Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira believed his side were not at their best during the 1-0 win against Roy Hodgson’s Watford but praised the maturity of the squad to pick up all three points.
The Eagles took the lead in the 31st minute when Michael Olise headed Eberechi Eze’s cross onto the arm of Watford left-back Hassane Kamara.
Wilfried Zaha took the penalty and tucked away his 14th goal of the season in all competitions past Ben Foster.
Palace went close to doubling their lead in the 61st minute when Odsonne Edouard shimmied his way through the Watford defence and unleashed a shot that hit Foster’s foot and bounced off the post.
Hodgson’s side were then reduced to 10 men in the 69th minute when Kamara was issued with a second yellow card for a push on Michael Olise as he looked to break towards the Watford goal.
Watford were relegated from the Premier League after failing to pick up the three points they needed.
The Eagles moved into the top 10 of the top-flight thanks to Zaha’s penalty.
“Yes, I am really pleased with the win today and the number of points that we have,” said Vieira, with Palace only six points away from beating their record Premier League points tally.
“Of course, we want to perform well to try to win football matches. There are three games left, and we will play those three games to the best of our ability because we want to build for next season – it is important for us to finish well.
“We were always in control [of the match], but it was a difficult game because we didn’t move the ball quick enough to find those players between the lines and create chances – we made it difficult for ourselves.
“We managed to win the game in the end. It wasn’t our best performance, but we showed a lot of maturity with the way we managed and controlled the game.”
Former Palace boss Hodgson suffered his first relegation in the Premier League following the defeat at Selhurst Park.
When asked how much he felt for Hodgson after Watford’s place in the bottom three was confirmed, Vieira added: “It is always difficult for a manager to get relegated, but it was a really difficult task when you arrive in the middle of the season.
“When you look at the career he has had as a manager, I believe that he is an example for a lot of coaches.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD