Wilfried Zaha claimed Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the ‘only’ defender who could have stopped him netting a late winner for Crystal Palace in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
The Eagles came from behind to grab a point thanks to an equaliser via a stunning Michael Olise free-kick in injury-time at Selhurst Park, but it wasn’t the last chance of a frantic ending in the Premier League encounter.
After a quick breakaway following a United attack, Zaha looked set to have a late scoring opportunity as he bore down on goal. Yet Wan-Bissaka’s track back and excellent scooped tackle denied him the chance to shoot at David de Gea’s goal.
Despite taking a point off the league’s most in-form side, Zaha seemed surprisingly dejected when conducting his post-match interview with Sky, with the Wan-Bissaka challenge evidently still on his mind.
“We nearly won it at the end,” the Palace attacker explained. “Any other player [and I’m in]. As I was running through I had a little look back and thought ‘oh my god, it’s Aaron’.
“He’s the only one that can do a scoop tackle. It was a great tackle, I can’t say anything about it.
“That was the difference today, a never-say-die attitude,” he added. “Every 50/50 going in with 100 percent and we got what we deserved.”
Wan-Bissaka’s continued excellent run in the team comes after a difficult first half of the campaign, and the full-back only played four minutes for United prior to the World Cup. But two separate injuries to Diogo Dalot have opened the door for a player who was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford, and Wan-Bissaka has taken the opportunity.
The 1-1 draw with Palace leaves United third in the table ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal, although Manchester City could move three points clear of Erik ten Hag’s side on Thursday should they beat Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad. United had taken the lead just before half-time at Selhurst Park thanks to a well-worked team goal that was finished by Bruno Fernandes, before Olise’s free-kick in the dying embers ensured the points were shared.