Palace book final rematch with United

Crystal Palace set up an FA Cup final rematch with Manchester United after beating Watford 2-1 in the semi-finals at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

  • Crystal Palace 2 Watford 1
  • Bolasie gives Eagles early lead
  • Deeney equalises in second half
  • Wickham scores Palace winner
  • Pardew gets United rematch

Match Summary

Palace met the Red Devils in the 1990 final and eventually lost in a replay after the original tie ended 3-3. Alan Pardew, who featured in both games for the Eagles 26 years ago, will have the chance to take revenge after steering his side past the Hornets.

The south Londoners got off to the perfect start when Yannick Bolasie opened the scoring after just six minutes, although Troy Deeney responded for Quique Flores' team 10 minutes into the second half with the equaliser.

However, parity lasted just six minutes as Connor Wickham restored Palace's lead and they saw out the remainder of the cup-tie to book only their second appearance in the FA Cup final.

Full Report

Pardew couldn't have asked for a better start from his players as they broke the deadlock just six minutes in from a corner, which was flicked on by Damien Delaney to the back post, where Bolasie nodded home from close range.

The Hornets almost found a quick response from Allan Nyom's cross from the right, which was deflected inches wide of his own goal by Joel Ward on 18 minutes.

Yohan Cabaye then tested Costel Pantilimon from a free-kick just outside the area on the left that the Watford goalkeeper saved as Palace took their one-goal lead into the break.

Bolasie drew a sharp save out of Pantilimon with his strike from an acute angle on the left early in the second half following a storming run down the flank, but it was the Hornets who would strike next.

The equaliser also came from a corner as Deeney got on the end of Jose Jurado's delivery to head past Wayne Hennessey from four yards out on 55 minutes.

However, Palace supporters silenced their Watford counterparts six minutes later to celebrate Wickham's goal after the striker rose above his marker to steer Papa Souare's cross into the left corner of the net.

The Hertfordshire outfit looked for another response and they almost found one on 82 minutes when Odion Ighalo latched onto Deeney's flick-on, but failed to test Hennessey with a shot from six yards out that flew over the target.

Adlene Guedioura had a chance to force extra-time at the death as he arrived late in the area to collect Ighalo's knockdown, but he dragged his shot fractionally wide of the mark, much to relief of Palace fans all over.