Zaha magic earns Eagles victory

A moment of magic from Wilfried Zaha put Crystal Palace on the way to a 2-0 win against Watford in their Championship clash at Vicarage Road.

Last Updated: 15/10/11 at 17:10

Zaha: On target for Palace

Zaha: On target for Palace

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The Eagles' highly-rated young winger, who is expected to be a target for a host of top-flight clubs in January, enhanced his growing reputation with a superb second-half strike.

Zaha applied the finishing touch to a rare quality move to take his tally for the season to five, and substitute Jermaine Easter grabbed a late second to make it back-to-back away wins for Palace.

The hosts will consider themselves unfortunate, though, especially after Joe Garner rattled the woodwork early in the first half.

They handed a debut to Michael Kightly and the on-loan Wolves winger was immediately in the action, forcing Palace keeper Julian Speroni to touch his shot around the post.

Kightly fired another 25-yard effort wide and then set up Garner, who thumped his shot against the foot of the post with Speroni beaten.

Palace had their chances too in the opening stages, with Sean Scannell firing a free-kick too high, Nathaniel Clyne unable to finish after a mazy run into the area and Glenn Murray heading over.

Their best opportunity of the first half came in the 33rd minute when Zaha drilled a dangerous cross into the box.

But Murray missed his kick in front of goal and, when the ball ran to Scannell, he put his shot too close to Scott Loach who was able to make a comfortable save.

After the break Hornets midfielder John Eustace got his head onto a cross from Carl Dickinson but his effort flew straight into the arms of Speroni.

Watford were forced into a change just before the hour mark when giant centre-half Martin Taylor went off injured with David Mirfin coming into the back four.

And the breakthrough finally came in the 65th minute from a lightning Palace counter-attack.

David Wright played the ball out of his own half to Scannell, whose inch-perfect pass sent Zaha racing inside Dickinson and the starlet's first-time shot flew across Loach and high into the net.

Zaha could have grabbed another when he was played in by Murray as Mirfin slipped, but he put an easier chance than the one he scored wide of Loach's right-hand post.

But Easter wrapped up the win in stoppage time with a fine run and shot to ensure Palace took the points back to south London.

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Position Team P GD PTS
1 Derby 13 13 26
2 Watford 13 11 25
3 M'boro 13 7 23
4 Wolves 13 5 23
5 Norwich 13 10 22
6 N Forest 13 9 22
7 Charlton 14 1 22
8 B'mouth 13 6 21
9 Ipswich 13 4 20
10 Cardiff 13 2 19
11 Blackburn 13 -1 19
12 Brentford 13 -1 19
13 Sheff Wed 13 0 18
14 Rotherham 13 -3 16
15 Leeds 13 -3 16
16 Huddsf'ld 13 -6 16
17 Reading 13 -8 15
18 Millwall 13 -3 14
19 Fulham 14 -6 14
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21 Brighton 13 -3 12
22 Birm'ham 13 -8 11
23 Bolton 13 -13 8
24 Blackpool 13 -11 6

Updated Fri, 24 Oct 2014

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