Zah stars!


Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By James Nursey

ROY HODG­SON de­clared Wil­fried Zaha was in the same class as Mo Salah and Ra­heem Ster­ling af­ter his lat­est hero­ics.

Hud­der­s­field made the mis­take of wind­ing up the Crys­tal Palace dan­ger­man with a se­ries of crunch­ing chal­lenges.

But boss Hodg­son praised Zaha for keep­ing his cool be­fore ex­act­ing his re­venge.

He said: “It was a won­der­ful goal and an im­por­tant win. Wilf was lively through­out and de­serves enor­mous credit.

“I think he has to come to terms with get­ting fouled.

“The Man City play­ers like Ster­ling and Leroy Sane and the Liver­pool play­ers Sa­dio Mane and Salah – those play­ers who are quick and very good at run­ning with the ball, they get fouled.

“They have to learn to ac­cept this will hap­pen. They have also got to learn to ac­cept when you are play­ing away from home the op­pos­ing fans never see a foul.

“Un­for­tu­nately for Wilf he has a strong sense of jus­tice and doesn’t think peo­ple should treat him that un­fairly but he is learn­ing quickly.”

Zaha’s strike was a mem­o­rable way for Hodg­son to mark his first anniversary as boss.

This time last sea­son Palace were star­ing at the drop with zero points and no goals from five games. But they fin­ished 11th and the for­mer Eng­land boss looks set to avoid an­other rel­e­ga­tion fight this term.

Zaha quickly made his pres­ence felt at the John Smith’s Sta­dium where his pace and power stretched Town.

And his su­perb 38th-minute goal was wor­thy of win­ning any match af­ter a bril­liant run from out­side the box be­fore a deadly fin­ish.

Zaha, fum­ing af­ter be­ing fouled sev­eral times, went in the book for ex­act­ing re­venge on Florent Hadergjonaj.

But he soon fo­cused his ef­forts and tal­ents more con­struc­tively by curling a right-foot shot into the far cor­ner.

Zaha might have scored again shortly af­ter be­fore the break but his right-foot ef­fort was straight at Jonas Lossl.

That would have been ex­tremely harsh on Town, who were des­per­ately un­lucky not to level on the hour from Aaron Mooy’s well-struck right-foot vol­ley from the top of the box, which smashed the post.

Hadergjonaj’s follow-up was then scram­bled clear by keeper Wayne Hen­nessey.

Town still could have lev­elled in stop­page time when im­pres­sive mid­fielder Philip Billing went ag­o­nis­ingly close as Palace nar­rowly sur­vived.

Ter­ri­ers coach David Wag­ner, whose side are still search­ing for their first win, said: “Some­times you don’t get what you de­serve. “This was our best per­for­mance of the sea­son. “The only thing that makes me re­ally an­gry was we pre­pared the play­ers for Zaha.”

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