The Eagles coach reflects on the Ghanaian’s fine performance in Thursday’s league encounter with West Ham
With the match looking headed for a draw, the 28-year-old provided a moment of magic as he netted a sublime solo effort on the stroke of full-time to ensure a 2-1 home triumph at Selhurst Park.
He drove into the box from wide, cheekily beating three defenders in the process, before effortlessly dinking the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.
“The winning goal was just an incredible winning effort. You just have to take your hat off to Jordan Ayew,” Hodgson said, as reported by his club’s official website.
“He worked so hard up until that point and yet still found the energy, still found the strength to produce that pirouette on the edge of the box and find his way through the two defenders coming in to block him and then to show the composure to chip the goalkeeper – I was really happy with that goal. Not as happy as Jordan is, but happy!
“He’s scored five in a team that doesn’t score many goals. Five is pretty good by our standards because we’re not scoring that many at the moment, not for want of trying or for want of getting people in the box.”
The match-winner was not Ayew’s only major contribution to the game as he also provided an assist for Cheikhou Kouyate’s equaliser after Palace fell behind by through Robert Snodgrass opener for West Ham.
“He really did make the first goal by his run and his knock-down and then he scored that wonder second goal. So when I saw him walking off after doing his interviews with the television holding [Amazon’s] Man of the Match trophy, I thought: ‘that’s gone to the right man today’,” Hodgson added.
“He’s got ability. I don’t think anyone’s ever doubted that and we certainly never doubted it. He spent a year with us on loan and we were really happy with him.
“We knew all along that he’s got the capability of scoring those goals. I think his game’s improved, I think his confidence has improved as it should do – he deserves to be confident. He’s played a vital part for us this year.”
Ayew has scored five goals in 18 league games so far for Palace this season.