Julian Speroni watched on from the other end of the pitch, kicking every ball, as the drama unfolded with the minutes ticking down on another memorable night under the Selhurst lights.
Daryl Janmaat had given Watford the lead after just three minutes and with the opportunity to move out of the bottom three the home side knew how important the maximum of three points would be.
Two substitutes on the night were to be the heroes, Bakary Sako put the game on level terms and then James McArthur slotted home Wilfried Zaha's cross in added time.
“It was certainly a tense finish but I am so glad we managed to score those two goals at the end and get such a precious win,” said Speroni as he reflected on the perfect ending to his 400th appearance for the club.
“They are a very good team, well organised and put pressure on you, we knew what to expect and they came out really quick at us and got the early goal which gave them a big lift. In the second half though we controlled the game, we kept pushing and it was great for us to be able to find those two goals right at the end.”
The victory for Roy Hodgson's side means their unbeaten run is now six games and finished the night in 17th place, the first time the club have been outside the bottom three this season.
Zaha had a hand in both goals as Watford’s defence struggled to cope with his dominance on the wing but the Eagles goalkeeper was also delighted with how the whole team never gave up the cause and once again showed the level of character in the squad.
“Wilf is a very important player for us and he showed what he can provide again tonight but the whole team was brilliant. The way they kept going and pushing for the win with everyone playing their part for us to get such an important three points.
“The Premier League is so tough with the margins so small so whatever is happening in the game you just have to keep going, whatever the score you need to keep pushing because you just never know what the outcome will be. In a split second the opposition may switch off so you have to be ready to take the advantage. We have to keep doing that and making sure we keep at the task and our work rate needs to stay at the required level so that we can keep climbing up the table.”
The 38 year old added another statistic to his long list of Palace career milestones as the game saw him chalk up appearance number 400, quite a career in south London from the day he moved down from Dundee in July 2004.
“400 is a big number and I am so pleased, I am delighted to have achieved that many games and really it is not a target I have had in my mind but I can’t complain and I am just delighted to reach another chapter of my Palace career.”
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