Crystal Palace fell to a humbling 4-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening.
Despite having some promising moments, the Eagles were second best in the capital, with braces from Harry Kane and Gareth Bale securing a thumping win for the hosts.
One silver lining for Roy Hodgson’s troops though was seeing Wilfried Zaha back in action, having been out with an injury since early February.
However, it was not the return that either his manager or teammates will have wanted.
Given a place on the bench at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Ivorian international was introduced at half-time with the scores level at 1-1.
It was thought that the £45m-rated winger could have given the Eagles some fresh attacking impetus but he, in fact, did the opposite.
Throughout his second-half appearance, he could only accumulate 16 touches of the ball according to WhoScored – only fellow substitute Jean-Philippe Mateta had fewer in the entire Crystal Palace side.
Even when Zaha received the ball, he was simply not able to do anything with it.
He only had one shot, which was off target, and did not provide a single key pass.
Zaha also conspired to lose the ball on multiple occasions throughout his second-half cameo, getting dispossessed twice and having another unsuccessful touch.
His passing also painted a damning picture of his poor performance. Racking up a horrendous passing accuracy of just 33%, which is by far and away the worst by any player on the pitch, you may have been forgiven for thinking that Zaha was indeed lining up for the opposing team.
To compound his teammates’ frustrations, the winger was also caught offside on three occasions in 45 minutes. Whilst this could be down to disciplined defending from the home side, it is of no consolation to the Eagles who saw their attacks abruptly halted when attempting to find Zaha, who seemed to be a bit lazy in terms of his discipline of reading the line.
His performance could be understandable considering his long lay off in recent weeks but Hodgson will surely be demanding more as his star man regains his match sharpness.
AND in more news, read more about the Eagles’ links with £22m-rated Mostafa Mohamed…