Slaven Bilic has admitted the combination of Wilfried Zaha and Ebere Eze was too hot for his West Brom team to handle after Crystal Palace's astonishing 5-1 win at The Hawthorns.
Palace are noted for their pragmatism under Roy Hodgson but they put the Baggies to the sword on their own patch, with Zaha and Eze showing a near telepathic understanding at times. Matheus Pereira's first half red card left the duo with plenty of space to operate in the second 45 and they took full advantage, cutting the home side open time and again.
The new-found partnership was cemented when they combined for a delightful fourth goal, and Bilic was left bewildered at how his side failed to cope with the threat the duo posed.
"You can't stop them getting close to your final third, but then you should have enough players to defend, but it was too easy," the manager told reporters, per football.London. "They have quality, we knew that, and our plan was to stop Zaha and Eze by doubling up. But allowing them one-on-one...after the second it wasn't even one against one.
"If you give them that much space, it's up to them how many they are going to score."
Zaha told the club's website in the wake of the match that it was a 'joy' to play with Eze, who has now firmly established himself as a starter in the Palace side after his move from QPR.
"He's a quality player, he literally glides through people," Zaha said. "It’s nice [having] someone on your wavelength and that’s a tricky player as well because I know half of the stuff he’s going to do so I just position myself to get the ball.
"It’s been a joy."
The Eagles next host table-topping Tottenham at Selhurst Park, while Bilic's struggling Baggies travel to St James' Park to face Newcastle - providing the game isn't postponed because of a spate of positive COVID-19 tests at the Magpies.
Source : 90min