McArthur completes turnaround to lift Eagles off the bottom. Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford. By Maamun Hajmahmoud at Selhurst Park
CRYSTAL PALACE secured only their third victory of the season on Tuesday night with a dramatic comeback win against Watford at Selhurst Park.
By their own manager’s admission, Palace hadn’t performed as well as they had in previous games but Roy Hodgson couldn’t fault his players’ effort.
“I’d rather have three points, irrespective of the performance, rather than good performances that don’t get the three points, so there’s no complaints from my side tonight.
“I commend the players’ determination, their resilience, their ability to keep going and their ability to weather some unfortunate moments during the course of the game,” said the former England boss.
The visitors started the brighter of the two sides, going ahead within minutes as Richarlison’s cross was met by Daryl Janmaat.
The goal made that the Brazilian’s fourth assist of the season. The youngster should have had another had Troy Deeney not wasted what may go down as miss of the season so far.
Julian Speroni was making his 400th appearance for the club and made a crucial save in the second period to deny Richarlison from close range.
The Hornets’ lack of decisiveness in front of goal ultimately cost them the game. Palace came alive as disaster struck for manager Marco Silva when Tom Cleverley saw red for his second bookable offence.
The midfielder completely hashed his volleyed effort on goal, allowing Palace to counter, and eager to make amends he made a rash challenge, having no complaints with Lee Mason giving him his marching orders.
“We should win this match. We were leading 1-0, but we must score more. We had three clear chances to score, one without the goalkeeper, one [chance] one-against-one. At this level we need to kill,” said a frustrated Silva.
With just 10 minutes remaining, the Eagles grabbed a goal back courtesy of Bakary Sako’s fortuitous effort from close range and belief grew as they went in search of a winner.
It came in stoppage time as James McArthur slotted Wilfried Zaha’s cross into the far corner from 12 yards, following brilliant work from the Ivorian.