" Crystal Palace forward Zaha charged with improper conduct by FA

Crystal Palace forward Zaha charged with improper conduct by FA

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha faces the prospect of an additional suspension after being charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for his reaction to his sending off at Southampton on Wednesday night.

Zaha was dismissed after 87 minutes of the 1-1 draw for two yellow cards in quick succession – the first for tangling with James Ward-Prowse and the second for apparently sarcastically clapping referee Andre Marriner.

The one-match ban for his dismissal for two bookable offences, which rules Zaha out of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Fulham, could be increased following the charge.

The FA said in a statement: “Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has been charged following the game against Southampton yesterday (January 30, 2019).

“It is alleged his behaviour following a second-half dismissal amounts to improper conduct. The player has until 6pm on February 5, 2019 to respond to the charge.”

Midfielder James McArthur believes Palace are ready to cope with the absence of their talisman.

It took over two years, until last month, for Palace to win in Zaha’s absence but though he scored again at St Mary’s and was perhaps their most influential player, McArthur believes he can be replaced.

Jordan Ayew has started to perform, Connor Wickham and Christian Benteke have returned to fitness and Bakary Sako recently rejoined the club, meaning the Eagles now have multiple attacking options.

McArthur said: “We always believed that we could get results with anybody out.

“It was a thing from the outside that became really big. Obviously with the games he was out, there were hard matches in there against the big teams as well. He is obviously a big miss.

“He is one of our best players in the team and we will miss him. But we have got players in the squad that hopefully are ready to go and take their chance.

“Everyone is going to need to try and step up their game to try and push up that table.”

It was Ward-Prowse, with his third goal in three Premier League fixtures, who again scored for Southampton to secure their latest point as they continued to build momentum in their battle against relegation.

After impressing when first establishing himself under Mauricio Pochettino in 2014 his career had stagnated, but at 24 and under Ralph Hasenhuttl he is rediscovering his potential.

Fellow club trainee Matt Targett told their official website: “He’s on fire at the moment which is good.

“He’s worked very hard since the manager’s come in and he’s put new life into him. Long may it continue.

“It was a new opportunity for everyone when the manager came in, and to be fair to him he’s taken his chance very well.

“It was a massive point in the end. Palace made it difficult for us and we had to work hard for it.”