Christian Kabasele has come to the defence of Wilfried Zaha after the Crystal Palace winger was repeatedly accused of diving on Saturday.

Zaha went down under the attentions of the Watford defender in the first half but saw his appeals waved away by Chris Kavanagh.

The 25-year-old was later booked in the 0-0 draw for a supposed dive after going down dramatically in the box when Adrian Mariappa made contact with a clumsy tackle.

While the Watford faithful were in no doubt about Zaha’s intentions, Kabasele says the former Manchester United man was honest with the officials in the wake of the first half incident.

“He told me straight away that he felt he didn’t look for the penalty and it was honest on his part,” the fit-again defender said.

“I know he has a bad reputation for diving, but I think it was top class from him to say that he only fell and it wasn’t a penalty.

“I didn’t really see what happened in the second half, so it is down to the decision of the referee.”

Zaha failed to cause the problems many felt he would at the Vic and was well marshalled by the Watford defence as they kept a first clean sheet since early March.

Kabasele played a key role in that success at the back and looked to bring a level of composure to the Watford defence which has been missing for some time.

The Hornets will now hope the Belgian, who had been out with a hamstring injury since January 31, will be able to maintain his fitness for the remainder of the season.

A visit to Wembley to face Tottenham awaits in Watford’s next game before they conclude the season with a home clash against Newcastle followed by an away day with Manchester United.