Cahill - Eagles not a one-man team

23 February 2021 20:57:27 GMTPlus11

Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill says Monday's 2-1 win over rivals Brighton at the Amex Stadium shows they can win games without their injured talisman Wilfried Zaha.

Recent losses at Leeds United and at home to Burnley meant the Eagles had tasted defeat in 18 of the last 20 matches that they had played without Zaha.

Roy Hodgson's men had played seven times across all competitions without their Ivorian international this season and had not scored in any of those fixtures, losing on six occasions.

But Palace's poor run without Zaha, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury, came to an end as they recorded a smash-and-grab victory at Brighton on Monday night.

Despite losing the shot count 25-3 and having only two shots on target, The Eagles ran out 2-1 winners thanks to an injury-time volley from Christian Benteke.

Jean-Philippe Mateta had earlier put Palace in front with his first goal for the club since arriving from Bundesliga's Mainz, before Brighton defender Joel Veltman had levelled things up.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the victory, Palace defender Cahill said it was important to show they can win without Zaha: "We've proved that wrong today. The stat obviously speaks for itself, such is his quality.

"But it's important that we're not just relying on one player because we have a couple of players who can fill in his role perfectly well."

Cahill added: "The result is the most important thing. It's a derby, it's one for the fans to enjoy. It was a six-pointer coming into this game so we're delighted that we've taken the three points."

The result sees Palace move up to 13th with Brighton in 16th, just four points above the relegation zone.

Palace host third-bottom Fulham on Sunday and are 3.50 for victory, with the Cottagers 2.20 and the draw 3.20.

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