Crystal Palace beat Watford at Selhurst Park as the Hornets’ relegation from the Premier League was confirmed.
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Watford were second best throughout and were their own worst enemies as Wilfried Zaha scored from the penalty spot and Hassane Kamara was sent off in the second half.
Palace have now won back-to-back games to fuel their push for a top 10 finish late in the season, while Watford will play next season in the Championship as they have gone straight back down.
Crystal Palace vs Watford final score, stats
Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford
Goals scored: Zaha 31′
Shots: Crystal Palace 15, Watford 6
Shots on target: Crystal Palace 7, Watford 1
Possession: Crystal Palace 68, Watford 32
Three things we learned
1. Palace worthy of a top 10 finish: They sit in ninth place and that seems very fair. All season long Palace have pushed the big boys all the way, they reached the FA Cup semifinal and have played lovely football. If they had more of a cutting edge they could have pushed for Europe but this has still been a very good season for Patrick Vieira’s side. The decision to hire him and bring in plenty of talented youngsters doesn’t look like such a gamble now.
2. A familiar story as Watford go down: This could have been the Watford team we watched get relegated in the 2019-20 campaign. This relegation has been eerily similar and the Pozzo family have once again felt the impact of chopping and changing managers. From Xisco to Ranieri to Hodgson there was no clear plan or identity about this team. Yes, they have some talented players in attack but they never looked comfortable back in the Premier League.
3. Eagles eager to kick on: They now have a chance to push for Europe and if they can keep Zaha, maybe loan Conor Gallagher once again and buy a top striker who can score 15-20 goals, Palace are in business. They have a great balance about this team and they are stacked with talented youngster. Vieira is building something special and Palace are eager to kick on this summer.
Man of the Match: Michael Olise – Always popped up in dangerous areas and caused so many problems.
Hosts set the tone
Palace started well as a cross to the back post was nodded just over by Marc Guehi, then Michael Olise drilled a shot over.
Zaha was denied by Foster as Palace continued to create the best chances.
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A penalty kick was then awarded as Olise’s header hit the outstretched arm of Hassane Kamara, as the Watford defender wanted a foul but VAR checked the decision and the penalty stood.
Zaha slotted home the spot kick to make it 1-0 and give Palace a deserved lead.
Hornets hardly go down with a fight
Watford battled hard in the second half but Palace had more quality and went so close to making it 2-0.
Odsonne Edouard somehow wriggled free but his effort flicked off the inside of Foster’s legs and hit the post.
To rub further salt into Watford’s wounds they had Kamara sent off for a second yellow, as the Hornets finished the game were relegated with just 10 men on the pitch.
Foster denied Mateta late on as Palace pushed for a second goal but settled for one and the win.