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August 20 2018 9.52am

Eagles and Hornets end all square

April 21 2018

Wayne Hennessey

Wayne Hennessey

Crystal Palace and Watford shared the spoils in a goalless draw at Vicarage Road.

The Eagles moved a step closer to Premier League safety with an important away point and climb a place to 15th in the table.

Watford were the better of the two sides in the opening period and were inches away from scoring after just three minutes when Stefano Okaka nodded Troy Deeney's cross onto the bar with Wayne Hennessey beaten.

Joel Ward then nearly put a Deeney effort into his own net but luckily for Palace, Hennessey reacted well to gather.

Roy Hodgson's side would have been thankful to have held on for half-time with too many of his players off colour in a stop-start affair with lots of fouls.

After the break, a much-improved Palace went in search of the breakthrough goal and were unfortunate to not get awarded a penalty after Wilfried Zaha was taken down in the area by Adrian Mariappa.

Unjustly, and under the influence of the Watford players and fans, referee Chris Kavanagh brandished Zaha a yellow card for diving.

Palace too were denied a goal by the crossbar just past the hour mark as Luka Milivojevic's free-kick struck the upright.

Eight minutes later, the South Londoners were denied by the woodwork again, this time James Tomkins saw his header strike the post before the ball was scrambled clear.

The Hornets rallied as Hennessey got down low to parry a shot from Richarlison to eventually earn a clean sheet as a scrappy encounter finished in a stalemate.

The result moves Palace six points above the drop zone with three matches to go.

Watford: Karnezis, Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Holbas, Hughes (Gray 78), Capoue, Doucoure, Okaka (Feminia 70), Pereyra (Richarlison 55), Deeney.

Not used: Gomes, Janmaat, Britos, Sinclair.

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur (Benteke 81), Milivojevic, McArthur, Loftus-Cheek, Townsend, Zaha.

Not used: Speroni, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Riedewald, Lee, Sorloth.

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