Premier League Statistics: Watford 0-0 Crystal Palace
- Date – 21st April 2018
- Venue – Vicarage Road
- Attendance – 20,401
- Referee – Chris Kavanagh
- Bookings – Mariappa, Cathcart, Doucouré, Ward, van Aanholt, Loftus-Cheek, Zaha
- Star Eagle – James Tomkins (8.6)
After the fantastic win against Brighton last weekend, it was important that Palace did not let their foot of the gas when visiting Vicarage Road to face Watford. This was not to be the case as the Eagles fought well to earn another point on the road, however, it really should have been all three. After a poor first half, the visitors could have gone ahead through Luka Milivojevic’s whipping free kick that hit the bar.
It was clear Palace’s star man Wilfried Zaha caused the Hornet’s back line problems throughout the ninety minutes but was booked rather than awarded a penalty after former Eagle Adrian Mariappa took him out in the box with no contact on the ball, which was extremely harsh. Palace are playing good, exciting football and it’s fair to say Roy Hodgson has done wonders since his arrival last September. One more win from the last three games is likely to keep Palace in the Premier League for another season.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
13 WAYNE HENNESSEY (7.7) – A strong performance from the Welsh international who made some great saves to keep Palace in the game.
2 JOEL WARD (6.7) – A name that the majority of Palace fans were surprised to see on the team sheet and rightly so after a fairly weak showing last weekend. He was lucky not to score an own goal and escape a red card against Watford.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (8.6) – Another superb performance in the back line, a player proving regular game time is of huge benefits to Palace.
12 MAMADOU SAKHO (7.3) – Has formed a formidable defensive partnership with Tomkins at the back and made sure it was on display in Hertfordshire.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7.0) – Looked busy for the majority of the game and made the important overlaps to support the front line.
28 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7.3) – Unlucky not to put Palace ahead with a great free kick that hit the bar early on. Did his job well all around the pitch throughout.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6.9) – Did well to create chances including the one leading to the penalty that should have been awarded. His quick feet and ability to win the ball back were superb. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE on 81 minutes who was not able to make much of an impact in the dying embers of the game.
7 YOHAN CABAYE (7.0) – Did his job quietly in the background and was not substituted which could suggest his fitness is climbing to be able to complete the full ninety minutes.
8 RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK (7.1) – Made powerful runs forward which pushed the team up field positively. He was lively in midfield and seems to be unpredictable for defenders which is something England manager Gareth Southgate should be looking at as an option for the World Cup this summer.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6.9) – Of course, Zaha was the man everyone was talking about during and after the game for multiple reasons. The referee made a very poor decision booking Wilf rather than pointing to the spot as it seemed to be a blatant penalty. Otherwise, Wilf had a good game despite being kicked by Watford players what seemed like every thirty seconds.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6.2) – Worked hard on and off the ball but needs to get into goal scoring positions more often and take shots from what used to be his trademark area.
Unused substitutes – 1 Julian SPERONI, 29 Aaron WAN-BISSAKA, 34 Martin KELLY, 44 Jairo RIEDEWALD, 14 Lee CHUNG-YONG, 9 Alexander SORLOTH
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID (courtesy of BBC Sport)
JAVIER GARCIA: “I cannot be frustrated as I see the effort of my players. I’m very proud of them. The first half was one of our best first halves this season. We created many chances but didn’t score. In the second half, they had more control and created more chances. We tried until the end. Stefano Okaka played very well, he put in a big effort and helped us in the first half, not only in trying to score but in defending as well. In the first half we kept a high level of pressure but couldn’t do it the same way in the second half and couldn’t win the match.”
ROY HODGSON: “It got tetchy but that’s because we were playing against a physical side. I don’t know the referee and I thought it was a tough game for him. Luckily it didn’t spill over. [On Zaha] When the rumours spread that he’s a cheat and not the honest player he is, the crowd are led by that. He’s given attention he doesn’t deserve. I thought he kept his head and kept taking chances. Hopefully I’m not being one-eyed, but I think he would have got the penalty in another game. We thought it might go down to the last game and it might still. We’re as many as six points clear so we’ve got to be satisfied with that. It’s up to us to this opportunity.”
The WhoScored man of the match was James Tomkins (8.6) while Troy Deeney had the most shots (3). Christian Kabasele made the most tackles (4). Wilfried Zaha topped the dribbles chart (7).
- Team rating: 6.81
- Total shots: 14
- Shots on target: 4
- Possession: 51%
- Pass success: 69%
- Dribbles: 6
- Aerials won: 32
- Tackles: 25
- Corners: 4
- Dispossessed: 10
- Team rating: 7.06
- Total shots: 6
- Shots on target: 1
- Possession: 49%
- Pass success: 70%
- Dribbles: 17
- Aerials won: 24
- Tackles: 16
- Corners: 3
- Dispossessed: 16
POSITION IN THE TABLE
With the point away at Watford and other results in the Premier League this weekend, Palace move up to 14th place. The Eagles are now one point behind Brighton and level on points with West Ham United and Huddersfield Town who are occupying 15th and 16th respectively.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 28/04/2018 – Leicester City (h)
- 05/05/2018 – Stoke City (a)
- 13/05/2018 – West Brom (h)