on Sunday, the Ivory Coast international was adamant that the officials were at fault in showing him a card, claiming: "Obvious we should have got a pen and I got a yellow card when I should have, but you've just got to deal with it."

Zaha was shown a yellow after going down under pressure from Adrian Mariappa in the penalty area, but referee Chris Kavanagh adjudged the 25-year-old to have been looking for a penalty.

The former Manchester United star also revealed that Watford's Mariappa even admitted the Eagles should have been awarded a spot kick.

Zaha said: “What was funny was after the game – even though it makes no difference – was that he [Mariappa] has actually gone: ‘I’ll be honest, Wilf, it was actually a pen.’

“I was happy that he admitted that, even if I got a yellow card when I shouldn’t have.”

When pressed on whether there is a set 'agenda' that he is a diver, Zaha was unequivocal. 

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

He continued: “I feel that there totally is. I see other players dive, but I don’t see people trying to get them banned the way they want to get me banned. I haven’t been banned so I’m clearly not diving.”

Kavanagh's decision not to award a penalty to Zaha could yet prove a costly decision too, as the Eagles are just six points away from the relegation zone after dropping crucial points against the Hornets. 

The Palace man has risen to become arguably the club's most important player, with his direct style of play causing chaos against defences across the league. Zaha began his career with the Londoners, and returned to them after a disappointing stint in Manchester. After a series of injury problems, the fiery forward is now back to his best, and will look to improve further next season.

Meanwhile, Atlético Madrid are looking to hijack the Eagles attempts to sign Getafe goalkeeper Vincent Guaita. The 31-year-old is set to become a free agent in the summer, and Palace were thought to be in the driving seat to seal the deal. However, Atléti are thought to have made Guaita a stronger offer, as well as the allure of Champions League football next season.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)