Respect Wilfried Zaha has for Seamus Coleman clear after his comments in front of referee
"His performance was outstanding."
Wilfried Zaha has had a stack of Premier League defenders on toast, this season, but Seamus Coleman kept him quiet all afternoon, at Goodison Park.
The Everton captain was tasked with containing Zaha during his side's league encounter with a Crystal Palace side that had taken seven points from the last nine available and were sitting 10th. Zaha had five goals and an assist, so far, this season and was being linked with January moves to either Tottenham or Arsenal.
Going up against 34-year-old Seamus Coleman, though, proved Zaha's undoing. He had a rare off-day as he got next to no change out of the Ireland defender.
"I think it's about 13 years to the day since his first game for Everton," his manager, Frank Lampard reflected after his side's 3-0 win. "His performance was outstanding.
"Zaha is one of the best one-v-one players in the league; a massive threat. We spoke about trying to double up on him and protecting that side because [Eberechi] Eze is over there, as well. In those one-v-one moments, Seamus' determination, his quality, everything... you can't understate what it means. To be 34, being injured [recently] and playing three games in a week, it's just a testament to his character, and his quality."
— 𝐓𝐎𝐅𝐅𝐄𝐄 𝐓𝐕 (@ToffeeTVEFC) October 23, 2022
Seamus Coleman sets Wilfried Zaha straight
There were two moments from the game that showed not only how Seamus Coleman had control of Wilfried Zaha, but the respect the Palace attacker had for him.
Three minutes into the second half, Zaha flew into the Everton box, after being played in by Eze. He took a touch with his right foot as he looked to fire a shot at Jordan Pickford with his left. Coleman had the situation read, though, and slid in to put the ball out for a corner, as Zaha fell to the ground.
The 29-year-old was adamant he had been fouled and made a beeline to referee Simon Hooper to demand the footage be reviewed by VAR.
Zaha may well have been convinced he was fouled, and he told an irate Pickford as much.
However, when Coleman approached him to insist he got the ball, that appeared to placate Zaha. That was the end of the matter, and Palace got set for their corner. TV replays did indeed prove Coleman had timed his tackle perfectly.
Later in the game, with Everton now leading 2-0 after Anthony Gordon's goal, Wilfried Zaha got himself into trouble for a foul on the Everton midfielder.
That sparked a furore and although Seamus Coleman was unhappy with Zaha for the foul, he sought to calm tensions by bringing Jeffrey Schlupp and Jean-Philippe Mateta. When Hooper finally calmed matters and brought Zaha over, Coleman was there to add some thoughts of his own.
Zaha ended up with a booking, while Coleman and Everton got the points, and a clean sheet, after a 3-0 victory.
Following the game, there was much praise for the throw-back performance of Coleman:
Seamus Coleman didn't give Zaha a sniff. Fitting programme front page today pic.twitter.com/EJJSnTxaFz
— Ray Healy (@blueray1978) October 22, 2022
Wilfried Zaha’s view from inside Seamus Coleman’s pocket today pic.twitter.com/YJR8gOrwG0
— Toffee Nomad 🌎 (@quepasakev) October 22, 2022
Huge credit to Seamus Coleman too.
Has always played Zaha well down the years and he dominated him again there. Looked a lot sharper today #EFC
— Matt Jones (@MattJFootball) October 22, 2022
34 year old Seamus Coleman pocketing Zaha today just made me smile so much. There’s life in that old dog yet I fucking love that man💙🇮🇪 best 60K the club ever spent
— Colly (@EoinKavanagh400) October 22, 2022
Up next for Seamus Coleman and Everton is an away trip to Craven Cottage, next weekend, to take on Fulham.
- Thomas Frank and Graham Potter interview each other ahead of Brentford v Chelsea.
- Jurgen Klopp takes legal action Man City 'xenophobia' claim.
- Graeme Souness reportedly set to quit Sky Sports at end of the season.