Watford beat Crystal Palace to take care of good begin in Premier League
Watford supervisor Javi Gracia says his aspect have achieved “one thing large” after beating Crystal Palace to win their opening three video games of the season for the primary time of their top-flight historical past.
The Hornets maintained their good begin within the Premier League to maneuver behind Liverpool and stage with Chelsea on the high of the desk on purpose distinction.
Roberto Pereyra scored his third purpose in as many video games with an beautiful curling effort, earlier than Jose Holebas added a seemingly unintentional second from exterior the world in a resurgent second-half show.
“There is no such thing as a secret. Crucial factor is to work exhausting, and the gamers are being rewarded for all of their excellent work from the pre-season,” stated Gracia.
“Pereyra is scoring targets and he is a vital participant for us, however I wish to recognise the gamers that aren’t taking part in in the intervening time.”
Watford had been lucky to be stage on the interval, veteran goalkeeper Ben Foster pulling off two reflex saves to disclaim Christian Benteke and James McArthur early on.
Palace threatened within the opening exchanges regardless of their talisman Wilfried Zaha being the sufferer of a fierce deal with from Etienne Capoue, for which the Watford midfielder was lucky to obtain solely a reserving.
Zaha did pull a purpose again for the guests late on, beating his marker to drill the ball by Foster’s legs, however Watford withstood the fightback to say all three factors.
Holebas shines within the rain
Watford have received their opening three video games of a top-flight marketing campaign for the primary time, and Holebas’ efficiency epitomised their spectacular early season type.
Foster was essential in maintaining Palace at bay within the first half, however Holebas was equally influential, in addition to supporting assaults on the different finish.
When McArthur performed a neat one-two with Benteke and bumped into the hosts’ field, Holebas was readily available to slip in and nick the ball away because the Palace participant was poised to shoot.
And the defender’s first Premier League purpose since October 2016 in the end proved the distinction, if somewhat fortuitously, as he admitted to Sky Sports activities afterwards that it was an tried cross that deceived Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and looped into the nook.
In Pereyra, Watford have an actual talisman. The Argentine has been straight concerned in seven of the membership’s previous 10 targets within the Premier League, scoring six and aiding one other and it was a second of brilliance to open the scoring as he curled the ball previous a diving Wayne Hennessey from simply inside the world.
Watford’s three wins have come in opposition to Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace, and clearly they’ll face more durable challenges, however with the work ethic and willpower on present by Holebas and his team-mates right now, Javi Gracia’s males have each prospect of a profitable season.
Zaha on the right track regardless of particular consideration
Watford had clearly centered their efforts on stopping Zaha, however within the fourth minute Capoue crossed a line when he appeared to stamp on the Ivory Coast worldwide’s Achilles. On one other day the Frenchman won’t have been on the pitch lengthy sufficient to help in Pereyra’s opening purpose.
Zaha had a reasonably quiet recreation after that incident, though he did burst into life to offer the Eagles hope of some extent within the ultimate 15 minutes, his strike making him the membership’s all-time highest goalscorer within the Premier League with 24.
Palace had two glorious alternatives to take an early lead, however Foster was in impressed type to disclaim the hosts.
Benteke ought to have achieved higher within the 12th minute when he rose highest to fulfill Andros Townsend’s cross within the six-yard field, however the Belgian striker headed at Foster.
Minutes later, McArthur discovered himself one-on-one with the previous England goalkeeper, however the midfielder’s effort was effectively saved.
The end result at Vicarage Street follows defeat in opposition to Liverpool on Monday and Roy Hodgson will likely be involved about his aspect’s purpose risk, particularly when Zaha is the topic of particular consideration from their opponents.
The 25-year-old has scored two of the membership’s three targets to this point this season and the previous England boss wants another purpose risk.
Man of the match – Roberto Pereyra (Watford)
‘We had been unfortunate he was not despatched off’ – what they stated
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson: “There is no explicit anger as such. We did not begin the second half effectively and went a purpose down. We had been unfortunate in that their second purpose drifted over the keeper’s head helped by the wind. At 2-Zero we had been going through a mountain.
“If the sport had gone on one other 5 or 10 minutes we might have gotten one other purpose and a draw wouldn’t have been an unfair end result. It is extremely irritating if you find yourself 2-1 down and you’re within the ascendancy however you possibly can’t pay money for the ball.”
On Capoue’s reserving: “We’re not comfortable in regards to the foul. I’ve solely simply seen it once more on tv. I would must say we had been unfortunate he was not despatched off.”
On Watford concentrating on Zaha: “We now have to get used to that. Gamers of his match-winning capacity do get focused. He was focused by that foul however he acquired over that and his ending to the sport was fairly good.”
Watford boss Javi Gracia: “I am very comfortable as a result of it’s all the time troublesome to get a end result within the Premier League. We now have three wins and it’s superb. The gamers have been rewarded as a result of they’ve labored very exhausting.
“It’s only three steps however I am very proud to be Watford coach.”
On Capoue’s problem: “To be sincere I did not see the motion. It was a wet day with many contacts. Should you communicate to me about Capoue, I did not see it.”
Watford finish Palace’s run at Vicarage Street – match stats
- Watford have received their opening three video games of a top-flight league marketing campaign for the primary time of their historical past.
- This was Crystal Palace’s first league defeat at Watford since February 2009 (2-Zero in a Championship assembly), having been unbeaten in seven journeys previous to right now (W3 D4).
- Watford’s present run of three consecutive wins within the Premier League is their second-longest profitable streak in competitors historical past, and only one wanting their document of 4 video games (in December 2015 beneath Quique Sanchez Flores).
- Watford have misplaced solely one in every of their 9 residence video games within the Premier League beneath Javi Gracia (W6 D2), together with wins in every of their most up-to-date three.
- Wilfried Zaha is now Crystal Palace’s high scorer in Premier League historical past (24), overtaking Chris Armstrong who netted 23 targets within the competitors for the Eagles.
- Roberto Pereyra has been straight concerned in seven of Watford’s final 11 targets within the Premier League, scoring six and aiding one other.
- 9 of Roberto Pereyra’s 10 targets within the Premier League have been scored at Vicarage Street, together with every of his final six within the competitors.
- Jose Holebas has been straight concerned in three of Watford’s 4 Premier League targets at Vicarage Street this season (one purpose and two assists).
Watford journey to Studying within the EFL Cup on Tuesday, 28 August (20:00 BST) earlier than internet hosting Tottenham within the Premier League on Sunday (16:00). Crystal Palace are at Swansea within the EFL Cup on Tuesday (19:30) earlier than entertaining Southampton within the league on Saturday (15:00).