The Warmdown: Zaha volley earns all three points in season opener
(GettyImages - Richard Heathoote)

Crystal Palace fought out a 1-0 win against Southampton as the Eagles got off to a perfect start to the season, claiming all three points at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

With the signings of Eberechi Eze, Nathan Ferguson and Michy Batshuayi, the opening game was full of positive energy and everyone associated with Palace would've felt this when Wilfried Zaha scored his 50th league goal in his career.

Andros Townsend did brilliantly on the right-hand side to beat his man and clip a beautiful ball to the back post to find Zaha unmarked, who volley home past Alex McCarthy.

Southampton had a few chances of their own but Vicente Guaita was in inspiring form to deny the Saints and help Palace to a win.

  • Zaha is the main man

The Ivorian scored a landmark goal to secure a win for injury-hit Palace and keeps proving that he's the star man in SE25. 

He was a threat all game, had the Southampton defence on ropes, and every time he ran at the defence Zaha looked to beat a man. Zaha also had a goal controversially ruled out for offside in the second-half and was unlucky to not score right at the end.

No matter how many chances he missed, Zaha showed resilience and a big commitment in his attempts to kill off the game. Big teams may be after his signature but there's no doubt that he bleeds red and blue.

  • Kouyate is staking a claim for the centre-back spot

Many would've been surprised to see Cheikhou Kouyate partnered with Scott Dann instead of Martin Kelly.

However, Kouyate has impressed in pre-season when he has had to be a makeshift centre-back after the injury of Gary Cahill. It seemed as if that was his natural position after a dazzling display against the Saints.

Throwing himself into challenges, blocking shots and clearing every cross away from danger describes Kouyate's performance down to a tee.

Kouyate was the second-best player on the pitch behind Guaita, who saved Palace on many occasions. The Senegalese international was solid throughout and has more than earned a place on the team for Palace's upcoming game in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth.

  • Guaita is one of the best in the league

The Spaniard was Man of the Match for this game, even though Sky Sports picked Kouyate. Both players were brilliant but Guaita tips it because of his superb shot-stopping ability.

This was not the same Southampton side that we saw in Project Restart, but Guaita still had a number of important saves to make which ensured he preserved Palace's slender lead.

With a few key defenders missing, it was crucial that Guaita started the season well and he showed why his spot will never be in jeopardy with a glowing performance. Wayne Hennessey has his work cut out for himself if he is to match the consistent performances of Guaita.