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Crystal Palace boss Vieira hits back at Phillips over Zaha 'dives a lot' claim: Leeds targeted him

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira has defended Wilfried Zaha after Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips' diving claim.

Palace and Leeds fought out a physical goalless draw on Monday, with Zaha the most fouled player on the pitch at Selhurst Park.

England midfielder Phillips told BBC 5 Live Sport later that referee Darren England had complained to the Leeds players over their treatment of Zaha, before adding that the Ivory Coast international “dives a lot".

But Palace manager Vieira, speaking ahead of his side's Premier League trip to Southampton on Saturday, responded to Phillips' contention by saying: “It's quite a strange comment I would say.

“You can watch the game again. Some of them were quite lucky not to get a yellow card because I think their plan was clear, it was to target Wilfried.

“Wilfried remained calm and concentrated on his game and he had a really good game.

“This is the way he plays the game. He's really good on the ball, he holds the ball, he fights for it and he's a really good dribbler.

“When you have those qualities you have to look at the other side's players who try to stop you and you have to accept it.

“I think Wilfried showed a lot of maturity during that game. He was really close to scoring that goal and overall I think he had a really good performance."

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