Hodgson issues passionate Zaha defence amid diving claims

Date published: Monday 11th December 2017 10:47

Roy Hodgson has mounted a staunch defence of Wilfried Zaha, insisting the Crystal Palace winger is no cheat.

Zaha won two penalties as Palace grabbed a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with the Eagles extending their unbeaten Premier League run to five matches.

Luka Milivojevic converted the first spot-kick after Zaha drew minimal contact from Cherries goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, but Christian Benteke missed the added-time penalty that cost Palace two priceless points.

A fourth draw in five matches left Palace rooted to the foot of the table but also saw Hodgson move to defend Zaha against claims he had conned referee Kevin Friend for at least one, if not both, penalties.

“He doesn’t dive, that’s the simple fact of the matter,” said Palace manager Hodgson of Zaha.

“Apart from the two penalties awarded there were at least half a dozen other occasions where if you look at it with a fine-toothed comb, like everyone seems to want to do, there could have been more penalties.

“He doesn’t dive, so that doesn’t bother me.

“We haven’t had an awful lot of luck with refereeing decisions at home.

“And if you really want to talk about refereeing decisions I suggest you look at the first Jermain Defoe goal, where their player has two arms around our defender, stopping him moving.”


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