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November 22 2017 8.03pm

Big Sam is off the mark

December 26 2016

Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke

Sam Allardyce claimed his first point as Crystal Palace manager in a 1-1 draw at Watford.

It could have been a different matter had Christian Benteke not missed a first-half penalty which would have doubled Palace's lead.

And the Eagles paid the price by allowing Watford to score a spot-kick of their own to return to South London with just a point in the bag.

The visitors started brightly and an improved display from Yohan Cabaye saw the Frenchman drive a low shot just off target.

And in the 26th minute, Cabaye eventually found the net after Andros Townsend picked him out with a fine reverse pass and an on-side Cabaye fired past goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Palace should have made the game safe from the penalty spot when Gomes rushed out of his goal and hacked down Benteke after he tried to cut out Sebastian Prodl's woeful back pass.

Referee Mark Clatenburg gave no card to the keeper but pointed to the spot. However, Benteke's weak kick was easily saved by Gomes.

Watford were level on 70 minutes after Damien Deleney pulled Prodl's shirt at a corner, having been fortunate that Clattenburg missed a similar incident previously. Troy Deeney put away the resulting penalty for 1-1.

Palace had claims for another penalty when Wilfried Zaha went down in the area but Clattenburg booked the winger for diving.

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