The Expat Eagle
An Englishman Living in Sweden

Match Opinion: Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford

We looked dire until the final 5 minutes but a win is a win!

343

Three days after missing a penalty and the opportunity to collect 3 points, can Christian Benteke score to help Crystal Palace beat Watford?

Match Facts

General Information

  • Date: 12th December 2017
  • Competition: English Premier League
  • Venue: Selhurst Park
  • Attendance: 23,566
  • Referee: L. Mason

Match Result

Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford
Milivojevic 63′, van Aanholt 85′ Yellow Cards Cleverly 78′, Pereyra 90+1′
Red Cards Cleverly 87′
Sako 89′, McArthur 90+2′ Goal Scorers Janmaat 3′

The Expat Eagle’s Verdict

It seems to be a reoccurring theme this season that we are leaving things late. I don’t know if it is because of a tough fitness regime or the sports psychologist doing his thing, maybe a combination of both? Whatever the case, Palace fans should know better than to leave Selhurst Park before the final whistle.

In truth, this game was a dire spectacle of a match until the final 5 minutes. We all know that a set of statistics can prove or disprove anything and this was certainly the case at the final whistle with the stats saying we had double to goal attempt that Watford had and double the shots on target than our opponent.

Watching the game, it looked like we were never going to threaten to score. Having scored in the 4th minute of the game Watford looked comfortably in control of the next 81 minutes until a bad, late tackle by Cleverly earned him a second booking in the space of 9 minutes. He could have no complaints about either yellow card but his sending off seemingly turned the game.

Talking to my brother on Skype as we were watching the game I mused to myself that Watford should survive the final 3 minutes, plus stoppage time, with 10 men. Rarely have I seen a team fall apart in such a way after having a player sent off.

 

But when Cleverley was dismissed for a late foul on Jeff Schlupp, life was breathed into the game. In truth, the equaliser was fortunate. Zaha cut in from the left and unleashed a shot, our first shot on target in the game, that was well saved by Gomes and the rebound fell to Sako. His initial shot from close range rebounded off Gomes, back on to the forward’s shins and into the net.

If the equaliser was a touch fortunate the winner was well deserved after it came at the end of an excellent move.

Zaha – a threat but occasionally wasteful throughout – showed great trickery to beat Janmaat on the left side of the box before squaring to McArthur who swept home low beyond Gomes.

The result unsurprisingly led to wild celebrations at the final whistle as the players and fans enjoyed a third win of the season. It was pretty much a polar opposite to the reaction at the end of Saturday’s game against Bournemouth.

Verdict: A win is a win but. Out of the bottom three but still with a £30m striker who is a Jaffer! (Firing blanks)

Player Ratings

Crystal Palace (442) 6.72 Watford (3421) 6.54
Speroni
Fosu-Mensah
Schlupp
Tomkins
Dann
Loftus-Cheek
Cabaye
Milivojevic
Townsend
Zaha
Benteke
6.4
7.0
6.9
7.6
7.6
6.7
5.9
6.7
6.2
7.1
6.8
Gomes
Mariappa
Prödl
Kabasele
Janmaat
Cleverly
Doucoure
Holebas
Carrillo
Richarlison
Deeney
6.4
6.1
6.4
6.1
7.7
6.2
6.6
6.4
6.8
7.6
6.2
van Aanholt (Townsend 67′)
Sako (Fosu-Mensah 70′)
McArthur (Cabaye 77′)
Kelly
Lee Chung-Yong
Riedewald
Hennessey
6.3
7.3
7.5
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Pereyra (Carrillo 71′)
Gray (Deeney 80′)
Koko (Richarlison 84′)
Capoue
Success
Watson
Karnezis
5.8
5.7
5.9
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a

Match rating courtesy of WhoScored.

Match Statistics

Crystal Palace
2-1
Watford
53
14
4
6
4
18
4
3
1
14
0
0
412
14
Ball Possession %
Goal Attempts
On Target
Off Target
Blocked Shots
Free Kicks
Corner Kicks
Offsides
Goalkeeper Saves
Fouls
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Total Passes
Tackles
47
7
2
3
2
17
6
0
2
18
1
3
351
20

Match statistics courtesy of WhoScored.

Comments