Why Eberechi Eze was on penalty duty despite Wilfried Zaha being on the pitch in 4-3 West Ham win

Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze has rediscovered his best form and shape since Roy Hodgson returned to the club.
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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says he was pleased to see first-choice penalty taker Wilfried Zaha let in-form midfielder Eberechi Eze take the penalty he won in their 4-3 over West Ham United on Saturday.

In a game of many ups and downs, Palace held on to win the London derby and reach the magical 40 points mark which is widely seen as the tally required to preserve Premier League status.

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The beauty for Palace fans who were at Selhurst Park and around the world was that players like, Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp, and Eberechi Eze all found the back of the net in a truly special game.

Their defending on the day could have been better, especially from set-pieces where West Ham found so much joy and threatened a draw at some point in the game.

But with the Eagles picking up 13 points from a possible 18 since Roy Hodsgon’s return and with Eze, tipped to be the next big thing for the club showing all his skill and flair, the south London club is ending the season with flourish and promise.

Moods have lifted with improved results and even Wilfried Zaha was even kind enough to let Eze take the penalty he won himself, something manager Hodgson was not sure why it happened but was happy because it’s a sign of a growing bond within the squad.

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He told South London Press when asked why Zaha passed on the chance to take the penalty kick: “Eze’s good, we’ve got some good penalty-takers, (Michael) Olise’s a good penalty-taker and the penalty-taker at Wolves (on Tuesday), had we got one, would have been Luka Milivojevic, so we’re not short of them.

“But I still need to speak to them on Monday and find out what went on between them. I was pleased to see it.”

The Eagles have now gone above Chelsea into 11th in the league table, Palace have never finished above the Blues in Premier League history but given the form of both teams, you wouldn't bet against them doing it this season.

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