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  • By Alessandro Schiavone at Groupama Stadium, Lyon

Zaha scores worldie before missing crucial penalty as Crystal Palace and Norwich play out 1-1 draw



Wilfried Zaha scored a worldie on the hour-mark as Crystal Palace fought back to earn a share of the spoils after Teemu Pukki had given Norwich City the lead less than a minute into the game following a slick team move.


But only two minutes after helping Crystal Palace claw their way back into the game, the Ivory Coast international undid his excellent work when scuffing the penalty that would probably have ended his side’s run of four games without a win.


The penalty perfectly sums up Zaha as one is never quite sure what to expect from him. If one minute he is his club’s talisman, the next minute he can be their biggest source of frustration.


After looking every inch the top side at the start of the game, Norwich were second best on their return from the dressing room.


Manager Dean Smith’s resurgent side, who won four of their last five in all competitions, dropped deep and conceded possession and were lucky to come away with one point in the end.


But the Canaries started so well, racing out of the traps and laying down an early marker when Teemu Pukki got on the end of a neat team play to score the quickest goal in the Premier League this season after only 39 seconds.


Milot Rashica, who was arguably his side’s standout performer, broke forward at pace and picked out Adam Idah who laid the ball off to the Finland international with his back to goal.


Pukki scored his sixth goal of the league campaign with a composed low finish in off the post as the guests were all over the place defensively.


But their reaction came minutes later when Jean-Philippe Mateta slammed a low shot straight at goalkeeper Angus Gunn before Zaha dragged his shot wide.


But the hosts cranked up the pressure and were close to doubling their lead when the unplayable Rashica centred for Pukki but a Crystal Palace player was on hand to clear the danger.


Zaha, who played his first game for Palace since the trashing at Tottenham on Boxing Day, a game marred by a red card before he was off to the African Cup of Nations, again drove his effort just wide after cutting inside.


In the second period Norwich wanted to make another early statement of intent.


After assisting his teammates in the first half, ex-Werder Bremen star Rashica had a shot on goal himself from a long way out but his effort flicked off a Palace defender and out for a corner.


After being outplayed for 50 minutes, the Eagles finally went up a gear and Gunn did well to claw Schlupp’s dipping shot away as the Canaries were hanging on to their lead.


And whatever Patrick Vieira told his men in the dressing room, it worked, as his adventurous Eagles finally began to push Norwich back and get into dangerous areas.


On the hour-mark Zaha wiped away Norwich’s lead with a sumptuous curling finish, finding the top corner after cutting inside on his potent right foot.


But he was found wanting two minutes later when Tyrick Mitchell won a penalty after Max Aarons brought him down in the area.


High on confidence after his heroics 120 seconds earlier, Zaha stepped up but made a hash of it as Palace are anything but happy to come away from Carrow Road with one point.


For their morale, their confidence and their table.


Crystal Palace


13 Vicente Guaita- 2 Joel Ward- 3 Tyrick Mitchell- 6 Marc Guehi- 7 Michael Olise- 11 Wilfried Zaha- 12 Will Huges- 14 Jean-Philippe Mateta- 15 Jeffrey Schlupp- 16 Joachim Andersen- 23 Conor Gallagher


Norwich City


28 Angus Gunn- 2 Max Aarons- 4 Ben Gibson- 5 Grant Hanley- 11 Prezemyslaw Placheta- 17 Milot Rashica- 20 Milot Rashica- 20 Pierre Lees-Melou- 21 Brandon Williams- 22 Teemu Pukki- 23 Kenny McLean- 35 Adam Idah

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