A brilliant Jordan Ayew strike clinched a narrow win for Palace, whilst the Hornets remain deeply involved in the relegation dogfight.

In a tense and scrappy encounter at Selhurst Park, Jordan Ayew’s eighth league goal of the season was enough to separate the two sides.

Roy Hodgson decided to stick with the same eleven from last weekend’s victory over rivals Brighton, which meant captain Luka Milivojevic was left on the bench for the second game in a row.

The visitors looked the most threatening in the early stages of the game, but attempts by Abdoulaye Doucoure and Will Hughes failed to test Vicente Guaita.

Although Palace were frequently giving the ball away cheaply at the back, and looked flustered, it was the Eagles who opened the scoring in the 29 th minute, with their first attempt on goal.

Christian Benteke held the ball up for Palace down the left hand side, before laying the ball off to Wilfried Zaha who fed Jordan Ayew.

The Ghanaian international had very little space, but that did not prevent him from firing home from twenty yards out, leaving Ben Foster with no chance.

It was a rare first-half goal for the Eagles. 

Sixteen of their twenty-eight Premier League games had been goalless at half-time, whilst it as only their seventh first-half goal this season.

The visitors came close to an equaliser when Troy Deeney tried his luck from thirty yards out, however Guaita was equal to the task and tipped the ball over the crossbar.

The Hornets were poor in the second half, and rarely threatened the Palace goal.

The Eagles seemed to be content with Watford having possession of the ball, but they could do very little with it.

Benteke came close to doubling the lead for Palace with a bicycle-kick towards the end of
the game, but his effort could only find the side netting.

Meanwhile, Foster denied Ayew from killing the game off in injury time.

The win leaves Palace twelve points clear of the relegation zone, whilst Watford remain in
17 th - only out of the bottom three on goal difference.

Man of the match – Jordan Ayew

Crystal Palace:
Guaita, Ward, Dann, Cahill (c.), van Aanholt, McCarthy, McArthur (Milivojevic
71’), Kouyaté, Zaha, Ayew, Benteke; SUBS: Hennessey, Kelly, Schlupp, Riedewald,
Milivojevic, Meyer, Townsend. (4-3-3).
Watford: Foster, Kiko, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina, Hughes (Gray 84’), Capoue, Sarr,
Doucoure, Pereyra (Welbeck 74’), Deeney (Pussetto 74’); SUBS: Gomes, Dawson, Mariappa,
Chalobah, Pussetto, Welbeck, Gray. (4-2-3-1).
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: 25,461