MX23RW : Friday, February 22 03:03:38
Apr 24, 2016 at 4pm UK at ​Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace
Bolasie (6'), Wickham (61')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Deeney (55')

Result: Crystal Palace beat Watford to make FA Cup final

Crystal Palace overcome fellow Premier League side Watford to reach the final of the 2016 FA Cup, where they will meet Manchester United.

Crystal Palace will face Manchester United in the 2016 FA Cup final after beating Watford 2-1 in the semi-finals of the competition at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

Yannick Bolasie sent Palace into a sixth-minute lead in London, but Watford levelled the scores 10 minutes into the second period when Troy Deeney headed home from close range.

Palace regained the lead just past the hour, however, as Connor Wickham's clever header proved enough to send Alan Pardew's side into the FA Cup final, where they will meet Louis van Gaal's Man United.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Bakary Sako celebrate their team's victory following the FA Cup semi-final between Watford and Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on April 24, 2016© Getty Images

Palace boss Pardew kept faith with his 4-3-3 formation at Wembley, with Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha and Wickham all starting in what was an attacking Eagles XI.

Watford, meanwhile, were boosted by the return of Deeney and Odion Ighalo, while Costel Pantilimon started ahead of Heurelho Gomes as Quique Flores kept faith with his FA Cup goalkeeper.

Palace made the brighter start to proceedings and they were rewarded in the sixth minute when Damien Delaney's near-post header found its way to Bolasie, who kept his eye on the ball and nodded home to send the Eagles ahead. Deeney went up with Bolasie inside the box, but it was the attacker that produced the telling touch.

Deeney and Ighalo managed their first link-up in the 16th minute and it led to the former releasing a long-range strike, but it was never troubling Wayne Hennessey, who was the quieter of the two goalkeepers in the early exchanges.

Watford came close to an equaliser in the 18th minute when Allan Nyom delivered a wicked cross towards the far post, but Palace defender Joel Ward just about managed to scramble the ball behind.

Palace continued to threaten from set pieces, however, and Pantilimon needed to get strong hands on a strike from Yohan Cabaye, before the Watford stopper kept out a free kick from Palace's French international.

Watford lost key midfielder Etienne Capoue to a knee problem in the 32nd minute, with the Frenchman leaving the field on a stretcher and Mario Suarez entering for the Hornets.

Both teams had plenty of possession in forward areas as the first period drew to a close, but both were guilty of conceding the ball too easily and a fairly uneventful first 45 minutes ended with Bolasie's header separating the two sides.

Deeney had a half-chance for Watford early in the second period when he met a deep cross from Nyom, but the skipper's header was always moving over the crossbar during a bright spell for the Hornets.

Moments later, Bolasie's pace took him into the Watford box and the 26-year-old looked to drill a low effort under Pantilimon, but the Romanian made a smart save to keep his side in the match.

Watford levelled the scores in the 55th minute, however, when Deeney rose above Scott Dann inside the Palace box to head a Jose Manuel Jurado corner past Hennessey from close range and send the Hornets fans into jubilation.

Palace were back ahead in the 61st minute though as Wickham, who had struggled for the opening hour, rose above Nathan Ake to head a Pape Souare cross into the bottom corner of the net.

Connor Wickham scores Palace's second goal with a header during the FA Cup semi-final between Watford and Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on April 24, 2016© AFP

Deeney remained Watford's biggest threat and again met a deep cross from Jurado in the 76th minute, but Hennessey was on hand to collect, before Cabaye fired straight at Pantilimon down the other end.

Bolasie was sacrificed for Palace as James McArthur entered to tighten up the midfield, but Pardew's side still had electric pace in Zaha and the Englishman should have done better after driving into the Watford box 10 minutes from time. Eventually Wickham took over and released a strike, but Craig Cathcart made the block.

Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace is watched by Jose Manuel Jurado of Watford during the FA Cup semi-final on April 24, 2016© Getty Images

Ighalo had a rare chance for Watford late on after meeting a flick from Deeney, but the striker fired over the crossbar from close range, before Jurado fired into the arms of Hennessey from the edge of the box.

Zaha's pace proved key for Palace in the latter stages as the former Man United attacker continued to run down the clock and Watford, who came close late on through Adlene Guedioura, just could not find a second as Palace marched on to their first FA Cup final since 1990.

Share this article now:
Alan Pardew is on the defensive during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Crystal Palace on April 20, 2016
Read Next:
Alan Pardew calls for Palace "hero"

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account