A lacklustre display in South London saw Watford slip to a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace as Troy Deeney’s own-goal proved the difference at Selhurst Park.
A game of little incident was settled when the Watford captain inadvertently headed into his own net with 22 minutes remaining.
Watford struggled throughout and rarely looked like troubling the Palace goal as a toothless attacking display saw them register just one shot on target.
The hosts were similarly ineffective in front of goal but were undeniably the better side, with wingers Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend being particularly impressive.
The result takes Palace to within three points of Watford and the Vicarage Road club are without a win in their last four league games.
Here’s how the Honets rated on a difficult day for Walter Mazzarri’s side.
Heurelho Gomes – 6
Bar one wayward kick, a trouble free day for the Brazilian who had little to do in the Watford goal. Could do nothing about Deeney’s own-goal.
Craig Cathcart – 6.5
Struggled to deal with the pace of Zaha in the early stages and could well have conceded a penalty inside five minutes for a push on the winger on the edge of the box. Grew to the task well, however, and improved in an unfamiliar position as the game wore on.
Younes Kaboul – 6
Important intervention with 35 minutes played to head clear Zaha’s cross as Christian Benteke waited to turn in at the back post.
Sebastian Prodl – 6.5
Constantly on Christian Benteke’s case and the Belgian forward’s failure to influence the match was thanks in no small part to the close attention of the Austrian.
A needless foul on Zaha gave away the free-kick which led to Palace’s winner to blot his copybook considerably.
Miguel Britos – 6
Competed well in his battle with Andros Townsend for much of the game. Made an important intervention to head clear a dangerous cross at the end of the first half.
Valon Behrami (replaced by Doucoure half-time) – 6
The deepest lying of Watford’s midfield Behrami broke the game up well in a first half where he did little wrong before making way for Abdoulaye Doucoure at half-time.
Daryl Janmaat (replaced by Amrabat 63) – 5
Deployed further up the pitch than his usual right-back berth, the Dutchman did his best to provide width as a winger but struggled. Slashed a half-chance wildly wide of the mark when he had time to take a touch in the box in the first half.
Tom Cleverley (replaced by Success 80) – 6
Part of the midfield three which suffered so dearly against Southampton last time out, the Everton loanee, who is set to make his move permanent, performed far better at Selhurst.
Broke up play well in the opening half and linked up well with Capoue and Behrami. Set the tempo for Watford’s better moments.
Etienne Capoue – 5.5
The Hornets’ most forward thinking midfielder and did more than most to support the isolated figure of Deeney. Strike from distance was the visitor’s best effort of an uninspired second half showing but again failed to make exert a genuine influence on the match.
M’Baye Niang – 4.5
Ineffectual in a wide left role and failed to pose any questions to Joel Ward at right-back. A tendency to drift inside left the Hornets lacking width when going forward.
Troy Deeney – 5
Isolated in attack, the Watford captain struggled to make an impact on proceedings with little support arriving to benefit from his hold up play. The striker’s day reached a low as he headed into his own net for the decisive goal.
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 6
Did his best to get on the ball and dictate proceedings after coming on at half-time but again the end product was lacking.
Nordin Amrabat – 5.5
Difficult to judge the returning Moroccan international too harshly as he made his first appearance since getting injured on New Year’s Day, but failed to make an impact.
Isaac Success – N/A
Not given long enough to make a telling impression.