Zaha wasteful, Awoniyi unused as Nottingham Forest overpower Crystal Palace

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Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace 2022/23.
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Wilfried Zaha missed a penalty as Crystal Palace succumbed to a 1-0 Premier League defeat against Taiwo Awoniyi’s Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
  • Zaha missed a penalty
  • Palace unable to convert early chances
  • Awoniyi unused substitute

WHAT HAPPENED? Palace had a big chance in the third minute, but they were unable to capitalize on it -

Eberechi Eze nodded a Forest clearance to Zaha, and the Ivorian managed to create a slight space in between a number of defenders before he volleyed his shot over the bar.

Zaha almost broke the deadlock in the fifth minute after he caused problems for Forest's defenders. After a short corner, the forward got some space to pull the trigger, but Dean Henderson parried the shot away.  

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The Eagles wasted another chance to open the scoring in the 29th minute, when Eze managed to find a way past his opponents with some clever touches, but his powerful effort was not precise, as it flew wide.

Zaha failed to put the visitors ahead in the 40th minute as his dreadful and low penalty went wide.

He was awarded a penalty kick after he was brought down by Joseph Worrall, and after a VAR check, the penalty decision was confirmed. Zaha could not score despite the fact that Henderson dove the wrong way.

Jordan Ayew led Palace’s 52nd-minute attack, and after cutting in from the right, the Ghanaian sent his effort over the bar, wasting another chance.

After wasting numerous chances, the Eagles were punished when Morgan Gibbs-White scored in the 56th minute. Vicente Guiata parried away Johnson’s low cross, and Gibbs-White was around to slot home the rebound and register the opener.

Although the goal was initially denied for a supposed offside, the decision was overturned after a long VAR check.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With the win, Forest have moved to the 18th position as the Eagles rue wasted opportunities.

Meanwhile, Zaha has failed to score with three of his last four Premier League penalties (including both of his last two), while Crystal Palace have failed to convert 14 of their 62 penalties in the Premier League since 2013-14 - only Manchester City (21) and Manchester United (15) missed more in that time.

ALL EYES ON: Being a star player for Palace, Zaha will be under more scrutiny after the penalty miss.

His missed spot kick meant they failed to collect any points just before they go into the World Cup break.

THE VERDICT: In addition to the penalty miss, Zaha was silent for most of the game. He only recorded two shots, zero shots on target, and one key pass.

Nigeria international Awoniyi was not involved for Forest as he was an unused substitute.

WHAT NEXT FOR ZAHA: On December 3, Palace will be involved in a club friendly against Botafogo before they resume Premier League duties against Fulham on Boxing Day.