Pablo Zabaleta put in a good performance up against Wilfried Zaha, despite West Ham United’s eventual 2-1 loss at the hands of Crystal Palace.
The last time the Argentinian turned out for West Ham was against Newcastle United, and his battle against Allan Saint-Maximin was not pretty.
Therefore, it was suggested by FFC that it was a boost for Wilfried Zaha that Ryan Fredericks’ suspension meant the Ivory Coast international would likely be facing Zabaleta.
However, even if it wasn’t enough to earn any points for his team, the 34-year-old achieved some redemption with his performance.
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Having made 299 Premier League appearances, winning the title twice with Manchester City, it can be argued that Zabaleta has absolutely nothing to prove.
However, it would have been a shame for him to leave with a performance such as the one that was given against Newcastle.
Palace were looking to capitalise on this though, and especially in the early stages they looked to single out the veteran against Zaha.
While he was not perfect in these battles, he stood relatively strong, making six tackles throughout the game – the joint-highest of any player, alongside Declan Rice – even if he was dribbled past five times.
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His ageing could be seen as a weakness by some, but the experience he has gained was on full display at times, as he used his body to make things difficult for the 27-year-old.
This was also shown through his positioning, as the Argentinian made four interceptions and four clearances, which put him second-highest in each of these categories, behind Rice and Patrick van Aanholt respectively.
There may have been some who considered the right-back to be a weak link in the West Ham team, but he actually went on to receive the highest rating of any Hammers defender from WhoScored with 6.9.
He wasn’t able to get the points for his side, but Zabaleta did earn some redemption for himself at Selhurst Park.