Wilfried Zaha scored twice against his former employers as Crystal Palace thrashed Manchester United 1-3 at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.
The Ivorian made history by captaining his boyhood club for the first time competitively since his debut over 10 years ago.
Ghanaian duo of Jeffrey Schlupp and Jordan Ayew also played a part in pulsating match condemning the Reds to an undesirable start to their campaign.
Schlupp set up Andros Townsend for the opening goal in the seventh minute. Schlupp shrugged off Lindelof far too easily in the build-up to Townsend’s goal. Ayew would have had a second for Palace before the break had it not been for De Gea’s brilliant one-handed save.
The hosts struggled badly but the game slipped away from them thanks to Zaha’s controversial 74th-minute penalty.
Referee Martin Atkinson used the VAR TV monitor to decide Victor Lindelof had handled inside his own box. But, after David de Gea saved Jordan Ayew’s spot-kick, Atkinson ordered a retake because the Spain international had moved off his line. Zaha took responsibility for the second attempt and made no mistake.
On his debut, Donny van de Beek pulled one back 10 minutes from time but Zaha struck again against his former club to secure a deserved victory for Palace.
It was their biggest ever win at Old Trafford, the first time they have beaten United away from home in successive seasons and means Palace have won their opening two games of a top flight season for the first time in their history.
Zaha has scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2019 – his two strikes were his first goal involvements in his 10th Premier League appearance against former club Manchester United.
That it should be Zaha whose contribution eventually proved decisive was a further painful memory for United.
Zaha was Ferguson’s last signing as United boss, befitting as it was that the former manager was in the stands to watch his once feared team beaten miserably. But the Ivory Coast international never settled at Old Trafford and was sold back to Palace in 2015.
Zaha’s palace will now meet Everton, who have also won their opening two games, at Selhurst Park next weekend.
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