Crystal Palace will have another shot at winning the FA Cup against Manchester United just like they did 26 years ago, when their manager Alan Pardew was in the side. They beat Watford 2-1 in a semi final, which was a game of two halves. Pardew is already a legend in South London due to the goal he scored to get Palace into the final back then in 1990 against Liverpool. He could go down as one of their greatest managers if he manages to become the first manager to win them a major trophy.
Watford nearly drew level as a cross swung in from the right was nearly turned into his own goal by Joel Ward.
Sadly that was about as good as the first half got as both sides were bereft of ideas. Although Palace at least showed some promise through Bolasie, Jason Puncheon and Wilfried Zaha, Watford on the other hand simply could not get going and it looked like they were in awe of the occasion. Palace led 1-0 at the break.
After the break Bolasie weaved his way into the Watford area from the left and hit a shot, which Pantilimon saved with his legs and Palace were awarded a corner, which came to nothing.
Watford could not play any worse and in the 55th minute from a corner by Jose Manuel Curado, Troy Deeney lost his marker and headed the ball home to bring the Hornets level. Game on.
On the hour mark Crystal Palace regained the lead. Pape Souare crossed from the left and Connor Wickham headed the ball past Pantilimon. That was a great response from Palace and the game had certainly warmed up. What a contrasting half to the first.
With just 9 minutes of the game left, Odion Ighalo got sight of goal but he shot wide of the mark. Emmanuel Adebayor came on for Wickham and he got hold of a mislaid pass, played it to Zaha who could only find the side netting.
In the first of the five added minutes the ball fell to Adlene Geudioura who fizzed low shot, which was just wide of Wayne Hennessey’s goal. As the final whistle blew the fans from South London were delirious while the Watford end reflected on a missed opportunity. In truth Watford did not really turn up in this semi final, unlike Palace who at least showed some promise. Ighalo did not get a sniff of goal but that is the way it has gone for him since the turn of the year.
For Palace who are virtually safe in the Premier League they now have a cup final to look forward to at the end of the season.