Nick Szczepanik

Nick Szczepanik is a freelance sports writer contributing mainly to The Independent.

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Brian Kidd is all alone after David Platt walked
Zaha scored two against Brighton on Monday night

Crystal Palace chairman, Steve Parish: I knew Wilfried Zaha would not shirk

Wilfried Zaha could almost have been excused for taking it easy during the second half of this season, knowing that he will be a Manchester United player when it ends. But Steve Parish, the Crystal Palace co-chairman, who sold Zaha to United in January for £15m and then borrowed him back, knew that it would not happen. And Palace reaped the rewards on Monday evening when the 20-year-old winger scored the two goals against Brighton to set up a play-off final against Watford at Wembley on May 27. "We said to anybody who was interested: 'We just won't sell him unless you lend him back,' Parish said. "I knew he would come back and be himself. I know what Wilfried's like. Wilfried can sit in there and tell himself he's not interested, but once he gets on a football pitch it is just what he does. He clicks into gear and everything is natural. The more people kick him and the more they get at him the better he gets. What is he? Just 20? He's had the odd game which wasn't so great but I've never seen his effort waver for one minute."

Wilfred Zaha heads the ball past Brighton keeper Tomasz Kuszczak to give Crystal Palace the lead

Brighton 0 Crystal Palace 2 match report: Wilfried Zaha double puts Ian Holloway back on road to Wembley

Sir Alex Ferguson may have retired, but on Monday night he once more proved himself a good judge of a footballer when his final signing, Wilfried Zaha scored the two goals that took Crystal palace into the Championship play-off final against Watford at Wembley on May 27.

Wolves manager Dean Saunders says he is the right man for the job

Dean Saunders pleads his case after Wolverhampton Wanderers limp to exit

Soon after overseeing the limp defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday that confirmed Wolverhampton Wanderers' descent from the Premier League to League One in successive seasons, Dean Saunders explained why Steve Morgan, the owner, should stick with him rather than look for a fifth manager in 15 months.

Feeling down: Dean Saunders absorbs the reality of relegation yesterday

Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 match report: Wolves crisis as they hit 'rock bottom'

Dean Saunders says rebuilding starts now after second relegation, while chairman apologises

Southampton 0 West Bromwich Albion 3 match report: Three off as Fortuné completes the set of goal, assist and red card

Robert Madley will not forget his first Premier League match in a hurry. One moment the 27-year-old referee from West Yorkshire was strolling through an end-of-season game notable mainly for West Bromwich Albion's convincing arrest of their slide down the table. The next the elbows and studs were flying, the early baths were being run, and the red card came out three times in 12 minutes.

Peter Crouch today pushed former club QPR closer to a seemingly inevitable relegation as Stoke kick-started their own battle to beat the drop

QPR 0 Stoke City 2 match report: Harry Redknapp ready to unload his QPR stars after relegation is all but confirmed thanks to Peter Crouch

Harry Redknapp must have had mixed feelings on Saturday evening when he heard that his local team, Bournemouth, had clinched promotion to the Championship: joy for the club where he started his managerial career, and gloom at the prospect of returning there next season as manager of a relegated QPR team.

Southampton 1 West Ham United 1 match report: Andy Carroll continues hot streak to warm up a safety-first draw

There was never much danger before the game that Southampton or West Ham would be pulled back into the relegation struggle, but this result just about ensures another season in the Premier League for two of last season's promoted teams, both seven points above the bottom three.

Paul Rogers parades the trophy in 1999

FA Cup semi-finals: Paul Rogers caught with his pants down after Wigan's winner in 1989

Paul Rogers will be at today’s FA Cup semi-final hoping that Wigan Athletic can repeat their victory over Millwall in the teams’ previous Wembley meeting, when he scored the only goal of the 1999 Auto Windscreens Shield final.

It is now or never for Premier League promotion, says Brighton manager Gus Poyet

Gustavo Poyet, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager, has warned that the imposition of Financial Fair Play rules in the Championship from next season will create a two-tier competition – and that it is even more vital for his team to take advantage of their chance to reach the Premier League this season.

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