Premier League

Zaha penalty sees Watford’s relegation to Championship confirmed

Crystal Palace v Watford

A first-half penalty from Wilfried Zaha confirmed Watford’s relegation from the Premier League as they lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Hornets already needed a miracle to survive but it was old nemesis Zaha who had the decisive say to ensure his former manager Roy Hodgson endured an unhappy return to south London.

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Hodgson, who received a CBE at Buckingham Palace in midweek, saw his 19th-placed side struggle throughout and defeat confirmed they will be back in the Sky Bet Championship next season with Hassane Kamara also sent off to further blight a bad day for the club.

Defeat at home to Burnley last weekend had virtually confirmed the Hornets’ instant return to the second tier, which meant the veteran manager went back to his previous stomping ground on a sour note.

It was last May when the ex-England boss revealed his intention to walk away from management for good and while a reduced crowd of 6,500 spectators – due to coronavirus restrictions – bid farewell to him in a 3-1 loss to Arsenal at the end of last season, this occasion at least enabled the 74-year-old to take in a sold-out Selhurst Park for one final time.

A fine reception greeted Hodgson as he walked to the away dugout but the Eagles were not so generous on the pitch with Marc Guehi and Michael Olise going close for the hosts in the opening exchanges.

Eventually the pressure told in south London but the deadlock was only broken after 31 minutes from the penalty spot.

Full-time at Selhurst Park.

The result confirms our relegation from the Premier League.

— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) May 7, 2022

When Olise headed Ebere Eze’s cross onto the hand of Kamara, referee Graham Scott was left with the easy task of pointing to the spot. VAR reviewed the incident to check if the protests of the left-back – who insisted Olise had pushed him – were…

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