Hornets hopes for prem survival hit hard as Zaha makes old boss Hodgson suffer

ROY HODGSON once saved Crystal Palace, but last night his old pal Wilfrid Zaha dealt his hopes of survival at Watford a potentially fatal blow.

The former Eagles boss relied heavily on Zaha when he orchestrated a great escape to help his kids club get through a fall in 2018.

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Palace top player Wilf Zaha scored in the 85th and 90th minutes to kill Watford.Image Credit & Copyright: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Striker Wilf Zaha Won Palace'S First Premier League Victory In 2022.

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Striker Wilf Zaha won Palace’s first Premier League victory in 2022.Image Credit & Copyright: Richard Pelham / The Sun

But his trusted winger returned to chase him down with a killer double, leaving the North Londoners four points behind safety.

The visitors were also helped by signed star loan Gallagher came back with a kick, scoring a goal and providing an assist as he was ineligible to face his parent club last time.

He has now scored a staggering eight goals and provided five assists in 25 games since joining Palace last July.

Zaha’s double and Gallagher’s moment of magic came after Moussa Sissoko canceled Jean-Philippe Mateta’s first strike, ending a regrettable six-match unbeaten streak away.

Prior to the game, Hodgson insisted he was unfazed by claims that Palace had been playing more expansive football since his departure last year.

But he certainly drew attention last night when Patrick Vieira’s laid back and smooth approach paid off.

When Hassane Camara knocked out Gallagher, a penalty was played, but referee Andre Marriner didn’t mind.

The hosts hit back hard, Ismaila Sarr broke through on the right flank and made a cross, but no one was able to strike a decisive blow.

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Up until yesterday, neither side had been able to score in the first half of the Prem 2022 game, but Ben Foster made sure that ended.

The Hornets’ stopper managed to slip off the balloon, which floated onto the field when he attempted to pop it.

This elicited screams from the far end, “Shove your fucking Go Pro up your ass,” which even Foster laughed at.

And Palace lashed out at his loss of concentration, Femenia poked Gallagher’s initial shot into the path of Jean-Philippe Mateta, who spun and then struck 15 minutes later.

Foster remained angry at his defenders, but they could have equally blasted him for being frozen in place like a deer in headlights as Mateta’s effort swam past him.

The Watford stopper was thanking his lucky star that Sissoko was there on the other end to pick up the pieces in just three minutes.

Cameras zoomed in on the Hornets skipper, who had glittering eyes as he waited for a corner from Kiko Femenia before rising above the rest to land a headbutt.

Mateta again broke through to the other end, but lost his balance and was unable to parry the blow.

Eagles Stars Attack Their Second Conor Gallagher Goal

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Eagles stars attack their second Conor Gallagher goal1 credit
Conor Gallagher Regains Crystal Palace Lead Ahead Of Break

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Conor Gallagher regains Crystal Palace lead ahead of breakImage Credit & Copyright: Richard Pelham / The Sun

Emmanuel Dennis then attempted a header at the other end, but his header flew over the bar.

Foster redeemed his earlier antics with a stunning outstretched leg save in a grinding effort from Michael Oliz.

But Palace didn’t give up, and a red-hot Gallagher scored furiously into the top corner after a cross from Tyreke Mitchell in the 42nd minute.

Mateta took a jump step from the restart and broke free before delivering a threatening cross into the box, but Olize mistimed his run and was unable to record it.

Oliz later tried his luck at a distance, but Foster scooped him up safely.

Dennis charged into the box at the other end, but Joachim Andersen and Marc Guey picked him up before he could create any real danger.

Frenchman Moussa Sissoko Celebrates His Early Promotion At Watford

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Frenchman Moussa Sissoko celebrates his early promotion at WatfordImage Credit & Copyright: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Striker Jean-Philippe Mateta Puts Crystal Palace Ahead By A Quarter Of An Hour.

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Striker Jean-Philippe Mateta puts Crystal Palace ahead by a quarter of an hour.Credit: Reuters

There was a late flurry of chances for the home side, with Samir landing an inch-wide header before Dennis missed a sitter in front of Butland.

The guests then had an iron castle for the game, and all thanks to Zaha.

The winger fired wide of Foster after Jordan Ayew made the target in the 84th minute.

Moments later, he slipped past two defenders before swerving into the far corner to take stock.

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Jean-Philippe Mateta Is Delighted That He Strikes So Quickly For

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Jean-Philippe Mateta delighted with striking so quickly for the Eagles1 credit
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko Rose To Watford'S Level In The 18Th Minute.

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Midfielder Moussa Sissoko rose to Watford’s level in the 18th minute.Image Credit & Copyright: Richard Pelham / The Sun

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