Wilfried Zaha is slammed by pundits for his 'reckless' moments of madness after red card

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Wilfried Zaha is slammed for his ‘reckless’ moments of madness after being sent off at Tottenham – as Peter Crouch says he ‘stepped over the mark’ and Rio Ferdinand admits he plays better when ‘antagonised’

  • Crystal Palace endured a miserable afternoon after losing against Tottenham 
  • Wilfried Zaha handed the visitors a mountain to climb after being red carded
  • He twice tangled with Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez, with Jon Moss sending him off 
  • Peter Crouch took aim at the ‘reckless’ display during BT Sport’s live coverage
  • But Rio Ferdinand insisted Zaha plays better when ‘antagonised’ by supporters 


Wilfried Zaha has been criticised by pundits after being sent off for two petulant bookings during Crystal Palace’s clash against Tottenham. 

Palace had attempted to get the Premier League game postponed after being hit by several Covid-19 cases, but were unsuccessful and later found themselves trailing two nil at half-time, on what quickly unfolded into a miserable afternoon for them.

And Zaha made matters worse after being handed his marching orders in the first half, with the forward twice embroiled in incidents with Davinson Sanchez. 

Wilfried Zaha has been criticised after being sent off for Crystal Palace against Tottenham

Wilfried Zaha has been criticised after being sent off for Crystal Palace against Tottenham

The first altercation came when Zaha, approaching the centre back from behind, appeared to made contact late. 

Referee Jon Moss brandished the first yellow card, perhaps harshly, meaning the winger was then walking a tightrope.

Just 11 minutes later, the red card was pulled out. 

Zaha was shown a straight red card after two bookings, and was left shocked at the decision

Zaha was shown a straight red card after two bookings, and was left shocked at the decision

Palace were trailing by two goals when Zaha was dismissed, capping off a miserable afternoon

Palace were trailing by two goals when Zaha was dismissed, capping off a miserable afternoon

With Palace down and out after goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, Zaha lost his head and threw Sanchez to the ground out of frustration, directly in front of the baying home supporters.

To little surprise, Moss – the man in the middle – showed Zaha his second yellow, and then banished him to an early Boxing Day bath. 

Replays showed the Ivory Coast international looking bemused after the decision before walking off the pitch.

During BT Sport’s half-time coverage, both Peter Crouch and Rio Ferdinand took aim at Zaha’s moment of madness – although they also admitted that the 29-year-old has typically played better when on the edge. 

Peter Crouch labelled Zaha 'reckless', and says he shouldn't have been involved in the clashes

Peter Crouch labelled Zaha ‘reckless’, and says he shouldn’t have been involved in the clashes

Zaha threw Davinson Sanchez to the floor, with Jon Moss then brandishing his second yellow

Zaha threw Davinson Sanchez to the floor, with Jon Moss then brandishing his second yellow

‘It is reckless. You can say he’s gone down a bit easy there, but it’s just stupid,’ Crouch said. ‘He shouldn’t get involved with the first or the second one. 

‘He’s the type of player that wants to be involved in these kinds of confrontations. I feel like he plays better. At White Hart Lane, he got involved with Tanganga and from then on, he played better. He raised his game. 

‘He needs that kind on fire. But he’s just gone too far and stepped over the mark on this occasion.’

Ferdinand, meanwhile, suggested that Sanchez may have ‘exaggerated’ the fouls.

Rio Ferdinand believes that Zaha performs better when being 'antagonised' by supporters

Rio Ferdinand believes that Zaha performs better when being ‘antagonised’ by supporters

Harry Kane was on target for the high-flying hosts, and beat Jack Butland for Spurs' first goal

Harry Kane was on target for the high-flying hosts, and beat Jack Butland for Spurs’ first goal

‘Some players need to be antagonised a little bit,’ he said. ‘They love the fans to get involved and be against them a little bit. Wilf’s like that and he genuinely plays better.

‘But today, I think Sanchez has exaggerated both situations and unfortunately for Palace, Wilf’s got a red card off the back of it.’

Palace’s misery was compounded in the second half, with Son Heung-min also beating Jack Butland to continue the superb form of Antonio Conte’s side. 

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