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I’m buzzing to be back – Wilfried Zaha marks Palace return in style

Xenia Sports – London

Wilfried Zaha said he was “buzzing to be back” after firing Crystal Palace to a stunning 5-1 win at 10-man West Brom on his return from self-isolation.

The forward, who had missed the previous two games after a positive coronavirus test, scored twice in Sunday’s demolition job at The Hawthorns.

Darnell Furlong’s own-goal opener and Christian Benteke’s second-half brace helped earn Palace their biggest ever away win in the Premier League, with Matheus Pereira sent off for Albion.

The victory lifted Palace to 11th, three points off the top five.

“I’m very happy. I’m always happy when the team’s winning and obviously I can add some goals as well. A good day in all,” he told the club’s official website.

“Obviously it wasn’t nice staying at home away from the team, especially those two games I feel I could have helped. I’m buzzing to be back and the team’s winning – that’s all I care about.

“Chris (Benteke) is as good as he always is really, but I feel like everyone’s making noise because he managed to score. So I’m happy for him. He’s worked hard, managed to get his opportunity and he took it.

“Ebere Eze is a quality player, he glides through people. It’s nice having someone on your wavelength and that’s a tricky player as well, because I know half of the stuff he’s going to do, so I just position myself to get the ball. It’s been a joy.”

Conor Gallagher had levelled for Albion after half-an-hour but, four minutes later, Pereira was dismissed for kicking out at Patrick Van Aanholt.

The controversial decision changed the game to leave the Baggies second bottom, but defender Semi Ajayi insists they have to move on.

“We can’t let a result like this derail our season. We know we weren’t good enough,” he told the club’s official website. “We will work hard to improve and hopefully we will be a lot stronger next week.

“I think it was a very even game before the red card. If anything I thought we were edging it.

“Going down to 10 men changed things massively, but I don’t think it should’ve had as much of an effect on our performance as it did.

“We need to put this result behind us because there’s a lot more to play for this season.”

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