Zaha helps Warnock mark Palace return in style

A file picture taken on February 17, 2013 shows then Leeds United manager Neil Warnock at an FA Cup football match in Manchester
A file picture taken on February 17, 2013 shows then Leeds United manager Neil Warnock at an FA Cup football match in Manchester (AFP Photo/Andrew Yates)

Newcastle (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha celebrated his return to the club with a stoppage-time equaliser as Neil Warnock began his second spell in charge with a dramatic 3-3 draw against Newcastle on Saturday.

Warnock's first act after returning as Palace manager in midweek was to sign Zaha on loan from Manchester United and the England international quickly repaid that faith on his debut at St James' Park.

The 21-year-old Ivory Coast-born star was a huge success at Palace before joining United in January 2013.

But he endured a miserable time at Old Trafford and spent the second half of last season on loan at Cardiff, with reports suggesting then-United manager David Moyes was unhappy with the player's attitude.

Warnock, hired to replace Tony Pulis, rubbished those rumours when he re-signed Zaha and he received an instant reward when the winger came off the bench to strike in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.

Dwight Gayle put Palace ahead after only 31 seconds before Daryl Janmaat equalised for Newcastle.

Jason Puncheon restored Palace's lead early in the second half, but Rolando Aarons equalised with his first Newcastle goal and Mike Williamson also netted his maiden goal to put the Magpies ahead in the 88th minute.

That set the stage for Zaha's strike, which gave Palace their first point of the season and left Newcastle still waiting for their first win.

Gayle had scored a hat-trick in the midweek League Cup second round win at Walsall and the former Peterborough striker needed less than a minute to mark his first Premier League start of the season with another goal.

Palace unhinged the Newcastle defence as Marouane Chamakh's low drive hit the bottom of the post and rebounded for Gayle to smash into the roof of the net from close-range.

Newcastle responded well however and their pressure was rewarded in the 37th minute when Netherlands defender Janmaat capitalised on Palace's failure to clear and stroked in his first goal since his pre-season move from Feyenoord.

- Flying start -

The Eagles had made a flying start to the first half and they were equally bright at the start of the second as Puncheon put them back ahead in the 48th minute.

It was an impressive strike as the winger took Yannick Bolaise's pass, flicked the ball up and crashed a fine volley past Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul from just inside the area.

Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback was in the spotlight after surprisingly earning his first England call-up for the forthcoming fixtures against Norway and Switzerland.

He was quiet for long periods, although he did create a chance with a clever pass to Yoan Gouffran, whose effort was well saved by Julian Speroni.

That was the start of Newcastle's revival as they pushed Palace back and equalised in the 73rd minute.

Substitute Aarons got it, the 18-year-old heading in from a corner only six minutes after coming on.

Newcastle kept pressing and though they had snatched the winner in the 88th minute when Williamson tapped in after Aarons' shot rebounded off the bar.

But Palace defender Damien Delaney headed a free-kick into Zaha's path deep into seven minutes of stoppage-time and he fired home emphatically.