Patrick Vieira praised the character of his Crystal Palace players after they came from a goal down to beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s.
Wilfried Zaha came off the bench to score his 12th league goal of the season in stoppage time and earn the Eagles a first win in five games.
Palace looked to have rescued a point when Eberechi Eze scored his first of the campaign to cancel out Oriol Romeu’s early header, but a moment of magic from Zaha saw Palace leave with all three points.
It is the first time this season that Palace have won after going behind, and Vieira said: “I really enjoyed it because going in 1-0 down at half-time, we didn’t deserve that, and we came back in the second half a bit quicker in our passing and we managed to score those two goals.
“The game against Leeds was in our legs, especially Wilfried, and the plan was for him to come on and I think it’s important for players to understand that we are a team and everyone has an important role to play.”
Vieira was delighted for Eze, who has struggled to regain his place since returning from an Achilles tear in November, adding: “It was a long journey for Ebs and I’m really pleased for him because being out for seven months is really challenging.”
The result means Southampton have now won just once in 12 games and hopes of a top-half finish are rapidly fading for Ralph Hasenhuttl.
“When you see how we concede the first goal, how easily you give it away, we are in some positions at the moment lacking quality,” said the Saints boss.
“Not only for the players who have started, but also for the players that are coming on.
“Always when we are in the position to make this next step we fail, and maybe we fail because we are not good enough.”
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