PREM: Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford


Yohan Cabaye (middle) celebrates with his team-mates

A Troy Deeney own goal earned Crystal Palace a crucial 1-0 win over Watford to pull them four points clear of the bottom three.


Chances were few and far between at Selhurst Park, and it was always going to take an error or a moment of brilliance to win the match, and it was the former that made all the difference.

Yohan Cabaye curled a 68th-minute free-kick right into the dangerzone, Troy Deeney got his head to the ball to try and clear, but inadvertently diverted it into the bottom corner of his own net.

Watford pressed for an equaliser, but came up short as their wretched run against the Eagles continues. The result sees Sam Allardyce's men climb to 16th ahead of a tough run of fixtures after the international break, while Watford remain in 13th.

The encounter got off to a very laboured start. However, Wilfried Zaha was causing makeshift Watford full-back Craig Cathcart plenty of problems down the left, but all his good work was in vain as he couldn't find Christian Benteke in the middle.

Cabaye had the best chance of the opening period, but his side-footed effort was blocked. After the break, the game continued to be niggly, with Zaha at the centre of everything. The Palace winger continued to torment Cathcart, and almost broke the deadlock in the 65th minute, but fired over after working space for a shot in the box.

Zaha and Prodl then clashed with Zaha fortunate to get away with a swinging forearm, but Prodl's return foul on the 24-year-old changed the course of the match. From that free-kick, Deeney stooped, glancing the ball past Heurelho Gomes into the bottom corner. No Palace player was in the vicinity, making the incident all the more bizarre.

Substitute Abdoulaye Doucoure then brought a fine save from Palace stopper Wayne Hennessey as the Hornets pressed for a leveller, but they really lacked quality when it mattered most.

Palace held on for the win and with trips to Chelsea and Southampton, as well as a home clash with Arsenal, to come, the three points earned against the Hornets could prove to be the difference between relegation and Premier League survival.


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