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Crystal Palace 1 Watford 2: Substitute Cleverley seals comeback

By Opta
Watford - Cropped

London, Jan 12: Watford came from behind to claim a dramatic 2-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, with substitute Tom Cleverley scoring a sublime winner.

Craig Cathcart's own goal after 38 minutes had Palace on course for victory, but the Watford defender scored at the right end 23 minutes from time.

And Cleverley, yet to start in the league this season as he returns from injury, netted his first goal since October 2017 with a superb volley to give his side an impressive victory.

Watford's triumph halts a troubling run that had seen them win only twice in their last 11 top-flight games, while Palace have only won two of their 11 home matches this season.

Inside three minutes, Watford incredibly hit the woodwork twice in the same move. Gerard Deulofeu nutmegged James Tomkins and fired an effort from 12 yards against the same post that Roberto Pereyra struck from the rebound when he appeared destined to score.

The visitors, who lost Will Hughes to a head injury, saw captain Troy Deeney send a header just wide, while Tomkins had an aerial effort of his own tipped over by Ben Foster at the other end, leading to a corner from which Palace took the lead.

In one of the scrappiest goals of the season, Tomkins attempted to turn in Luka Milivojevic's corner from close range, and Abdoulaye Doucoure's attempted clearance bounced in off the unfortunate Cathcart.

It was Palace's turn to lose a player to injury on the stroke of half-time, Wayne Hennessey replacing Vicente Guaita, but Foster was the keeper who had to keep out a Milivojevic effort, which the hosts claimed had bounced off Adrian Mariappa's hand.

Wilfried Zaha raced clear to create a glorious chance for himself after the break, but he was denied by Foster, who also made a fine stop to keep out an audacious 30-yard attempt from Milivojevic.

Yet just as Palace looked like finding a result-clinching second goal, Cathcart scored at the right end, heading in Jose Holebas' corner at the far post with Hennessey caught out badly by the delivery.

James McArthur somehow failed to turn in Zaha's cross-shot for Palace, while Watford saw Deeney's deflected effort hacked off the line by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the match in the balance until it was settled 16 minutes from time.

Cleverley – just six minutes after coming on – was the scorer, sending a sweet volley from 15 yards into the top corner, Palace having twice failed to clear a corner.

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    Story first published: Saturday, January 12, 2019, 22:30 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 12, 2019
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