Crystal Palace moved up to sixth in the Premier League as Yohan Cabaye’s penalty settled a low-key clash against Watford at Vicarage Road.
Wilfried Zaha was the difference as he stepped from the bench and was tripped for the decisive second-half penalty.
Palace deserved victory, having also hit the post through Dwight Gayle.
Jose Jurado’s free-kick came back off the bar for Watford, who remain the joint second-lowest scorers in the division.
It was no surprise Palace’s winner came courtesy of a raid down the flanks – only three teams in the Premier League (Southampton, Manchester City and Newcastle) have delivered more crosses in open play than the Eagles this season.
They put in 19 crosses during the match, but it took a change of personnel to unlock a Watford defence that had not previously conceded at home this season.
Bakary Sako had looked dangerous at times, sliding a ball in for Gayle which was poked onto the post, but substitute Zaha instantly added extra pace and was more direct.
The ex-Manchester United winger won the penalty when he took on full-back Allan Nyom and induced a reckless challenge just inside the area.
Cabaye immediately put himself forward to take the penalty and made no mistake, smashing the ball into the top corner.