By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo fired blanks in 90 minutes of action on Saturday evening as Watford defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park.
Ighalo had scored 14 Premier League goals heading into the game but has now not scored in three straight league games. He has started in all but one of the Hornets’ games this season.
Watford enjoyed most of the possession in the first half and Ighalo’s strike partner and team captain Troy Deeney scored from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after he was fouled in the box by Crystal Palace’s captain, Mile Jedinak.
Emmanuel Adebayor grabbed the equaliser for Palace on the dot of 45 minutes as he leapt high to head home a cross, his first goal for the Eagles and interestingly from his seventh touch of the ball in the match.
Ighalo was a marked man and was hardly given a breather by the Palace defenders but he hit the under of the Palace post in the 35th minute of the game.
The former Udinese and Granada forward went for the spectacular with four minutes to the end of the first half when he hooked the ball over the bar when a header could have sufficed.
Watford had a scare in the 58th minute of them as they had to clear the ball from their goal area as Crystal Palace threatened.
Ighalo and Deeney’s exchange of passes in the 62nd minute around the Palace’s eighteen yard box was a worry for Alan Pardew in the hosts’ dugout but Palace dealt with that.
Adebayor attempted to score his second of the day with a looping header shortly after that but the opposition keeper, Gueherlmo Gomis was alert.
Deeney scored his brace in the match in the 82nd minute. The English striker controlled and fired a low shot that beat Wayne Hennessey in Palace goal, the Palace defence sloppy with the clearance of the ball from a corner.
Yohan Cabaye rasping shot in the 90th minute hit the foot of Watford’s post but Wilfried Zaha’s follow-up was disappointing while Joe Ward’s header hit the crossbar.