Crystal Palace have been dealt a huge blow.
The Eagles took on Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday, looking to move into contention for European qualification.
They began the game in ninth, though they were a staggering 41 points off Jurgen Klopp’s side.
It was perhaps going to be an uphill struggle to record a win, then, as they took on a team that have lost once all season, against Watford at Vicarage Road before the COVID-19 enforced break.
That task was made all the more difficult, however, by Wilfried Zaha’s substitution early in the first-half.
He was taken off after just 15 minutes and replaced by Max Meyer after sustaining what appeared to be a muscular injury.
Liverpool took the lead shortly after thanks to a sweetly struck Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick.
They went on to record a thumping victory, eventually running out 4-0 winners thanks to further goals from Mohamed Salah, Fabinho, and Sadio Mane.
Zaha has been a key member of Palace’s squad thus far this season, making 30 appearances prior to the clash with the Reds, scoring three goals and registering five assists.
He has not scored in the league since December, when he netted in a 1-1 draw with rivals Brighton & Hove Albion but he remains one of the first names on Roy Hodgson’s team sheet.
This injury, then, will impede Palace’s hopes of pushing for European qualification as the season draws to a close.
They are, though, still one point clear of 10th-placed Everton, meaning a top-half finish is within their reach.
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
Zaha offers a different threat to any other Palace player.
He is capable of taking the ball and running with it, while also beating men at will, playing important passes and, of course, scoring goals.
He has not quite been at his best throughout the 2019/20 season but hopes will have been high at Selhurst Park that he could have come out of the blocks firing following the season’s resumption.
It appears, though, that the opposite has happened and it is no fault of his.
Zaha will be missed by Palace as they look to build on the momentum generated in the first-half of the season, and manager Hodgson will be hoping that the issue is nothing too serious.
If it is, it spells danger for the club’s final seven games of the season, particularly with a tough clash with Burnley looming this weekend.News Now - Sport News