Alan Pardew is determined to go one better than the class of 1990 after guiding Crystal Palace to the second FA Cup final in their history.
Connor Wickham’s towering header just after the hour mark secured a 2-1 win over Watford and a return to Wembley to face Manchester United next month.
But it was Yannick Bolasie’s sixth-minute opener that evoked memories of Steve Coppell’s side who reached the final 26 years ago, where they lost to United after a replay.
As a player Pardew had memorably nodded the Eagles into that final with their dramatic extra-time winner against Liverpool.
And just over a quarter of a century later, as Palace manager, he was celebrating with a clenched fist and a knowing grin as the current Eagles side created a carbon copy.
This time it was Yohan Cabaye, rather than Andy Gray, who swung in a corner towards the near post.
Damien Delaney reprised the Andy Thorn flick-on and Bolasie applied the Pardew finish, squeezing his header between the far post and Hornets goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.
“We paid a bit of homage to that side with the flick-on for the corner,” smiled Pardew. “Steve Coppell can take a bit of credit for that one.
“This is a different team, with a different spirit, but the characteristics are similar to 1990. They are hard-working, diligent, with good defenders and some pace on the attack.
“I just hope the destiny isn’t the same result in the final.”