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Slaven Bilic has admitted that the combination of Wilfried Zaha and Ebere Eze was too exciting for his West Brom team to handle after Crystal Palace’s stunning 5-1 win at The Hawthorns.
Palace is noted for its pragmatism under Roy Hodgson, but they put the Baggies to the sword in their own patch, with Zaha and Eze displaying almost telepathic understanding at times. Matheus Pereira’s red card for the first half left the pair with plenty of room to operate in the 45th seconds and they took full advantage of it, opening up the locals again and again.
The new partnership was consolidated when they combined for a delightful fourth goal, and Bilic was taken aback by how his team failed to cope with the threat posed by the duo.
“You can’t stop them from getting close to your last third, but then you should have enough players to defend, but it was too easy,” the coach told reporters. football, london. “They have quality, we knew that, and our plan was to stop Zaha and Eze from doubling down. But allowing them one on one … after the second it wasn’t even one on one.”
“If you give them that much space, it’s up to them how many will score.”
Zaha told the club website After the match, it was a “joy” to play with Eze, who has now firmly established himself as a starter on the Palacio side after his departure from QPR.
“He’s a quality player, he literally slips through the crowd,” Zaha said. “It is nice [having] someone on your wavelength and that’s also a tricky player because I know half the things he’s going to do, so I position myself to get the ball.
“It has been a joy.”
The Eagles host Tottenham at Selhurst Park, while Bilic’s Baggies travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle, provided the game is not postponed due to a series of positive COVID-19 tests at the Magpies.