Wilfried Zaha Transfer: Top five memorable Crystal Palace moments

Wilfried Zaha has confirmed he is leaving London for Galatasaray in the Turkish Süper Lig ending his second spell at Crystal Palace. The Ivory Coast winger played 13 seasons in total for the Eagles, beginning in the Championship for four years before completing nine consecutive seasons in the Premier League scoring 68 goals at the top level.

There have been plenty of ups and downs in those two stints and here we look back at the 30-year-old’s most memorable Crystal Palace moments.

Wilfried Zaha: Best moments at Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace
Photo by Action Plus/Icon Sport

Playoff semi-final heroics

Wilfried became a cult hero at a young age as part of Ian Holloway’s side in the 2012/13 season when helped the South Londoners return to the Premier League. A regular throughout the season he had a crucial role in the Playoff Semi-final 2nd leg against rivals Brighton and Hove Albion. With top scorer Glenn Murray having suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the 1st leg the Ivorian carried the club on his shoulders as he headed home an opening goal before wrapping up the aggregate win with a classy finish on the turn to send Palace to Wembley. Zaha also won the penalty in the Final that was converted by Kevin Phillips to take them back to the promised land.

The Prodigal Son returns

The 2013 Playoff Final was Zaha’s last game for the club until he returned on a season-long loan from parent club Manchester United for the 2014/15 Premier League season. His first match back was a thrilling game against Newcastle United which ended with the then 21 year old rescuing a point in a 3-3 draw having come off the bench for the injured Dwight Gayle. Neil Warnock was left jumping for joy when Zaha unleashed a fierce volley in the 95th minute to earn his team a draw at St.James’ Park. It was a sign of things to come as Zaha helped the Eagles to a top half finish that season.

Saviour from relegation

The 2016/17 season was a tough one for Crystal Palace as they got off to a poor start which saw Alan Pardew sacked midway through and replaced by Sam Allardyce. This was in contrast to Zaha’s individual performances who would register a then record 7 Premier League goals with the seventh being the most important. With two games left they were still under threat of relegation and had a six-pointer against Hull City at Selhurst Park. There were nerves on the pitch and in the stands but Zaha remained cool to pounce on a defensive error inside three minutes to slot home and set the team on course for a 4-0 victory. That result secured their top level status while sending Hull City down to the Championship. Wilfried Zaha would be voted club player of the year for the second season running.

Wilfried Zaha memorable moment
Photo by PA Images/Icon Sport

Double at Old Trafford

Wilfried has aged like fine wine, steadily improving his goalscoring record as he matures as a player, and he produced a vintage display in Old Trafford in September 2020. Having previously not fared well in nine previous league games against his former club, Zaha bagged a brace in a splendid 3-1 win at the start of the season. It was the first time Manchester United had ever conceded two goals to a former player in their Premier League history as Sir Alex Ferguson's final signing reminded them of what they had turned down.

50th goal against Manchester City

Club legend status was secured during the 2021/22 season as Wilfried Zaha surpassed the 400 game mark with the club in September before becoming the first player to reach 50 top flight goals in October. That feat was all the more special as he did it at the Etihad against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in what was the Spanish coach’s 200th game. Not only did Zaha get things off to the right start by firing home a smart left-footed shot after six minutes but he was also responsible for Aymeric Laporte’s sending off as the defender brought him down with a professional foul in the first half.