Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha scored twice on his return to the team following illness and Christian Benteke also grabbed a double in the second half as they cruised to a 5-1 win over 10-man West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Sunday.
Ivorian Zaha marked his comeback from self-isolation after contracting COVID-19 by curling the ball in on his 200th Premier League start and doubled his tally by tapping home after a fine run from Eberechi Eze to seal the victory at The Hawthorns.
Benteke headed in his first goal of the campaign in between Zaha’s strikes, and added another late on.
“We weren’t scared to play today. It was harder for them when they lost a player, and we wanted to impose ourselves,” Zaha was quoted as saying by the BBC. “We have tremendous ability in our team. We just need to keep picking up points.”
Benteke, who made his first league start of the season, said he had no complaints about his lack of game time.
“The only truth is on the pitch. I’ve been working hard in the shadows and I took my chance,” he added.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson equalled one of the lesser-known Premier League records – most wins for a manager against his former teams – joining Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce on 11.
Palace, who now have 16 points from 11 matches to sit 11th, began the contest brightly and got the breakthrough as Zaha’s whipped cross after a quick free kick was turned into the net by West Brom defender Darnell Furlong in the eighth minute.
Furlong made amends later in the first half by setting up Conor Gallagher, who rolled in the equaliser for his second goal in as many league games.
But the game changed when promoted West Brom went a man down as Matheus Pereira was dismissed for kicking out at Patrick van Aanholt after a tussle, following the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
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