Sheffield United: Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has no complaints about Wilfried Zaha treatment
Roy Hodgson refused to be drawn into a debate about Sheffield United's treatment of Wilfried Zaha during this afternoon's match at Bramall Lane, rejecting suggestions the Ivory Coast international was the subject of an intimidation campaign by Chris Wilder's players.
Zaha, reportedly valued at around £80m by the Londoners, cut a frustrated figure during long periods of a match which United won thanks to John Lundstram's second-half goal.
Although the player himself complained on several occasions that he was being strong-armed into submission - exchanging words with Wilder on the touchline moments before the interval, Hodgson insisted there had been nothing sinister about the tactics United employed to combat the threat posed by the 26-year-old.
"I'm not going to take away, as Sheffield United make their return to the Premier League at home after a long time away, by talking about refereeing and free-kicks," Hodgson said. "I thought we got a lot of free-kicks.
"By and large, I thought the referee did well. I've got no criticism of the referee's performance at all. If you talk about protection, when our players got fouled, they got a free-kick."
Although Hodgson did not express any reservations about the performance of David Coote and his assistants, he struck a less conciliatory tone when analysing Palace's response to Lundstram's effort.
"We didn't get going (after half-time) and made it easy, or easier, for them to protect their lead," he continued. "I thought we were more than worth our zero zero going in, but then we lost our composure in terms of our passing.
"I'm sure Chris will be happy because Sheffield United did what they had to do. I can't say the same, I can't be as happy, because clearly we didn't."