Palace Steal Comeback Win Against Watford

Two players chasing the soccer ball

Crystal Palace survived a first-half battering from Watford but came through the challenge as they scored two late goals to seal a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park.


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Match Summary

The visitors were on top in the opening 45 minutes and went ahead early on through a Daryl Janmaat header from Richarlison's cross. Troy Deeney missed a sitter for the Hornets just before the break.

Tom Cleverley's late red card seemingly changed the game as Bakary Sako hit an equaliser before James McArthur struck the winner in injury time.

First Half

Watford came out with a high-tempo pressing game from the first whistle and seemed to catch Palace on the back foot. The incessant pressure paid dividends in the third minute as Janmaat got the opening goal. From broken play, the lively Richarlison sent in a superb cross from the left which the defender powered home with his head at the far post.

The hosts were struggling to deal with the intensity and Richarlison wasn't far away from extending the visitors' advantage in the 11th minute. From Andre Carrillo's pull-back, the Brazilian saw his goal-bound strike from the edge of the area headed clear by James Tomkins.

The Londoners could not contain the Hornets as Sebastian Prodl almost got a decisive touch from Jose Holebas' corner, before Janmaat saw his shot from the rebound deflected wide by Scott Dann.

After half an hour, Deeney missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 as Richarlison's cross found the striker but he scuffed wide with the goal at his mercy following a slight touch off the defender.

Second Half

Palace barely threatened in the opening stanza and were seemingly fortuitous to go into the break at just 1-0 behind. After the interval, the hosts were more secure at the back although were offering little going forward.

In the 65th minute, Watford had yet another opportunity to add to their lead when the ever-dangerous Richarlison found space at the far post. After a superb first touch, he saw his strike excellently saved by Julian Speroni.

In the 87th minute, the game changed as Cleverley saw red for a second yellow card. Amazingly, from virtually nothing, Roy Hodgson's men found an equaliser soon after.

Wilfried Zaha came to life and cut inside his defender on the right-side of the area before seeing his strike saved by Heurelho Gomes. Yet, Sako struck home from the rebound to send Selhurst Park into celebration.

Zaha was the hero two minutes later as he skipped beyond his defender on the left, before his pull-back found McArthur, who tucked home the winner in injury time to secure a dramatic victory.

Full Time: Crystal Palace 2 - 1 Watford

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