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A not so stale stalemate

 Published on: 21st April 2018   |   By: Jason Allen   |   Category: Watford FC

All would have hoped that today’s game against Crystal Palace would have resulted in goals, but it was simply not to be as Vicarage Road played host to an entertaining 0-0 in the rainy but warm Hertfordshire weather. 

The first half saw a dominant Watford take control of the game and a lovely cross from Hornets skipper Troy Deeney very nearly resulted in an early goal, as Stefan Okaka met the ball with his head, but only to guide it onto the bar.

Shortly after this perfectly executed move, the home side again nearly went ahead but this time it was in slightly less stylish fashion as Wayne Hennessey had to get down quickly to keep out a near own goal from Palace defender Joel Ward.

The half finished with a penalty claim from the man at the heart of most of the game’s controversy. Wilfred Zaha, at pace, went down in the box, and with it seeming as though he had gone down intentionally, referee Chris Kavanagh shook his head.

Roy Hodgson would have been far from happy at the half time interval and judging by the way his team came out in the second half, one would imagine that some strong words were exchanged during the break.

With Watford having struck the woodwork in the first half, the visitors hit the upright twice in the second. The first was courtesy of Luka Milivojevic and the second, James Tomkins, as in contrast to the opening 45 minutes, Javi Gracia’s Watford were on the ropes.

The talking point from today was without doubt Wilfred Zaha and when Will Hughes and Adrian Mariappa came in for a challenge on him, it was no surprise that he went down on the edge of the area.

The referee, who most probably reflected on the game’s previous incidents, decided that this time Zaha needed a booking.

The atmosphere at the Vic was boosted by the Zaha decision. However, it was very nearly silenced. With both sets of fans cheering their teams on to go for it, hearts were in mouths and as Zaha found an unmarked Andros Townsend, the Eagles nearly went ahead, just finding themselves spared as the move was flagged offside.

Watford finish off the day in 12th whilst Palace boost their survival hopes, sitting relatively comfortably in 15th, three points off Watford and six clear of the relegation zone.

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