Crystal Palace cruised to a comfortable victory over Sheffield United thanks to a sensational goal from Eberechi Eze as the Premier League strugglers’ resolve crumbled in a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
Jeffrey Schlupp’s early goal and a stunning solo run from Eze inflicted a decisive blow on Chris Wilder’s hopes of his side avoiding relegation.
Roy Hodgson’s side dominated proceedings for large parts of the game, and now find themselves 12th in the table, although they have played one match more than Arsenal and Wolves.
Inconsistency has plagued Palace under Hodgson’s reign and, as he approaches his 74th birthday, his side still remain very much a work in progress.
Hodgson has arguably transformed the Eagles into a solid defensive unit, although this has come under increasing strain since the start of this season.
However, we have to give credit where credit is due: Eberechi Eze delivered one of the finest performances we’ve seen in a Palace shirt for some time.
Eze brought a youthful exuberance and energy after he replaced Schlupp in the first half during his 16th appearance of the season thus far.
After arriving at Selhurst Park from Queens Park Rangers in the summer, the 22-year-old attacking midfielder has barely skipped a beat, and has hardly looked out of place at all alongside the likes of Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha.
In what can only be described as one of the most iconic moments of the season so far, Eze doubled the lead shortly before the half-time whistle blew, picking up the ball inside his own half and scoring from outside the box after dodging a few half-hearted tackles from Blades players.
But that’s not all – SofaScore graded the left-winger with a statistical score of 7.2 out of ten – which was higher than Schlupp himself – as he made one key pass, took one shot on target and completed one of his two dribble attempts successfully.
Eze, who earns £30,000-per-week at SE25, also helped Palace retain possession, as he only lost control of the ball on just six occasions, provided 17 out of his 21 passes (81%), and made one clearance as well.
This is the kind of performance Palace fans have come to expect from the England U21 international, but that shouldn’t take the shine from his heroic individual display.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace can sign their next Wilfried Zaha in Rabbi Matondo…