LONDON (AP) — Crystal Palace and Southampton, two of the Premier League’s draw specialists, could not be separated in an entertaining 2-2 stalemate at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
Wilfried Zaha fired the hosts into a second-minute lead but James Ward-Prowse — with another perfect free kick into the top corner — and Armando Broja turned the game on its head with goals in the space of four minutes before halftime.
Jordan Ayew ended his goal drought to equalize in the 65th minute and give both teams a point with their league-high eighth draw of the campaign.
Palace moved up to 11th place but failed to build on a 3-1 win over Everton on Sunday. Southampton is six points above the relegation zone.
Brazilian defender Lyanco made only his fourth start for Southampton and was at fault for the first goal, with a crunching tackle from Will Hughes on the center back winning possession for Palace. Odsonne Edouard found Zaha, who cut inside from the left and slotted a finish past Willy Caballero.
Jack Butland, who replaced Vicente Guaita in goal for Palace, was still waiting to be tested by the 30-minute mark but with their first shot on target, Saints equalized.
Broja was fouled by Hughes about 25 meters out and Ward-Prowse delivered a trademark curling free kick special that found the top corner in the 32nd.
It was Ward-Prowse’s 11th direct free kick goal in the Premier League, with only three players — David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Gianfranco Zola — having scored more.
In a similar fashion to the opener, Kyle Walker-Peters managed to dispossess Conor Gallagher and Broja needed no invitation to shoot from range, drilling a low effort which skidded off the surface and into the bottom corner for his sixth goal in all competitions this season.
Edouard was thwarted twice by Caballero just before the hour mark and then played a part in the equalizer. His shot was again kept out by the goalkeeper but Ayew was on hand to slot home from a tight angle and find the net for the first time in 45 matches for his club.
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