Patrick Vieira starts off perfectly as Crystal Palace manager with Wilfried Zaha scoring the winner against League Two Walsall in pre-season friendly
- In Patrick Vieira’s first game in charge of Crystal Palace, they defeated Walsall 1-0
- Wantaway Palace star Wilfried Zaha scored the only goal of the game in the first half
- Vieira made 11 substitutions during halftime to give several academy players playing time
New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira got his tenure off to a perfect start with a routine 1-0 win over League Two Walsall in the Eagles’ first friendly.
After finishing 14th in the Premier League last year and parting ways with Roy Hodgson, Vieira’s job is to bring some panache back to Palace and help them climb the table.
While Walsall would never become tough opponents, Vieira made a statement by naming a strong starting line-up, with Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew, James MacArthur, Nathaniel Clyne and Jeffrey Schlupp.
Patrick Vieira got off to a perfect start as the new Crystal Palace manager by Walsall. defeat
Wantaway Eagles star Wilfried Zaha (center) scored the only goal in the preseason exhibition game
Despite being friendly, Vieira mentioned a strong starting line-up, including Jordan Ayew.
Vieira called Vicente Guaita into goal, with Jack Butland in the second half.
Palace unsurprisingly dominated proceedings from the first whistle, Zaha a constant threat. Vieira will do everything in his power to keep the rowdy star at Selhurst Park next season.
Zaha demonstrated his worth by neatly linking up with academy prospect Rob Street before hitting the ball in just before halftime.
It was the only goal of the game, as the tone of the game changed after Vieira made 11 substitutions at halftime to give several youth academy players a chance to impress.
Vieira’s side played their first football match in 56 days and easily dominated the game
Palace Academy player Rob Street (center) stood out after linking with Zaha in front of goal
Despite the changes, Palace continued to control the game, with opportunities for Scott Banks, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and John-Kymani Gordon.
However, there was no sign of Michael Olise, Vieira’s first signing as Palace manager, who joined the Eagles for £8 million from Reading.
Fans may be disappointed by this as Olise is considered a very exciting prospect as she was named EFL Young Player of the Season last campaign.
Walsall provided a late scare when striker Kieran Phillips hit the crossbar late in the second half, but it was otherwise a comfortable win to start Vieira’s reign at Selhurst Park.
Palace’s Nya Kirby dodges a tackle – he was one of 11 changes Vieira made at halftime
Walsall made few chances, with midfielder Rory Holden tacked by Jairo Riedewald of Palace