Monday 11 December 2017

Cabaye hits spot on 'great day' for Eagles' boss Pardew

Watford 0 Crystal Palace 1

Crystal Palace's Yohan Cabaye celebrates scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot at Vicarage Road
Crystal Palace's Yohan Cabaye celebrates scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot at Vicarage Road
Yohan Cabaye puts Palace in the lead from the penalty spot
Watford's Allan-Romeo Nyom (left) and Crystal Palace's Bakary Sako (right) battle for the ball
Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (second from left) punches the ball clear under the challenge from Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle goes down under a challenge from Watford centre half, Sebastian Prodl

Tom Peck

Yohan Cabaye has openly admitted that the abundance of chances created by Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha - the new season's most exciting wide pairing so far - were a significant factor in drawing him from the Parc des Princes to Selhurst Park. Taking them via the penalty spot probably wouldn't be his preferred option, but they all count.

An edge-of-the-box foul by Allan Nyom on a typically exuberant Zaha, who had only been on the field a few minutes, was a forgettable game's decisive moment. Cabaye blasted the spot kick to Heurelho Gomes' right, his first Premier League goal since stoppage time on the opening day of the season that didn't change the result in a 3-1 win over Norwich.

Zaha was the best player on the pitch from the moment he came on. Arguably, he should have started the match, but his team left with a win at a ground where, before yesterday, no one had managed to score this season.

"From a manager's perspective it was a great day," said Crystal Palace's Alan Pardew.

"It wasn't our greatest performance, but it was a really good, professional performance, and as manager of the team that makes me happy."

The winning goal was an uncanny replica of the one that sent Crystal Palace into the Premier League at Watford's expense in the 2013 Championship play-off final, days that were long before the time of both Pardew and the Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores.

"We didn't lose because we conceded the penalty. We lost because we didn't play well," the Spaniard said. "They played really well. They have excellent players."

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