It wasn’t the result Watford wanted but a battling performance would likely have encouraged new boss Nigel Pearson as he watched the goalless draw with Crystal Palace unfold.

The Hornets carried the greater attacking threat of the two sides but, once again, their forward efforts were let down by their decision making in the final third against an organised and resolute Eagles outfit.

Here’s how we scored the Hornets:

Ben Foster – 6

Was a virtual spectator in shot-stopping terms thanks to the efforts of those in front of him. Fielded the ball competently when called upon.

Kiko Femenia – 7.5

Bounced back from a difficult night at Leicester impressively. Helped minimise the threat of Wilfried Zaha, positioning much improved, but was still able to get forward and offer an attacking outlet.

Christian Kabasele – 7.5

Came straight back into the side after an injury and more than justified his inclusion with a very solid 90 minutes. Doubled up on Zaha when required and also produced some impressive challenges.

Craig Cathcart – 6.5

Played his part in minimising the threat Palace carried going forward with another unfussy, effective game in the heart of the defence.

Watford Observer:

Adam Masina – 7

Carried on from where he left off at Leicester and has grabbed his opportunity with both hands in the absence of Jose Holebas. Another strong defensive performance.

Etienne Capoue – 6.5

Typically industrious and was also able to show his quality on the ball with some fine passes.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 6

A better afternoon in terms of pass selection and decision making, but still striving to get back to his dynamic box-to-box best.

Ismaila Sarr – 7.5

Quick, strong and a constant threat throughout. Was the player most likely to make something happen in the final third and but for an excellent Gary Cahill challenge, he may well have provided the match-winning contribution after Troy Deeney had flicked the ball into his path. Needs most consistency to his end product, but by no means alone in that regard.

Roberto Pereyra – 5

Came back into the side after an injury lay-off, but looked off the pace and was struggled to affect the game with his quality.

Gerard Deulofeu – 5.5

A threat because of his ability but again let down by his decision making, His set-pieces were also disappointing.

Watford Observer:

Troy Deeney – 6.5

Didn’t have much joy in front of goal, but the skipper held the ball up and linked the attacking play well with his flick-ons. Had justifiable cause to feel aggrieved at not getting the decision in his favour when Cahill had him in a headlock in the penalty area. Was much more like his usual self as he gets back up to full speed following his injury lay-off.


Andre Gray - 5.5

Replaced Pereyra with 13 minutes of normal time remaining. Had one good opening but will be disappointed to have scuffed his attempted finish.

Nathaniel Chalobah - 5.5

Came on for Doucoure with 12 minutes to go and helped keep the Hornets moving forward as they sought a late winner.