Wilfried Zaha is proud to see the likes of Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford being vocal in the fight against racial discrimination but believes social media platforms must do more to tackle abuse.

Crystal Palace winger Zaha has long been targeted by racist trolls online, revealing he was first sent abusive messages approximately 10 years ago.

With social media platforms growing in popularity over the past decade, it has become something of a regular occurrence to see top-level athletes sharing screenshots of abuse they have received.

England internationals Sterling and Rashford have both found themselves in such scenarios, while Zaha took similar action earlier in July – with a 12-year-old boy arrested on that occasion.

The current generation of players are taking a stand, highlighting abuse in hope of creating change, and Zaha is glad to be witnessing such action.

"Yes, we are [aiming to effect change]," he told CNN Sport. "I'm so happy when I see these other young black players just not having it anymore.

"I'm proud to see it because it's been too long. You can't just sit back and accept it. Enough is enough.

"How are you cheering me when I'm scoring? Then if I'm not doing what you're happy with, I'm a monkey again? How does that make any sense?

"So, I'm proud to see Raheem and Marcus speaking up and making a change."

But Zaha is convinced social media companies must take greater responsibility with respect to eliminating racist abuse.

"Even after the 12-year-old, I reported 50 accounts that I was racially abused from that week," Zaha added. "What happens? Those accounts get blocked then they just make a new one straight afterwards?

"With everything that we register for these days, we have to give some sort of I.D. Why is it not the same for Instagram, or Twitter? Because that's where people tend to say what they really feel about people, no matter how hurtful or racist it is.

"I've gone through my Instagram account and there's a section where you can block certain words.

"I've had to go and write racist words that I don't want to see on my account - the monkey sign, 'black this', 'black that'. All of it. I've tried myself because the social media platforms are obviously not doing enough.

"I know I speak for the majority of people going through this. I've seen Ian Wright and Raheem speak about it. It's not okay. Things have to be done. Words are not enough now. No more statements.

"You can register as a nine-year-old on Instagram and they [the company] wouldn't know. What age is it to register? Thirteen. The boy who abused me is 12. How does he even get on there? What checks are they making?"

Following the Premier League's resumption in June, the competition supported the Black Lives Matter movement, which gained traction after George Floyd – an African-American man – died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Club jerseys were adorned with a 'Black Lives Matter' patch, while all players and officials took a knee at the start of every match until the end of the season, but Zaha is bemused that such lengths have to be taken in 2020.

"We shouldn't have to put Black Lives Matter to show that we matter on the back of our shirts," he continued.

"It's 2020. Why is it even in dispute? We shouldn't still be sat here saying we matter and giving reasons why.

"So, yes, it's nice to see this effort now being put towards it, but I hope that pressure is sustained. There's no point me having a full-blown interview here and then going back to racial abuse on my phone again."

Juventus could be getting closer to landing Arkadiusz Milik, while Arthur may have played his last game for Barcelona.

After winning a ninth straight Serie A title, Juve are linked with several forwards.

They may have taken a step closer to bringing one in.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS AGREE TERMS WITH MILIK

Juventus have agreed preliminary terms with Napoli forward Milik, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

However, the report says Juve are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli, who are said to have expressed an interest in Federico Bernardeschi.

Milik, 26, has scored 14 goals in 33 games in all competitions for Napoli this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- One player heading to Juventus is Arthur. The midfielder was expected to finish the season with Barcelona, but Sport reports the Brazil international does not want to play for the LaLiga giants – who are still in the Champions League – again and wants to join Juve at the end of August.

- Manchester City are seemingly getting closer to signing Valencia attacker Ferran Torres. Goal and SPOX report Torres has agreed to a five-year deal with City, but the clubs are yet to agree to a fee.

- Coming out of contract at season's end, Willian was expected to leave Chelsea. However, Sky Sports reports the winger could agree to a new deal with Chelsea before the end of the week after a breakthrough was found.

- Chris Smalling's future remains uncertain. CalcioMercato reports Manchester United want €20million (£18.3m) from Roma for the defender, who has been on loan at the Serie A club. Tottenham are also reportedly interested in Smalling.

- Arsenal are seemingly still trying to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. Get French Football News reports Arsenal attempted to include Matteo Guendouzi in a part-exchange deal for Partey, but the offer was rejected.

- Bayern Munich could be set to make a surprise signing. Sky Sport Austria reports the Bundesliga champions are interested in Norwich City right-back Max Aarons.

- Wilfried Zaha looks likely to be at the centre of transfer speculation once again. The Mirror reports Crystal Palace are set to listen to offers for the attacker, with Everton said to be interested.

Manchester United rising star Aaron Wan-Bissaka says it was an eye-opener when he first faced Wilfried Zaha in training – as the pair prepare to do battle in the Premier League.

Former Crystal Palace team-mates Wan-Bissaka and Zaha are set to be on rival sides on Thursday when United travel to Selhurst Park.

And that means full-back Wan-Bissaka will be charged with stopping the Palace winger's mazy runs, which as he once discovered on the practice pitch is no easy task.

Wan-Bissaka was converted from a striker to a defender while a youngster with Palace, a gradual process that included a spell on the wing.

"Then it started from a training session when someone had to fill in at right-back," Wan-Bissaka told United's official website.

"Training against Wilf, I think he sort of prepared me for what it is like playing in the Premier League.

"I learned a lot from him. He's an unpredictable player and tests like that are ones that made me a better player."

Zaha has terrified defences in Palace colours, but a stint at United did not work out earlier in his career and he soon rejoined the Eagles.

For Wan-Bissaka, the long-term prospects look bright with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team, but the 22-year-old will always look back fondly on his time with Palace, who stunned United 2-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

He predicted it would feel strange to return to Selhurst Park, particularly given a near-empty stadium awaited, but added: "Palace mean a lot to me.

"They are the team that brought me through the system and, without them, I don't think I'd be here. They've given me chances to show what I am capable of doing."

Sheffield United will work with authorities to ensure the person behind racist abuse aimed at striker David McGoldrick is "brought to justice".

McGoldrick shared an image on Instagram highlighting a sickening message he received after scoring twice in his side's 3-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

He added the caption "2020 and this is life" with a speechless expression.

"As a club we will support David McGoldrick and will do all we can to find the perpetrator of this disgusting message," the Blades said in a statement.

"We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the person behind this post is brought to justice. This cannot continue. Something needs to change."

The abuse shared by McGoldrick came in addition to West Midlands Police arresting a 12-year-old boy after Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha received racist messages ahead of Sunday's match against Aston Villa. 

Zaha thanked authorities for the prompt action, as he insisted action and education was needed to tackle racism, not just condemnation.

"I would like to thank West Midlands police for their swift action in making an arrest, " he said on Monday in a social media post.

"People need to understand that whatever your age, that your behaviour and your words come with consequences and you cannot hide behind social media.

"It is important social media platforms do as they did [on Sunday] and seek out these individuals and remove them.

"This is not the first time I have received messages like this, nor am I the only player to receive messages like this - it happens every day.

"I want to thank everyone for the love and support but enough is enough. It is not enough to be disgusted by these messages I received and move on. It isn't enough to just say #notoracism. 

"We need action, we need education, things need to change."

West Midlands Police have arrested a 12-year-old boy after Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha shared racist messages he was sent ahead of Sunday's game against Aston Villa. 

Zaha posted on Twitter ahead of the Premier League fixture to show screenshots he received from an Instagram account bearing the handle @jackdolan_avfc. 

The first image showed a message that read: "You better not score tomorrow you black c***. Or I'll come to your house dressed as a ghost." 

Further abusive messages featured a mocked-up image of a man in blackface on a cereal box, alongside a vile racial slur, and a picture of a Ku Klux Klan rally. 

Zaha presented the images with the caption: "Woke up to this today." 

A statement tweeted by West Midlands Police following Palace's 2-0 loss at Villa Park read: "We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy. 

"The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken into custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won't be tolerated." 

Since the Premier League returned from its suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic, teams have worn 'Black Lives Matter' logos on their kits, with players taking a knee before kick-off in each match to show solidarity with the movement.

In a short statement on their official Twitter account, Palace said: "This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening.

"We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse."

Villa issued their own response, stating they intended to issue a lifetime ban when the perpetrator was identified.

They tweeted: "We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to @wilfriedzaha. We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with @CPFC.

"We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban."

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is offering free accommodation to health workers battling the coronavirus outbreak.

Zaha and Obi Williams co-own ZO Properties, which has around 50 apartments in London.

Former Manchester United star Zaha has urged NHS staff needing a roof over their heads while not working long hours due to the spread of COVID-19 to get in touch.

His business partner Williams told the Standard : "I've seen things on the news, I have friends who have family members who work in the NHS and my son was born in an NHS hospital and they were just amazing.

"If there is anything we can do to help obviously we would do it. Now it is time to stand up for everybody, anyone who can help it is time to stand up.

"Anyone who has empty rooms at all in London, they need to do something. They can't just leave their rooms empty whilst people are in huge predicaments as the whole country is right now.

"If you have any kind of accommodation available and empty for whatever reason, everyone should put their rooms up for key workers at this moment."

Ex-Manchester United duo Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs this week offered free hotel beds to health workers.

Inter are seemingly nearing an agreement with Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, reports say.

The Denmark international is out of contract at the end of the season and has also been linked with a move away from Spurs in January.

Inter are among the clubs reportedly interested in Eriksen and it seems the Serie A high-flyers are close to a deal.

 

TOP STORY – INTER IN ADVANCED TALKS WITH ERIKSEN

Inter are in advanced talks with Eriksen for a move ahead of the 2020-21 season, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira.

However, he reports Spurs are looking to sell Eriksen in January for at least €20million (£17m).

Amid uncertainty over his future, Eriksen has made just nine Premier League starts for Tottenham this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at San Siro, multiple reports suggest Inter are eyeing Manchester United veteran Ashley Young. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports Inter and United are in advanced talks regarding the 34-year-old.

- Georginio Wijnaldum has been linked with a surprise move from Liverpool, with his contract expiring in 2021. However, Sky Sports reports the Netherlands international is happy at the European champions and wants to stay as long as possible.

- Arsenal are looking to strengthen in January, but the Premier League club are considering loan deals. Goal reports Arsenal are unlikely to make any permanent signings this month, unless an opportunity is too good to turn down.

- In a Premier League relegation battle and with injuries mounting, Aston Villa have held talks with Milan over possible deals for forward Krzysztof Piatek and goalkeeper Pepe Reina, according to the Daily Mail. Villa lost Wesley and Tom Heaton for the rest of the season to begin the year.

- Wilfried Zaha still looks set to leave Crystal Palace. The star's agent is said to have held preliminary talks with Bayern Munich, although a move to the Bundesliga giants is unlikely, according to Sky Sports. The Mirror reports Zaha's new agent, Pini Zahavi, is also trying to get the attacker to Tottenham.

- There continues to be talk about a possible move to Tottenham for Thomas Lemar. The Independent reports Spurs are considering making a loan approach for the Atletico Madrid midfielder, with a £51million (€60m) option to buy.

With the January transfer window open across Europe, clubs will be checking their budgets to see if they can make additions for the second half of the campaign.

January is traditionally a tough time to do business with teams generally unwilling to allow stars to leave but Erling Haaland's switch from Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund shows major deals are possible.

Unsettled players around the continent may push for a chance at a new club as squads get shuffled, but who are some of the big-name stars who could be on the move this month?

We have picked out 10 players who have been strongly linked with switching teams during the January transfer window.


PAUL POGBA (Manchester United)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's recent insistence that Pogba would not leave United this month has been undermined by the latest twist in the midfielder's ongoing saga. After he was surprisingly left out of the squad for a New Year's Day loss at Arsenal, Solskjaer indicated Pogba would be undergoing surgery in a bid to solve his injury issues. An operation could make it less likely Pogba leaves Old Trafford in January, but the links to Real Madrid will not go away. For what it is worth, Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has said his client is staying at United - for now at least.


EMRE CAN (Juventus) 

Pogba's continued absence has left a hole in United's midfield, especially with Scott McTominay also out of action. Can is among the players being linked with a switch to Old Trafford after failing to make an impact at Juventus. The Serie A champions, who are reportedly interested in bringing Pogba back, are also said to be ready to listen to offers for Adrien Rabiot and Daniele Rugani with both players not regular starters under Maurizio Sarri this season.


JADON SANCHO (Borussia Dortmund) 

The biggest move of the January transfer window could involve Sancho leaving Dortmund with the England international having struggled with off-the-field issues despite fine form on the pitch during the first half of the season. Premier League sides Manchester United and Chelsea, who signed Christian Pulisic from BVB last year, are reportedly leading the race for Sancho, but he would likely cost in excess of £100million. Dortmund, having beaten off competition from various top clubs to land Haaland, are said to be willing to listen to offers for Paco Alcacer too.


EDINSON CAVANI (Paris Saint-Germain)

Another elite forward potentially on the move this month is Cavani, with PSG's all-time leading goalscorer struggling to get into the team after the successful signing of Mauro Icardi on loan from Inter. At 32, Cavani likely has one more big deal left in him with Atletico Madrid said to be keen - a swap deal involving France winger Thomas Lemar has been mooted. PSG are also reportedly ready to cut their losses on Leandro Paredes, who has made little impact since joining from Zenit.


JAMES RODRIGUEZ (Real Madrid)

Colombia star James has been on the fringes at Madrid since returning from a loan spell with Bayern Munich, making only four starts in LaLiga this season. Arsenal, Inter and PSG have all been linked with James, who has also emerged as a shock target for Everton. New Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti coached the 28-year-old playmaker at both Madrid and Bayern.


ARTURO VIDAL (Barcelona)

Another South American midfielder who could leave LaLiga this month is Vidal, who has complained about allegedly unpaid bonuses at Barca and hinted he might be open to a return to Serie A. League leaders Inter are said to be keen with Antonio Conte having worked with Vidal at Juve, where the Chile international previously won four successive Serie A titles.


JOAO CANCELO (Manchester City)

Right-back Cancelo only joined City last August but, after failing to usurp Kyle Walker as first choice in his position, the 25-year-old could be on the move again with former club Valencia and Bayern Munich both linked. Cancelo's departure would leave City even shorter of defensive options but if they can sell the Portugal international it could allow the defending Premier League champions to bring in another body elsewhere, though Pep Guardiola has ruled out signings.


CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN (Tottenham)

Denmark midfielder Eriksen is out of contract at the end of the season and has previously made it clear he is ready for a new challenge. Eriksen has found himself on the fringes under new boss Jose Mourinho and the club's notorious negotiator Daniel Levy may opt to cash in on the 27-year-old rather than watch him leave for nothing. Spurs, though, surprisingly persuaded Toby Alderweireld to commit to a new deal and it is not impossible Eriksen follows suit if the right club does not make an offer. Inter, PSG, Juve and United have all been linked and it has even been suggested Eriksen could be included in a deal to take Gareth Bale back to Spurs from Madrid.


DANI OLMO (Dinamo Zagreb)

One of Europe's most in-demand young players, Olmo will surely leave Dinamo sooner rather than later. The 21-year-old midfielder, who has already been capped by Spain, says he has an offer from Barca but the LaLiga champions face strong competition for his signature. Olmo is one of a raft of players being linked to Chelsea after their transfer ban was reduced on appeal, while Manchester United and Manchester City are among the other clubs reportedly interested.


WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Another potential Chelsea target is Zaha, who was said to be close to leaving Palace during the last transfer window only for an £80million price tag to seemingly scare off suitors. Arsenal and Everton were reportedly interested in the Ivory Coast forward, with Roy Hodgson accepting Palace would have to consider "serious" offers for the 27-year-old this month. Blues boss Frank Lampard has denied Zaha is on his radar, however.

Frank Lampard believes the past four fixtures have shown "the good and the bad" of Chelsea, meaning they have more work to do in the second half of the season.

The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion on New Year's Day, having beaten Tottenham and Arsenal away either side of a home defeat to Southampton in a mixed run.

Encouraged by some aspects of Chelsea's performances but concerned by others, Lampard said his side must now "remain humble" and "work hard" as he addressed reporters at a news conference.

"We've got work to do," he said. "The Christmas period has probably been a small showing of our season.

"Tottenham was a fantastic all-round performance; at Arsenal, showed great spirit and fight for a young group; Southampton, we struggled to break a team down and lost a game at home; and then today, from a game where we should have the mindset to kill it, because the opportunity was there in the first half, and we don't.

"It shows the good and the bad of us. And that shows that we must remain humble, we must work hard. We've had two great results over Christmas, but there's a lot of work to do."

Lampard bemoaned a lack of ruthlessness post-match at Brighton, but he added there was no doubting Chelsea's attitude, rather their dearth of quality.

"Sometimes you can excuse a bad period in the game of [being down to] a lack of fight or a lack of urgency, a lack of whatever," he said.

"Today wasn't. Today was [down to] a lack of quality on the ball.

"We had a situation in the first half where we knew the problem for them, we could find our full-backs easily, keep control of the ball easily. And we just decided not to keep doing that, not to keep doing the simple things.

"Then, all of a sudden, you're giving the ball away, and when you get opportunities to score, you're not taking them. If you don't do that at this level, you're not going to win games that you should."

Now able to make signings in January after their transfer ban was lifted, Chelsea continue to be linked with Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace, who reportedly have an interest in Blues man Olivier Giroud.

Lampard was not interested in discussing a hypothetical deal on Wednesday.

"I wouldn't talk about Zaha, and the idea of that deal [involving Giroud] is something I haven't even considered," he said. "I wouldn't talk about Zaha because he's not a player of ours.

"If we have to do business, we'll do it in the way that we see fit to try to make us better. That's behind closed doors, as opposed to just announcing who we might want to bring in."

Roy Hodgson is confident nobody at Crystal Palace is looking to sell star winger Wilfried Zaha in January, but he recognises "serious" bids would have to be considered.

Zaha was widely linked with moves to both Everton and Arsenal in the previous transfer window, with Hodgson acknowledging the player was unhappy when no transfer materialised.

Palace reportedly set a £100million asking price, which neither club would go to, with fellow suitors Chelsea serving a transfer ban at the time.

However, Chelsea's suspension has since been reduced, meaning they can make signings next month, and Zaha continues to be mooted as an option.

Earlier in December, agent Federico Pastorello told Sky Sports News the Ivory Coast international "deserves a new challenge and a top club".

Hodgson said ahead of a Premier League trip to Norwich City to start 2020: "Wilfried is not for sale. I don't need assurances.

"We are not trying to sell Wilfried Zaha, we have got to try to keep Wilfried Zaha.

"So, what assurances can people give us? I have the assurance that nobody at the club is trying to sell Wilfried Zaha.

"But, of course, you never know where bids are going to come from, and whenever there is a serious bid for one of your players, the board of directors will take it seriously."

Before any such offer arises, Hodgson's focus is on boosting a squad ravaged by injuries with new signings.

"[Zaha's sale] is certainly not something we are looking for, and by the same token, everyone at the club is aware that we need strengthening," the manager said.

"We need certain players. We need strengthening in certain areas where we do not have the cover or the competition that we need. I believe that we need to try to put that right, too.

"If you're asking me if I get assurances, you can't get assurances unfortunately.

"You only get people saying, 'This is what needs to be done, this is the next step for us going forward', and then hope that leads to players coming through the door who we want, who would make our squad stronger."

Mino Raiola holds all the cards when it comes to Manchester United's transfer plans.

United are interested in Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland, while Paul Pogba wants to reportedly leave Old Trafford.

With that in mind, the Red Devils may be forced to pick between the two.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND IN, POGBA OUT?

Manchester United are worried signing Salzburg striker Erling Haaland may force Paul Pogba out of the club, according to the Daily Star. 

United are interest in-demand sensation Haaland, who has also been linked to Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig

Haaland is represented by Mino Raiola, who is also the agent of United star Pogba – previously linked to former club Juve and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

United fear Raiola could throw a spanner in the works as doubts remain over Pogba's future in Manchester.

 

ROUND-UP

- Premier League champions Manchester City have identified Villarreal's Pau Torres and Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias as possible defensive reinforcements in January, reports The Telegraph.

- Express Sport says Chelsea are unwilling to meet Dortmund's £100million (€117m) valuation of star Jadon Sancho, who has also been linked to United, Liverpool and Madrid. Chelsea are believed to be keeping tabs on Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

Arsenal pair Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi could leave Arsenal in January, reports Football London. Turkish giants Fenerbahce have emerged as a possible destination for Ozil.

Rangers have made contact with out-of-favour Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud over a possible move to Glasgow, according to L'Equipe.  Coming off contract at the end of the season, Giroud has also been linked to Inter.

Paul Pogba remains on the sideline but not the outer at Manchester United.

The rumoured Real Madrid target reportedly hopes to leave Old Trafford in January after missing out on a move before the season started.

But it seems the Red Devils will resist all interest in their record signing when the transfer window opens.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BLOCK POGBA'S EXIT PATH

Five months after Mino Raiola confirmed his client's desire to depart, United remain resolute in their determination to keep star midfielder Pogba.

The 26-year-old failed to engineer a close-season exit and the Red Devils will again stand in the former Juventus star's way if he asks for a move in January, reports the Daily Mail.

Pogba has not played since September due to an ankle injury and will miss Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final against Colchester United because of illness.

LaLiga leaders Barcelona and Serie A champions Juve, where he spent four seasons, have been linked with Pogba since his return to United, while Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is known to admire the World Cup winner.

ROUND-UP

- Mikel Arteta is on the verge of taking charge at Arsenal and plans to appoint fellow Manchester City assistant Rodolfo Borrell as his number two in north London, reports the Mirror.

- Though the Gunners are in talks with Arteta, The Athletic claims Arsenal's former captain, Nice boss Patrick Vieira, remains an outside chance to win the job.

- Has Jerome Boateng played his final game for Bayern Munich? Suddeutsche Zeitung suggests the centre-back's agent Fali Ramadani recently met with Hasan Salihamidzic to discuss a January transfer, though the prospect of a mid-season move is complicated by Bayern's injuries at the back. 

- In brighter news for the Bundesliga giants, Bild says Leroy Sane has decided he wants to join Bayern in January. The Manchester City star was heavily linked with a switch from the Premier League to his native Germany prior to suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

- Diego Simeone wants to strengthen Atletico Madrid's defence with the signing of AC Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli, according to CalcioMercato.

- Chelsea could be left frustrated in their pursuit of Wilfried Zaha. The Daily Mail claims Crystal Palace will not budge on their £80million valuation of the 27-year-old winger.

A fine strike from Wilfried Zaha secured a 1-1 draw for Crystal Palace at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday.

It looked as though Neal Maupay's emphatic left-foot finish would be enough for Brighton to claim the bragging rights over their rivals at Selhurst Park and secure consecutive league wins for the Seagulls away to Palace for the first time since 1983.

Maupay shushed the home fans after firing home 54 minutes in to give Brighton a deserved lead after a first half in which they dominated and Palace could not muster a single shot.

Roy Hodgson's men responded in style, though, Zaha cutting onto his left foot in the box and blasting the ball high into the net past Mat Ryan to ensure the spoils were shared.

Palace move up to ninth in the table, a point above Arsenal, while Brighton are three points further back in 13th.

Watford ended a run of three successive Premier League defeats, but Hayden Mullins' brief spell as interim manager concluded without a victory as Crystal Palace held them to a 0-0 draw.

The Hornets confirmed Nigel Pearson as their new manager on Friday, but he watched from the stands as Palace left Vicarage Road with a hard-earned point.

A first half of few chances was only notable for Wilfried Zaha's display, as the Ivory Coast international was involved in a couple of flashpoints, seemingly angering his manager Roy Hodgson.

Watford dominated after the interval, with Gerard Deulofeu going close before substitute Ismaila Sarr enjoyed a lively cameo, failing to convert two decent opportunities.

Palace held on, and Zaha – who continued to get caught up in off-the-ball tussles – somewhat surprisingly managed to avoid earning a second yellow card, as Watford remain bottom and the visitors move above Manchester United into seventh for at least a few hours.

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