MX23RW : Wednesday, February 20 14:30:40
Apr 21, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Attendance: 20,401
Watford
0-0
Crystal Palace
FT

Result: Watford, Crystal Palace play out goalless draw

Result: Watford, Palace play out goalless draw
© Offside
Watford and Crystal Palace both boost their survival hopes after playing out a goalless draw in Saturday's Premier League fixture at Vicarage Road.

Watford and Crystal Palace have played out a goalless draw in Saturday's Premier League fixture at Vicarage Road.

Between them, the two clubs struck the woodwork on three occasions but neither side could find the goal which would have prevented the spoils being shared in Hertfordshire.

However, both Javi Gracia and Roy Hodgson will be content with a point apiece, with Watford now nine points clear of safety and Palace holding a six-point advantage over 18th-placed Southampton.

Watford began the game brightly and came agonisingly close to taking the lead in the fourth minute when Stefano Okaka - making just his third start in the Premier League this season - headed against the woodwork from 12 yards out.

The Hornets continued to dominate the opening stages of the game and in the 20th minute, Palace somehow survived when Joel Ward diverted Troy Deeney's cross towards goal, only to see Wayne Hennessey react well to prevent an own goal.

Shortly afterwards, Jose Holebas scuffed a volley straight at Hennessey from a corner but while the Hornets still controlled the tempo of the game, Palace began to have more joy in the final third.

The visitors should have moved in front when James Tomkins met an Andros Townsend free kick, but the centre-back's header was weak and straight at Orestis Karnezis.

Deeney and Will Hughes both failed to convert long-range opportunities for Watford towards the end of the first half, but head coach Gracia would have been delighted with his side's showing in the opening 45 minutes.

Both sides cancelled each other out after the restart, but by the hour mark Palace began to dictate play and nearly went in front when Luka Milivojevic's free kick struck the post and rebounded clear.

Shortly afterwards, the visitors should have been awarded a spot kick. Adrian Mariappa brought down Wilfried Zaha inside the penalty area but the frontman was wrongly booked for diving by the referee.

The decision infuriated Zaha but the Eagles almost responded with a goal as James Tomkins powered a header against the post before Deeney cleared from inside his own six-yard box.

Watford found themselves second best but the introduction of Kiko Femenia resulted in a change in formation and it quickly paid off as the Hornets gained more possession in the final third.

With 10 minutes left, the ball was worked out wide to fellow substitute Richarlison but the Brazilian's low effort from 16 yards went too close to Hennessey.

Neither team forced a late opportunity but both clubs will take the positives after boosting their chances of securing their top-flight status for another season.

WATFORD (4-4-2) Karnezis; Mariappa, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Hughes (Gray 79'), Capoue, Doucoure, Pereyra (Richarlison 55'); Deeney, Okaka (Femenia 70')

CRYSTAL PALACE (4-4-2) Hennessey; Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; McArthur (Benteke 81'), Milivojevic, Cabaye, Loftus-Cheek; Townsend, Zaha

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Christian Benteke in action for Crystal Palace on February 4, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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