Watford claim third straight win in 2-1 win over Crystal Palace
Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace

Watford claim third straight win in 2-1 win over Crystal Palace

26/08/2018

Unfancied Watford continued their great start to the Premier League season with a third successive win when they beat visiting Crystal Palace 2-1 on Sunday.

It is the first time they have begun with three wins out of three in the top tier of English football, keeping them right up among the early pacemakers.

Etienne Capoue might have been sent off for an early foul on Wilfried Zaha, so Palace were aggrieved that he made the opening goal for Roberto Pereyra in the 53rd minute.

Defender Jose Holebas doubled the lead with what he confessed was a cross before Zaha reduced the arrears 12 minutes from the end.

Palace wasted a glorious chance to draw in the final seconds of added time when Joel Ward headed wide from a corner after being left unmarked.

Zaha, their most talented player, was a central figure from the fourth minute of a feisty encounter, when many observers felt Capoue should have received a red card rather than a yellow for a foul on him.

Within three more minutes Zaha himself was booked.

His team had started well and former England goalkeeper Ben Foster kept the home side in the game early on with two fine saves.

Watford improved either side of halftime and after wasting one chance by shooting wildly, Pereyra took Capoue's pass for a low finish into the corner of the net.

Christian Benteke created the best chance to equalise before Holebas deceived goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey from out on the left wing.

"It should be a cross to be honest, on my weak foot, but I think no-one complained that it went in," the Greek international full back said.

Zaha cut in to shoot through Foster's legs and ensure an exciting finish in which Ward's miss denied Palace a point, keeping them in mid-table with three points.

"It was a really good chance and had he scored that we'd be having a different feeling about the game," said Palace's veteran manager Roy Hodgson.

"We go away defeated and every time you lose a game it is a feeling of disappointment."

Hodgson was among those who felt Capoue could have been sent off for the challenge on Zaha. "We're not happy about the foul. I've only just seen it again on television. I'd have to say we were unlucky he was not sent off," he said.

Watford captain Troy Deeney felt his team had luck on their side.

"We were poor by our standards but the grit and determination and will to win has been clear to everyone," he said. "We got lucky but it gives us confidence we can be poor and still get results."

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