5 duels won, 2 successful take-ons - did Zaha prove a point to Man Utd?

Zaha Palace 2

The Crystal Palace winger featured in a narrow contest against his former club Manchester United on Saturday.

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha played for the first time against his old club Manchester United on Saturday, and despite the Eagles going down 2-1 to the Red Devils, there was plenty for Zaha and co to be enthusiastic about.

Though he was Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing at Old Trafford, Zaha was only given 4 appearances to make a mark at United, all of which came under previous manager David Moyes.

The England international was deemed expendable by Louis van Gaal early in his reign last summer, with Crystal Palace signing their old player on loan for the season, and United's Dutchman agreeing to a permanent departure for the winger in the January transfer window. 

Inevitably, Zaha would have been eager to make an impression against Van Gaal and the team that never really gave him a chance - but how did he do?

  PositionTeamTotal Scoring AttTotal Att AssistGround Duel WonSuccessful Take OnsWas FouledPassing AccuracyTouchesMins Played
Wilfried Zaha MF C. Palace 1 1 5 2 1 71.43% 43 85

Zaha had a decent game before he was substituted in the 85th minute. When Palace had United on the ropes for much of the second half, the 22-year-old was a real threat alongside Yannick Bolaise and Jason Puncheon.

However, of the three, he was the least effective in terms of beating men, even though when he did so he did it in style. One stat of note was that no other forward player managed more touches of the ball for Palace than Zaha.

Much of his best moments in the game came with impressive wing play, as would have been expected from the Palace favourite.

There was an early bit of skill when he beat Antonio Valencia out on the left, and Zaha also made a great run late on where he nutmegged Evans and put the ball in the danger area from the right wing. 

Zaha's big chance came when a lofted cross found him unmarked at the left post, with the Palace man hitting a first time volley that he didn't quite catch right, and giving David De Gea a shot that was comfortable to stop.

Ultimately, the 2-1 loss to United would be hard to take, but it was clear from his performance that Zaha has plenty to offer the Premier League, and that he's probably at the right club to do so right now.

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