EPL

Vieira revels in sinking Spurs as former Arsenal captain steers Palace to 'perfect' win

By Sports Desk September 11, 2021

Patrick Vieira got one over on Tottenham as the former Arsenal captain savoured a London derby win with Crystal Palace over his old foes.

Gunners great Vieira, a key member of the 2003-04 'Invincibles' team, had seen his Palace side take just two points from their opening three Premier League games.

However, a thumping 3-0 victory over out-of-sorts Spurs showed what they might be capable under French manager Vieira.

The outstanding Wilfried Zaha rolled in a penalty to give Palace the lead in the 76th minute, and Odsonne Edouard's late double, after coming off the bench to make his debut, made it a comfortable win.

Tottenham had defender Japhet Tanganga sent off just before the hour mark, but their goal was already coming under siege and their attacking was barely a factor, Harry Kane making no impact.

"Today, everything was perfect," Vieira said. "The atmosphere of the stadium, the quality of the game we played. We took the three points and I'm really pleased about that.

"Wilfried is part of the leaders and when he is at this level that he was today, other players behind just follow him.

"There is a really good team spirit, players who are prepared to work hard because they want to do well for this football club."

Vieira told BT Sport he was "really pleased" for Edouard, a late transfer window acquisition from Scottish giants Celtic.

Edouard called it "a dream debut" and his boss concurred.

"The way he finished, it just showed he's a proper goalscorer," Vieira said. "I think he's a player inside the box who will take his chances. He's a goalscorer and I think there's more to come from him."

Vieira hopes star winger Zaha can kick on too and enjoy a memorable campaign.

Before this game, Zaha had faced Tottenham more often without registering a single goal or assist than he had any other side in the competition (12), but his penalty and his pass that set up Edouard's first goal put paid to that statistic.

Zaha hit a career-high 11 Premier League goals for Palace last season, and Vieira is looking for another healthy haul.

"I would like him to score more goals. I think he can do that," Vieira said. "Today, he was unstoppable, I think he worked fantastically well. Wilfried can score a lot of goals for us."

Zaha converted both penalties that he took in the league last season, and although Luka Milivojevic has a history of success from the spot, the time may have come for the Ivory Coast man to be Palace's regular taker.

"I've been practising," Zaha said. "I don't see why I can't take penalties so I'm happy I managed to take one and score for the team."

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