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Zaha reveals pre-game captain’s message and penalty conversation with Ayew

September 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Wilfried Zaha will quite rightly steal headlines after his faultless performance against Manchester United.

A competitive captaincy debut, brace and leading performance to defeat his Goliath former side, the Palace talisman deserves every plaudit he gets.

Speaking with Premier League Productions post-match, Zaha was typically grounded, but also enthused by his side’s dominant performance.

He said: “Obviously we know what they [United] can do but we wanted to impose ourselves on the game. We’ve got so much pace and attacking threat in the team, we just wanted to utilise it from the beginning.”

But Zaha couldn’t reflect on the game without drilling down on its key moment: the VAR-supported penalty, which he scored in a retake after David de Gea’s illegal step forward.

He explained his conversation with the penalty’s first taker, Jordan Ayew, and what went through his head before the retake:

“To be honest, I didn’t know [what was happening] but all I thought in my head is: ‘Now, I’ve got the opportunity to take this penalty and score.’ I’m just glad I managed to do it.

“Obviously Jordan won it, and he asked me – he wanted to take it. I said: ‘No problem, go on and take it. You got the penalty, man, take it.’ He missed, so I thought: ‘Let me just make sure myself.'”

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Of course, Zaha made sure emphatically, and capped off a fine performance with a second goal to secure victory.

He described the overall game as “a proud day,” and elaborated on what being captain of his local club means after 10 years of service.

“Being captain for the side today, especially at Old Trafford, I’m buzzing we managed to get the three points.

“I feel like we’ve got so much quality in the team, we just need to put it on the pitch. Before the game, I was telling the team: ‘Believe in yourselves. Don’t be scared to play your game.’ Obviously today we showed it and I’m not surprised by the two games we managed to win.”

For free highlights and post-match reaction from this clash, head over to Palace TV either by clicking here or ‘Palace TV’ within the official app!