Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace: Hornets' Player Ratings
The Watford players celebrate Holebas' goal to put the Hornets 2-0 up

Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace: Hornets' Player Ratings

As Watford deservedly beat Crystal Palace, how did the individual Hornets rate at Vicarage Road?

James Baldwin

Watford took yet another three points at the weekend, this time from Crystal Palace, to continue their 100% start to the Premier League season.

Goals from Roberto Pereyra and Jose Holebas ensured that the Hornets finished the day on nine points and third in the Premier League. How did Javi Gracia's side perform in the victory?


Ben Foster: 8/10 - He made two incredible first-half saves, to deny James McArthur and Christian Benteke from giving Crystal Palace the lead. The stopper wasn't called into action much more after then, yet could not deny Wilfred Zaha from scoring in the second half. Another solid performance from the new keeper.

Daryl Janmaat: 7/10 - The Dutchman managed to keep Zaha quiet for nearly all the game, and did look good coming forward as well. He made a couple of small errors - mainly when coming forward - but defended well.

Craig Cathcart: 7/10 - Was good defensively once again and is giving much more reason to keep the other centre-backs out of the team, especially based on how well he works with Christian Kabasele.  A couple of errors, mainly with clearances, but not very noticeable.

Christian Kabasele: 9/10 - Definitely one of the stand-out players. Kabasele, once again, showed how good a centre-back he is and also showed his passion to get back and help; including one excellent sliding challenge on Benteke as he moved ran towards goal. He was quality once again, and the man of the match.

Jose Holebas: 8/10 - A changed player this season, Holebas provided manager Javi Gracia with even more reason to keep him in the starting XI. A cross-shot saw him get what would turn out to be the winner for Watford, as well as his first ever goal at Vicarage Road. However, he was even more noticeable in defence; making some great challenges. As well as that, some clinical passes were made from the left-back. Simply put, a brilliant performance.


Ben Foster brilliantly denies James McArthur in the first half 


Will Hughes: 6/10 - It is hard to blame Hughes for any of his errors, as playing on the right is not his preferred position. After all, he is a centre-midfielder. That being said, he lost possession far too many times in the first-half. Even though he improved in the second half, and created a couple of half-chances, he didn't make any real noticeable impact on the match. If he is to continue being played, he must be moved further inside.

Etienne Capoue: 8/10 - Yet another player that has completely changed under Gracia, Capoue was excellent all around the field. Most notably, he provided a quite beautiful assist for Watford's opener, charging from the halfway line past multiple Crystal Palace players, then finding Roberto Pereyra. He also made some important interceptions. However, he should have seen red for a very cynical challenge on Zaha, and that lowers his rating slightly. Other than that, it was another quality performance from the central midfielder.

Abdoulaye Doucoure: 8/10 - What has become a normality amongst Watford fans, Doucoure provided another very solid performance at the heart of the Hornets' midfield. He made some important tackles; but his spirit in coming forward is brilliant, as always. It's something that every Watford fan has become accustomed to in recent months.

Roberto Pereyra: 8/10 - Proving to be a star on Watford's left-wing, and also giving fans no reason to miss Richarlison. He created many chances once again and was a constant threat to the Palace back-line. He would have rated higher, however, there were a couple of shots which he should have, perhaps, done more with. Neither of those chances really mattered as he provided yet another beautiful finish to open Watford's scoring. Another strong performance from the Argentinian.


Roberto Pereyra celebrates after scoring Watford's first, with Etienne Capoue in the background 


Troy Deeney: 7/10 - The Watford captain is proving that he is back for good. Whilst he didn't create or have any noticeable impact on how the match panned out, he was once again leading throughout the game until he was substituted off towards the dying minutes. He was great at holding the ball up and tracked back when he could as well. He was constantly making runs as well. Hopefully, the Watford skipper can keep his form going.

Andre Gray: 5/10 - Watford's record signing didn't prevent the game plan from working today and didn't affect the game in a bad way either. However, he barely touched the ball for the large period when he was on the field. He made some good runs and did very nearly get an assist thanks to a very good save from Wayne Hennessey. The fans will be hoping for a more impactful performance next week against Tottenham.


Ken Sema: 7/10 - The winger, signed during the summer transfer window, will add to a selection headache that Gracia will have when all the midfielders, wingers specifically, are fit. He showed some very bright moments at times, dribbling past Palace players and did have some chances as well. He looks like a bright prospect for the Hornets.

Isaac Success: N/A - It is hard to judge Success as he was only on the field for about three minutes. He did show some lively moments but overall did not have enough time on the pitch to be able to judge.

Solid again from flying Hornets

Overall, another solid performance from Watford, especially in the second half. However, parts are leaving fans unconvinced. The main issue is defending set pieces. Luckily for Watford, the Eagles' delivery into the box was average at best - most of the time, the crossed ball would fly right over the heads of the Palace players in the box.

However, in the 96th minute, when a good ball was put in from a corner, Joel Ward very nearly punished Watford from it as he was gifted a free header; somehow missing.

This all being said; Watford are looking a lot more convincing both offensively and defensively this season. There are still things to work on - but it has been an extremely positive start to the 2018/19 campaign and there is very little to criticise from this team. Now the squad must step up for Sunday's test of Tottenham - and the toughest yet.