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Hornets feel the sting of relegation; IT'S BYE-BYE ROY AND WATFORD.

Byline: IAN BAKER at Selhurst Park

C PALACE 1 Zaha 31 pen

WATFORD 0

ROY HODGSON was given a hero's welcome on his return to Selhurst Park before Watford were relegated without so much as a fight.

The ex-England and Palace manager was given a standing ovation before and after the game amid cries of "Roy Hodgson, he's one of our own."

But Hodgson was put out of his misery, and his first ever relegation confirmed, after the Hornets' sixth straight loss.

It just had to be Watford's arch nemesis Wilfried Zaha who provided the knockout blow with a first half penalty with Hassane Kamara later sent off.

Hodgson, 74, will quit football at the end of the campaign and it has to be said this was a job too far.

But he said: "I have no regrets at all about taking this job.

"I felt pretty obvious that we were getting relegated last Saturday. It's been a tough week. I've never given a press conference in charge of a team being relegated. It was not a record I was looking forward to claiming.

"But I have a lot of good feelings today. It was fantastic to get a good reception to come out to the fantastic Palace support, that was very touching.

"I was absolutely delighted with that.

I can't thank the Selhurst Park crowd enough."

This match started nearly four minutes late as groundsmen struggled to burst balloons on the pitch.

But it was Watford who looked a sorry, deflated mess.

They needed a miracle to stay up but were well off the pace.

Michael Olise pulled the strings for Palace and he crossed for Marc Guehi who headed over before going close with a shot himself.

Zaha has wound Watford and their fans up over the years and was even mocked by mascot Harry the Hornet who pretended to dive at a game a few years back.

But the Palace forward had the last laugh as he scored the winning penalty on 31 minutes, sending Ben Foster the wrong way.

Kamara handled Olise's header in the area with Graham Scott's decision approved by VAR.

"Wilfried Zaha, he's sending you down," chanted the gleeful Eagles fans.

Watford were toothless and summed up by Emmanuel Dennis colliding with team-mate Tom Cleverley at a corner.

Just before the break Guehi's header was well saved from a corner.

In the second half, Odsonne Edouard was unlucky not to make it two when he hit the inside of the post.

The game was up for Hodgson and Watford when Kamara fouled Olise on the touchline 21 minutes from the end and was given a second booking.

There was a strange feeling at the finish as Hodgson applauded the Palace fans but not his own supporters.

He said: "The Watford fans were too far away. I suppose in hindsight I could have done.

"There was nothing in that, it did not really occur to me.

"The Watford fans deserve a lot of credit. They tried to keep the team going."

Palace need five more points to match their 49-point record in a Premier League season.

a

And boss Patrick Vieira said: "We're pleased and want to finish well. I think we were in control but it wasn't our best performance."

the fans

He added: "It was always a difficult task for Roy arriving in the middle of the season. He's an example to every coach."

HOW THEY RATED

CRYSTAL PALACE:Butland 6; Clyne 6, Andersen 6, Guehi 7 (Mitchell 73, 6), Ward 6; Gallagher 7 (Schlupp 63, 6), Hughes 7; Olise 8, Eze 7, Zaha 8 (Mateta 83); Edouard 7.

Subs not used: Matthews, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Kouyate, Ayew, Benteke.

WATFORD: Foster 7; Femenia 6, Cathcart 6, Samir 6 (Ekong 78, 6), Kamara 4; Sissoko 6, Kayembe 6, Cleverley 6 (Sema 52, 6); Sarr 5, King 5, Dennis 5 (Masina 73, 6).

Subs not used: Bachmann, Ngakia, Etebo, Gosling, Kabasele, Kalu.

MAN OF THE MATCH:Michael Olise. Involved in all the big moments in the game in an encouraging attacking display.

REFEREE: Graham Scott 7.

Zaha 31 pen

MATCH FACTS

CAPTION HEADER style in here different style in different style | |This is the first time in his managerial career that Roy Hodgson will end a Premier League campaign in the relegation zone with a team.

|Watford have been relegated in consecutive top-flight campaigns for the first time since a run of three seasons ending in relegation (1987-88, 1999-00 and 2006-07).

| Crystal Palace have kept a clean sheet in four consecutive home games in the top-flight for the first time since a run of five between March and April 1992. | |Since the start of the 2013-14 campaign, only Manchester City (52) and Liverpool (51) have scored more Premier League penalties than Crystal Palace (48, one more than Man Utd). | |Hassane Kamara (left) became the first Watford player to both concede a penalty and be shown a red card in a single Premier League game since Christian Kabasele versus Bournemouth in October 2018. | |Wilfried Zaha is the first Crystal Palace player to score both home and away versus Watford in a league season since Zaha himself in 2011-12 in the Championship.

VITAL STATS C PALACE WATFORD 7 ............. Shots on Target............1 4 ............. Shots off Target........... 2 4 ............... Blocked Shots ............ 3 8 ..................... Corners................... 5 11........................Fouls ................... 18 2 .....................Offsides ..................0 2 .................Yellow Cards ............... 1 0 ................... Red Cards ................. 1 85.0 .... Passing Success %...69.7 50.................Duels Won ............. 50 49.5 ....... Duel Success %.....50.0 11......................Tackles ..................17 36.4 ........ Tackles Won %...... 64.7 67.8 ............. Possession ..........32.2 49.7.......Territorial Adv %....50.3 526............. Total Passes ......... 244 24 .............. Total Crosses ............16 134 ............... Lost Balls.............. 115 59................ Recoveries............. 56 71.4 .........1st Half Poss %. ..... 28.6 64.7....... 2nd Half Poss %..... 35.3

REMAINING FIXTURES...

CRYSTAL PALACE May 15 Aston Villa (a)........ PL May 19 Everton (a) ............ PL May 22 Man Utd (h) ........... PL

WATFORD Wed Everton (h) ............ PL May 15 Leicester (h).......... PL May 22 Chelsea (a) ............ PL

'' Zaha was mocked by Watford mascot Harry the Hornet a few years back... ...'Wilfried Zaha, he's sending you down' chanted the gleeful Eagles fans
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN BAKER at Selhurst Park
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 8, 2022
Words:1005
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