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Wilfried Zaha’s 97th-minute goal ends West Ham’s resistance at Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace were running out of time when the ball reached Wilfried Zaha on the left of the West Ham United area. The clock had ticked past the allotted six added minutes and Robert Madley was getting ready to blow the final whistle. Palace had seen the astonishing Joe Hart make save after save. They had hit the woodwork twice. They had given everything in their demented pursuit of an equaliser. West Ham had made so many blocks, so many last-ditch interventions. But with Zaha in possession, Palace still had hope.

The forward wriggled to the left before cutting back on to his right foot. One last chance, all or nothing. Zaha worked space for a shot and when he struck it, time seemed to stand still. The ball squirmed through the mass of bodies, through the mess of legs, and Hart was diving to his left. West Ham’s goalkeeper looked like he was going to get there. Instead the ball slithered past him and inside the left post. For a moment, there was disbelief and then there was earsplitting noise, taunts towards the away end, wild celebrations. West Ham had been 2-0 up at half-time and Palace were staring at the possibility of a ninth defeat in 10 matches.

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