Zaha scores twice as Palace beat Watford

2 months ago 3130
Conor GallagherConor Gallagher scored his eighth Premier League goal of the season

Crystal Palace earned their first Premier League win of 2022 with victory over former boss Roy Hodgson's relegation-threatened Watford at Vicarage Road.

Wilfried Zaha scored two late goals to wrap up the points for Patrick Vieira's side after Conor Gallagher had put them ahead in the first half.

Chelsea loanee Gallagher guided a deft touch into his path from Tyrick Mitchell's cross and powered a strike past Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster.

And with the hosts chasing the game late on, Zaha converted with a neat finish from substitute Jordan Ayew's cross and then added a smart solo goal on the break.

Jean-Philippe Mateta had opened the scoring in the 15th minute, spinning and finding the net with an effort that took a deflection to wrong-foot Foster.

Watford levelled almost immediately when the unmarked Moussa Sissoko headed in Kiko Femenia's corner from close range.

The result sees Palace climb to 11th while Watford remain four points from a position of safety, having played more games than the sides above them.

Vieira's Eagles click into gear

Moussa Sissoko (centre)Sissoko scored his first Premier League goal since December 2019

Hodgson spent four years and 148 games in the Crystal Palace dugout but insisted there would be nothing sentimental about facing his old side for the first time since his departure at the end of last season.

It is an Eagles team that is unrecognisable in terms of style under Vieira, albeit worse off on points than the same stage last term, with Hodgson conceding they now play more expansive football than during his tenure.

Vieira is building a younger, more technically sound outfit but, after a solid start to the season, his side arrived in Hertfordshire on a six-game winless run since they beat Norwich on 28 December.

The Frenchman has bemoaned the "small details" that have cost Palace recently but they appeared to get those right on Wednesday with a clinical attacking performance, especially late on as Watford poured forward looking to level for the second time.

Despite Watford gaining their first win under Hodgson against Aston Villa on Saturday, neither of these sides had scored a goal in the first half of a Premier League game in 2022 before that changed for both in the space of three minutes.

First Mateta found the net via a deflection from Gallagher's cross in what was the visitors' first meaningful attack, only for Watford skipper Sissoko to nod in from two yards out to level with his first goal for the club and first in the Premier League since scoring in December 2019 for Tottenham.

Gallagher, unable to feature against parent club Chelsea last time out, showed his importance to Palace by putting the visitors back in front before the break with the eighth goal of his superb loan spell, one that was made by the midfielder's sublime first touch.

Watford's best chances to level fell to their own standout player this year, but Emmanuel Dennis could only coax over the crossbar after finding space inside the box.

The difference at the other end was Palace found Zaha in ruthless form, touching Ayew's cross into his path before finding the corner and adding gloss to the performance with a curling effort on the break to make it four for the visitors.

Hodgson may have hoped he had turned a corner with Watford after that win over Villa, but Burnley's victory against Tottenham sees them slip to 19th in the table and in serious trouble.

Player of the match

GallagherConor Gallagher

with an average of 8.20


  1. Squad number1Player nameFoster

  2. Squad number25Player nameDennis

  3. Squad number19Player nameSissoko

  4. Squad number23Player nameSarr

  5. Squad number21Player nameKiko Femenía

  6. Squad number15Player nameCathcart

  7. Squad number8Player nameCleverley

  8. Squad number7Player nameKing

  9. Squad number6Player nameLouza

  10. Squad number14Player nameKamara

  11. Squad number22Player nameSamir

  12. Squad number29Player nameCucho Hernández

  13. Squad number39Player nameKayembe

Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number23Player nameGallagher

  2. Squad number18Player nameMcArthur

  3. Squad number11Player nameZaha

  4. Squad number3Player nameMitchell

  5. Squad number7Player nameOlise

  6. Squad number6Player nameGuéhi

  7. Squad number14Player nameMateta

  8. Squad number12Player nameHughes

  9. Squad number22Player nameÉdouard

  10. Squad number16Player nameAndersen

  11. Squad number8Player nameKouyaté

  12. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

  13. Squad number17Player nameClyne

  14. Squad number1Player nameButland



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Foster
  • 21FemeníaBooked at 62mins
  • 15Cathcart
  • 22SamirBooked at 40mins
  • 14Kamara
  • 19Sissoko
  • 6Louza
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forKayembeat 73'minutes
  • 23Sarr
  • 7KingSubstituted forHernándezat 51'minutes
  • 25Dennis


  • 2Ngakia
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 11Masina
  • 12Sema
  • 26Bachmann
  • 27Kabasele
  • 28Kalu
  • 29Hernández
  • 39Kayembe

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Butland
  • 17Clyne
  • 16Andersen
  • 6Guéhi
  • 3Mitchell
  • 23Gallagher
  • 8KouyatéBooked at 44mins
  • 12HughesSubstituted forMcArthurat 80'minutes
  • 7OliseSubstituted forJ Ayewat 73'minutes
  • 14MatetaSubstituted forÉdouardat 90+2'minutes
  • 11Zaha


  • 4Milivojevic
  • 9J Ayew
  • 10Eze
  • 15Schlupp
  • 18McArthur
  • 19Matthews
  • 20Benteke
  • 22Édouard
  • 34Kelly

Referee:Andre Marriner


Live Text

  1. Match ends, Watford 1, Crystal Palace 4.

  2. Second Half ends, Watford 1, Crystal Palace 4.

  3. Substitution, Crystal Palace. Odsonne Édouard replaces Jean-Philippe Mateta.

  4. Goal! Watford 1, Crystal Palace 4. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by James McArthur following a fast break.

  5. Corner, Watford. Conceded by Cheikhou Kouyaté.

  6. Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

  7. Goal! Watford 1, Crystal Palace 3. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Ayew with a cross.

  8. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Foul by Hassane Kamara (Watford).

  10. Hand ball by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

  11. Attempt missed. Cucho Hernández (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Hassane Kamara.

  12. Substitution, Crystal Palace. James McArthur replaces Will Hughes.

  13. Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Watford).

  15. Foul by Jean-Philippe Mateta (Crystal Palace).

  16. Samir (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Substitution, Watford. Edo Kayembe replaces Tom Cleverley.

  18. Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jordan Ayew replaces Michael Olise.

  19. Attempt missed. Emmanuel Dennis (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Hassane Kamara following a corner.

  20. Corner, Watford. Conceded by Joachim Andersen.

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