57 England caps couldn’t stop Manchester United’s hottest new recruit

Wilfried Zaha put in an outstanding performance against Brighton last night to underline his excellent potential.

Brighton and Hove Albion were supposed to canter to a playoff victory against their bitter rivals Crystal Palace in Sussex this evening but the truth cannot be further from that original estimation.

Ian Holloway got his tactics spot on and in the end Palace ran out deserving winners against their rivals with one man taking all the plaudits for the performance; Wilfried Zaha.

I think it is fair to say that David Moyes will be itching with excitement to work with many of the young players available to him at Old Trafford next season but perhaps none more so than the £15 million signing who arrives this summer.

His first goal summed up his overwhelming quality.

Brighton have recently earned a reputation for their outstanding attacking play but it is based on a solid defence; in fact the best in The Championship this season.

And it is little wonder when you consider the left side of their defence is occupied by two former Premier League regulars and England internationals. Between the pairing of Wayne Bridge and Matthew Upson there are 57 caps shared for the national team; making them a pretty fierce combination.

For most of Monday night’s game they looked the part; especially Bridge who was justifying his place in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.

That was until the 20-year-old snuck in between the pair and headed The Eagles into a 1-0 lead.

It is perhaps harsh to give any stick to Upson as it was really the quality of Yannick Bolasie’s delivery that did for him but Bridge; he just lost track of Zaha’s brilliant movement that again highlights his potential to one day do what Cristiano Ronaldo has and develop into a top class forward.

So after splitting between players with an abundance of top-flight experience and international football to fire a header past a former Manchester United keeper in Tomasz Kuszczak Zaha decided he was not quite done; not by a long shot.

Because when he picked up the ball in the penalty area and expertly turned Gordon Greer he had a touch of the Lewandowski’s against Real Madrid about him. Then he pulled the trigger; lifting the goalmouth out of the ground such was the ferocity of his strike. If it wasn’t in the way I think it is safe to say that ball would have entered French airspace eventually.

Regardless of events at Wembley in the play-off final Zaha will be playing Premier League football next season; and if he puts in another performance like this against Watford he will be facing his former team in the course of the campaign.

What did you make of Wilfried Zaha’s performance?

image: © jamesboyes

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