Ex Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha revels in Champions League debut as he rubs salt in Man Utd wounds

Wilfried Zaha had hoped to play in the Champions League at Manchester United but that move never worked out a decade ago.
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Ex Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is enjoying a Champions League debut season to remember with new club Galatasaray.

The 30-year-old found himself on the scoresheet as the Turkish club delivered a sucker punch to Zaha's struggling former club Manchester United on Tuesday evening.

The forward bagged Galtasaray's first goal in the fixture, levelling the scores to 1-1 just six minutes after Rasmus Hojlund netted for the hosts. The visitors went on to win the fixture 3-2 after a second-half red card for Casemiro condemned Manchester United to another loss.

Zaha has long had his eyes on the Champions League and might have thought that he was to finally appear on the European stage when moving to Manchester United in 2013. However, a disappointing spell in the North West saw the pacey winger shipped out on loan as he never made an impact on the first team.

The Ivorian then returned to Selhurst Park and spent another eight years cementing his status as a club legend before seeking a new challenge in Turkey after his contract expired this summer.

Zaha was on target against his former club. (Image: Getty Images)Zaha was on target against his former club. (Image: Getty Images)
Zaha was on target against his former club. (Image: Getty Images)

Speaking to TNT Sports after the Manchester United win, Zaha was asked if his Champions League experience so far had been all he hoped for. He said: "It literally is. It's not even just the game, it's the build-up. When we were driving here on the coach we were playing the Champions League music - it's a different feeling. I've finally made it here.

"There's nothing like it. It's literally playing between the best and a chance to showcase my talent between the best. I feel like that's where it is decided whether you're good or not, so days like today are what it's all about for me."

Zaha didn't feature in the qualifying stages for the Champions League, ruled out with injury, but did play in Galatasaray's Group Stage opener against FC Copenhagen and picked up an assist in the draw. Next up for the side is a tricky meeting with German giants Bayern Munich as they look to reach the knockout stages.