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Ayew’s first Prem goal in 13 MONTHS sealed as Saints move into relegation battle

JAMES WARD-PROWSE strikes another deadly tackle to claim his place among Premier League greats.

Ward-Prowse headed home a superb free-kick to score 11 goals from his highest-flying career goals, with only David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Gianfranco Zola score more.

Zaha shot home in the second minute to give Palace the lead

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Zaha shot home in the second minute to give Palace the leadCredit: Getty
Ward-Prowse equalized with another epic free-kick

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Ward-Prowse equalized with another epic free-kickCredit: Reuters
Broja gave the Saints the lead with a skillful long shot

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Broja gave the Saints the lead with a skillful long shotCredit: Reuters
Ayew found the equalizer in the second half with his first goal in 13 months

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Ayew found the equalizer in the second half with his first goal in 13 monthsCredit: PA

It marks him as the undisputed king of today’s modern free-kicks, above some of the bigger names playing at flashy clubs.

But in the end both managers were disappointed because neither of them Crystal Palace or Southampton did enough to earn three much-needed points to get them out of the fight at the bottom.

There’s always an extra spice when the two meet thanks to the ongoing privacy war between Ward-Prowse and Wilfried Zaha.

Two years ago, the Palace striker was sent off after a good combination between the two, and only last season did the Ivory Coast star escape punishment when he poked his opponent in the eye.

So Zaha had more incentive to produce goods, and he wasted very little time doing it to open the scoring in two minutes.

Two Saints defenders intercepted the dangerous man as he strode into the box from the left, and that was all he needed to unleash a shot that beat Willy Caballero at the close.

Butland got the fingertips to take Ward-Prowse's free-kick but couldn't stop it

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Butland got the fingertips to take Ward-Prowse’s free-kick but couldn’t stop itCredit: Reuters
Ward-Prowse celebrated with its trademark golfing celebration

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Ward-Prowse celebrated with its trademark golfing celebrationCredit: Reuters
Ayew's attack ensures Palace avoids defeat against a packed Selhurst Park

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Ayew’s attack ensures Palace avoids defeat against a packed Selhurst ParkCredit: Getty

Palace should have doubled their advantage in the eighth minute when the Saints misplaced a corner, but James Tomkins was unconvincing with his shot and Caballero was able to save.

At this stage, the visitors were in attack, and midway through the first half they were lucky to escape defeat again when Zaha’s low cross knocked Odsonne Edouard away but the striker passed the ball wide and redirect the ball to the post.

Then the game changed from nowhere when the Saints scored two goals in the span of four minutes – and this time, Ward-Prowse scored.

Will Hughes fouled Armando Broja from 25 yards out, and Ward-Prowse did what he did best, hitting a superb free-kick into the top corner.

That’s 32nd-minute leveled was followed by four minutes after one second, as Broja dealt damage this time with a fierce low drive from long range after Conor Gallagher lost possession in his round.

From a dominant position, Palace fell apart as they struggled to make any passes along with an increasingly restless crowd.

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Until the 12thorder The second minute of the second half created another chance as Jordan Ayew nodded to let Edouard in but he was twice denied by Caballero’s courage.

But in the years 65order minutes they made the level, when Edouard was once again denied by the Saints keeper only to let Ayew track and cushion the home team from a tight angle in the far corner.

There was still plenty of time for either team to take all three points, but instead both worked hard and had to settle for a draw to at least drag them further than the bottom three points of the table.

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/17052676/crystal-palace-southampton-report-ayew-goal/ Ayew’s first Prem goal in 13 MONTHS sealed as Saints move into relegation battle

Ashley

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