Watford vs Crystal Palace final score: Eagles ease past Hornets
Crystal Palace eased past Watford at Vicarage Road as Wilfried Zaha starred to boost their hopes of a top 10 finish.
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Palace dominated throughout as Patrick Vieira’s side took the lead via Jean-Phillipe Mateta’s deflected effort. Moussa Sissoko equalized for Watford but Conor Gallagher’s fine finish just before half time put Palace ahead.
Wilfried Zaha then smashed home two superb goals late on to make it 4-1, as Watford were totally outplayed.
Palace’s victory, their first in six PL games and first in 2022, sees them move on to 29 points from 26 games.
Watford haven’t won at home since November and remain on 18 points and are in 19th place.
Watford vs Crystal Palace final score, stats
Watford 1-4 Crystal Palace
Goals scored: Mateta 15', Sissoko 18', Gallagher 42', Zaha 85', Zaha 90'
Shots: Watford 8, Crystal Palace 7
Shots on target: Watford 1, Crystal Palace 5
Possession: Watford 45, Crystal Palace 55
Three things we learned from Watford vs Crystal Palace
1. Palace finally win again: Patrick Vieira’s side played with a desperation which they’ve lacked in recent weeks. After a fine run late in 2021, the Eagles have eased off it recently and that led to a run of five games without a win. They did lose Kouyate, Zaha and Ayew to Africa Cup of Nations duty, which impacted them, and now they’re back they look more like themselves. Palace will now aim to try and finish in the top 10 as any lingering fears of being sucked into the relegation scrap are over.
2. Zaha haunts Hodgson, Hornets: The winger was superb from start to finish and he silenced the boos from the home fans. Zaha has a long history of clashing with Watford’s players (and mascots) but he focused fully on the task in hand and scored two wonderful goals late on to seal the win and a fine display. He couldn’t resist cupping his ears to the crowd as Zaha showed Watford what he is capable of.
3. Tired Watford run ragged: After their exertions in their 1-0 win at Aston Villa at the weekend, this unchanged Watford side looked very tired. Roy Hodgson doesn’t have a lot of depth in this squad and they never really got going in this one. Their lack of energy was surprising, especially for a winnable game at home, but their home form hasn’t been good this season and they need to find some inspiration as they have a horrid run of games coming up.
Man of the Match: Wilfried Zaha - A constant threat, never stopped wanting the ball and scored two great goals late on. He has the bragging rights over Harry the Hornet...
Hornets struggle to hold Eagles back
Palace started well and Gallagher got in at the back post after Zaha’s cross caused problems, but his effort was blocked. He wanted a penalty kick for a late challenge but VAR checked it and nothing was given.
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Jean-Phillipe Mateta put Palace 1-0 up as a cross into the box from Gallagher found the striker via a clearance, and his shot deflected off Craig Cathcart and went in.
However, moments later Sissoko equalized for Watford. A corner found the the Frenchman a few yards out and he powered his header home.
Gallagher’s moment of magic
Ben Foster denied Michael Olise with a fine stop down low, as Palace then went 2-1 up before the break.
Gallagher was found with a lovely cross into the box from Mitchell and he took one touch and hammered home.
A quality goal from a quality player.
Palace ease to victory as Zaha silences boos
In the second half Mateta raced clear but couldn’t find Olise with his cross, as Palace continued to have the better chances.
Watford pushed hard for an equalizer late on as Emmanuel Dennis just couldn’t get on the end of a cross as Jack Butland did enough to put him off, then Dennis sent another effort high and wide.
Five minutes from time Zaha sealed the win as substitute Jordan Ayew found him at the back post and he drilled a low shot home.
Then in the 90th minute he was found on the counter and cut inside, then smashed home a beauty to make it 4-1 and seal the win in style.