Watford stay perfect, beat Crystal Palace in fiery encounter

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  • 3 wins from 3 for Watford
  • Pereyra, Holebas put them ahead
  • Wilfried Zaha scores for Palace
  • Zaha’s 7th goal in last 9 games

Watford beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday with Javi Gracia‘s Hornets making it three wins from three to start the new Premier League season.

That is the first time in 20 years they’ve won their opening three games of a campaign and the first time they’ve ever done that in the Premier League.

After a feisty first half which saw plenty of late challenges fly in, Andreas Pereyra put Watford ahead in the second half and Jose Holebas doubled the lead with a cross which flew into the far corner.

Wilfried Zaha, booed throughout after early yellow cards for and against him, pulled one back for Palace but it wasn’t enough to stop Roy Hodgson‘s boys slumping to back-to-back defeats.

With the win Watford remain perfect with nine points from nine, while Palace stay on three points.

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Palace started the game brightly and Etienne Capoue was booked for catching Zaha inside the first five minutes. Andros Townsend‘s clipped cross to the back post found Zaha and Christian Benteke unmarked but the latter headed wide.

Zaha was booked himself for a late challenge on Jose Holebas in a fiery start to the game.

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Benteke went even closer moments later as Townsend’s cross found the Belgian but his header was well-saved by Ben Foster. And a few minutes later Foster denied the onrushing James McArthur

Watford’s best chance of the first half arrived as Pereyra’s shot was deflected over by McArthur when it seemed certain to fly in. Pereyra then curled an effort towards the far post which Wayne Hennessey saved comfortably in the end. At the other end McArthur again broke free but a wonderful last-ditch tackle from Holebas denied him.

Right on half time Daryl Janmaat then drilled a shot just wide of the far post as Watford finished the half strongly.

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Pereyra gave Watford the lead after the break as a powerful run forward from Capoue saw the Argentinian cut in and curl home a beauty into the far corner. 1-0.

Palace pushed hard to get back into the game and Benteke curled a powerful effort inches wide of the post as the Eagles went so close to an equalizer.

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Watford then made it 2-0 with a bizarre goal from Holebas as his cross from the left flew over everyone, including Palace goalkeeper Hennessey, and into the far corner.

Moments later Palace halved the deficit as Zaha scored from close range to become their leading all-time goalscorer in the PL and make it 2-1.

In the 96th minute Joel Ward somehow headed wide when unmarked from a corner as Palace went so close to snatching a dramatic equalizer.

But Watford held on for the win as they remain the surprise package of the opening month of the season.