Football

Pardew praises inspired Zaha

Alan Pardew has revealed his decision to leave Wilfried Zaha out of Crystal Palace's starting line-up against Bournemouth owed to a belief the striker lacked focus.

He praised the forward, however, for overcoming his desire to leave for Tottenham and inspiring their comeback in the 1-1 draw that earned Palace's first point of the season.

Zaha, 23, on Thursday asked to join Spurs but both the manager and chairman Steve Parish insisted they expected him to remain at the club.

Joshua King's fine 11th-minute finish gave visitors Bournemouth a deserved lead but Zaha's 66th-minute introduction inspired both his team and Palace's supporters, resulting in Scott Dann's stoppage-time headed goal.

"I made the decision on Friday (to drop Zaha)," said Pardew, 55. "I had to understand the pressures that were on him. He was terrific when he came on and he showed why the chairman made the statement he did (about Zaha staying)."- PA Sport.

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