Premier League

Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as late Zaha strike saves Eagles

Tom Gott
Zaha saved things late on
Zaha saved things late on / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
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Crystal Palace made life hard for themselves but had Wilfried Zaha to thank as they came from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Oriol Romeu's header opened the scoring early in the first half, but Ebere Eze pulled Palace level after the break. Just as it looked as though the points would be shared, Zaha struck from range to secure all three of them for the Eagles.

The Saints' opener came, predictably, through a James Ward-Prowse corner. The midfielder's ball was perfect as it dropped right on the head of Romeu, whose header wasn't perfect but was just too powerful for Vicente Guaita to keep out.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's men had to work hard to hold on to their lead in the first half. Conor Gallagher arrived late in the box and should have done better with a header, before Jean-Philippe Mateta's strike was well saved by the feet of Forster.

The Southampton stopper had to be alert once again on the stroke of half-time as Eze's corner was well met by Jordan Ayew. Forster punched it away to the head of James McArthur and kept out the follow-up as well.

While Palace looked to be on top for a large part of the first half, they very rarely seemed to threaten Southampton's goal and the Saints' back line was more than happy to soak up the limited pressure.

Palace came out hot for the second half. A penalty shout against Mohammed Salisu was waived away inside the first minute, before Mateta saw a good header well blocked.

Next up to block was Jan Bednarek, who stood tall to deny Jeffrey Schlupp after Ayew's cross was rebounded into his path.

After an hour of underwhelming knocking on the Southampton door, Palace finally got their breakthrough through Eze, who met Nathaniel Clyne's cross with a decent volley that went through Forster's legs.

Southampton didn't get forwards too often but saw a nice half-chance wasted by Stuart Armstrong. The substitute slashed at a long throw from Salisu and sent his effort blazing over the bar.

It looked like the game was going to end level, but substitute Zaha came to Palace's rescue with a low drive from range that clipped the inside of Forster's post en route to the back of the net to secure the victory for Patrick Vieira's men.


Southampton vs Crystal Palace player ratings

1. Southampton (4-4-2)

Oriol Romeu
Romeu headed his side ahead / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

GK: Fraser Forster - 6/10 - Generally decent but he'll be disappointed to have seen Eze's strike go through his legs.

RB: Kyle Walker-Peters - 7/10 - Some dangerous movement early on but had to focus more on his defending as Palace's influence grew.

CB: Jan Bednarek - 5/10 - Had a really tough time dealing with Mateta's physicality. A good block to deny Schlupp after the break.

CB: Mohammed Salisu - 6/10 - Took a nasty whack to the head in the first half but recovered well.

LB: Romain Perraud - 6/10 - Eze caused him a few problems but Perraud made sure nothing dangerous came of it.

RM: Nathan Redmond - 6/10 - The occasional dangerous dribble but didn't do it often enough. Summed up Southampton here.

CM: James Ward-Prowse - 7/10 - His typically excellent set-piece delivery was the difference for his team.

CM: Oriol Romeu - 7/10 - Did well to get to his header and put enough power on it to panic Guaita.

LM: Nathan Tella - 7/10 - Put in a massive shift at both ends of the field. Not always pretty but did what needed to be done.

ST: Che Adams - 5/10 - Did his best to make himself useful with his energy but his lack of output in attack was an issue.

ST: Shane Long - 7/10 - Gave Guehi all sorts of problems in the first half. His movement and link-up play were too much for the youngster.

SUB: Armando Broja (65' for Long) - 5/10

SUB: Stuart Armstrong (65' for Adams) - 5/10

SUB: Mohamed Elyounoussi (80' for Tella) - 5/10

2. Crystal Palace (4-3-3)

Patrick Vieira, Wilfried Zaha
Zaha came off the bench / ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

GK: Vicente Guaita - 5/10 - Will be disappointed with Romeu's header but his kicking was the biggest issue.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne - 6/10 - Didn't have the best of times up against Tella but came up with a big assist for Eze.

CB: Joachim Andersen - 6/10 - Some really excellent passing. More creative than a lot of Palace's forwards.

CB: Marc Guehi - 5/10 - Given the run-around by Long. Not the finest afternoon of his young career.

LB: Joel Ward - 6/10 - Did a decent job of dealing with Redmond but was a little clumsy in the tackle.

DM: James McArthur - 6/10 - Did a decent job of anchoring Palace's midfield and made it hard for Southampton to play through the middle.

CM: Conor Gallagher - 5/10 - Looked very uncomfortable at times. Got into the odd nice position but the composure he flashed earlier in the season wasn't there.

CM: Jeffrey Schlupp - 7/10 - Really energetic in midfield. Physical, yet graceful in the dribble. Would've had a higher rating if his touch had been better to convert his chance.

RW: Jordan Ayew - 4/10 - Not al lot went right for Ayew. Almost created a goal but that was more through good fortune than anything else.

ST: Jean-Philippe Mateta - 5/10 - Gave Bednarek a good fight but his impact in front of goal was disappointing.

LW: Ebere Eze - 6/10 - A lot of uncomfortable moments in the first half but wasn't deterred and got the rewards for his efforts in the second half.

SUB: Wilfried Zaha (64' for Mateta) - 6/10

SUB: Michael Olise (74' for Schlupp) - 6/10

SUB: Will Hughes (84' for Eze) - N/A

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