Damien Delaney admits what Crystal Palace players thought when Dimitri Payet struck his free-kick

Payet Skill

The Palace defender reveals he and his teammates were certain the Frenchman's free kick was heading over the bar.

Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney told reporters after his side's 2-2 draw with West Ham United that he and his teammates were certain that Dimitri Payet's free kick was going over the bar, as quoted by the Croydon Advertiser.

Payet scored the latest in a long line of superb free kicks to put the Hammers 2-1 up against Alan Pardew's side at Upton Park on Saturday before eventually being pegged back to 2-2 after Cheikhou Kouyate's contentious red card.

The French midfielder, who has been one of the revelations in the Premier League this season, has hit the headlines with a number of spectacular strikes from a dead ball situation, including a spectacular long-distance effort for France last month.

However, Delaney, who had given the Eagles the lead in Saturday's clash, revealed to reporters that he and his teammates thought they were safe when Payet struck the ball.

The 34-year-old said, as quoted by the Croydon Advertiser: "When he hit it as it went over the wall I thought that one's going into row Z, I swear to God.

"I think even someone in the wall shouted "see ya" to Payet. I think Wayne Hennessey probably thought it as well.

"Payet is like Bakary Sako; whatever they put on it, they get it down in time and it was a hell of a free kick – not much anyone can do about that."

Payet's deadly set-piece ability has received praise from around the country throughout the season, with his Hammers teammate Aaron Cresswell claiming in the wake of his latest striker that the former Marseille man may be the best free-kick-taker in world football at the moment.

The midfielder's goals and creativity have led the Irons to the verge of qualifying for Europe, although Dwight Gayle's equaliser on Saturday has left them three points off a Champions League spot.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch