Monday 11 December 2017

Allardyce joy as Palace ramp up escape bid

Crystal Palace 1 Watford 0

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke in action with Watford's Younes Kaboul. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke in action with Watford's Younes Kaboul. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sam Allardyce declared that Crystal Palace's escape from relegation is "on" after they secured a third successive victory with yesterday's defeat of Watford.

Troy Deeney headed a second-half own goal that secured three vital points and lifted Palace to 16th - four clear of the bottom three.

Crystal Palace's James Tomkins (left) and Watford's Troy Deeney (right) battle for the ball. Photo: John Walton/PA
Crystal Palace's James Tomkins (left) and Watford's Troy Deeney (right) battle for the ball. Photo: John Walton/PA

A wider total of four wins from six, as well as a second in succession at Selhurst Park, has given the Eagles some momentum as they bid to preserve their Premier League status.

It has also taken them to within three points of 13th-placed Watford, and when asked if he felt they were on course for survival, Allardyce responded: "It's on. It's on.

"We've won three on the trot, four out of six; we've made the team better all round. It's nice to look at the team and say 'why change (personnel)?' Prior to this I'd been changing week-in, week-out almost to find the solution to get a result.

"They can relax with their families, build up their strength and resilience for the little game we've got next time round against Chelsea. We can look forward to that now, because of what we've done."

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri complained Palace's goal should not have stood, because he felt Luka Milivojevic had fouled M'Baye Niang in the build-up to the free-kick from which the hosts scored, but he defended Deeney's unfortunate contribution.

"We were not lucky at all," said the 55-year-old Italian. "There was a foul on Niang just before the goal, which means that we were with 10 men when they scored. In my opinion the game should have ended 0-0.

"It's an own goal; this can happen. He shouldn't apologise for this. I don't think he's happy, but it was an unlucky day: he ran and gave everything for the team so he shouldn't apologise, it was unlucky."

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