Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Premier League • England

Vieira spots ‘missing’ qualities Crystal Palace recovered to beat Watford

Patrick Vieira encouraging his Crystal Palace players

Patrick Vieira praised Crystal Palace for their work rate off the ball, which proved to be a key factor in their 4-1 win over Watford – as did their chance conversion.

Palace condemned their hosts to a heavy defeat when they met at Vicarage Road on Wednesday. Jean-Philippe Mateta gave them the lead after a quarter of an hour before Moussa Sissoko equalised. But Conor Gallagher restored the lead before the break.

Then, Wilfried Zaha scored twice in the last five minutes to make sure Palace kept all three points. It is their first Premier League win of 2022.

Palace are 11th in the table as a result and Vieira knows how important it was for them to put in the performance they have perhaps been lacking in recent weeks.

Vieira told Match of the Day: “It was a big win, an important win, but it is about the performance and that allowed us to win the game. I am really pleased with the discipline and work ethic we showed.

“That is a massive difference from the last couple of games. We had chances where we didn’t score those goals – today we created chances and scored goals, but overall it is the team performance.

“For me the work he (Zaha) did out of possession was massively important.

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“We performed well as a team out of possession and that allowed us to create those chances and score goals.

“It was the discipline, the concentration from the players. We didn’t allow them to express themselves and that gave us momentum, belief, and we stuck to the game plan. It was overall quite good.

“The win is important because that gives us confidence for the rest of the season, but the performance is key, because in the last couple of games we were missing those goals. If we play well, we have more chance of winning games.”

Hodgson unhappy with harsh scoreline

Roy Hodgson watching Watford lose

Former Palace boss Roy Hodgson could not get the better of the side who let him go at the end of last season.

The Watford manager blamed their inability to block crosses for the way they fell behind. Overall, though, he thinks the scoreline should have been narrower.

Hodgson told Match of the Day: “We were punished harshly for having ability to block the crosses and shots from the edge of the box. For large parts it was fairly even. The problem was when the ball arrived they took their chances and scored goals.

“The last two we can’t complain about, but we didn’t do enough to block the shot or cross. It was a comfortable win for Crystal Palace without them having to outplay us.

“Wilf (Zaha) is a very good player and is playing very well this year. It bodes well for them in the games that come because with the form he is in they can look forward to more victories.

“We had two good spells, quite a good spell during the second half as well, moving the ball quicker and playing through midfield, but we weren’t able to make good enough chances.

“It is a harsh defeat in terms of the scoreline. To win by 4-1 was harsh on the Watford players today and the effort they put in.

“When you get a very good away win, everyone expects you to come out and win because that is what the dreams are made of. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way. That is something we have to accept and mustn’t allow it to affect what we do in future matches.”

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