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Watford in FA Cup semi-finals after Andre Gray sinks Crystal Palace

Ray Hodgson must be sick of the sight of Watford by now. A third 2-1 defeat of the season to Javi Gracia’s side after substitute Andre Gray’s late winner dashed Crystal Palace’s chances of reaching Wembley will certainly not live long in the memory for their manager and his erstwhile assistant Ray Lewington, who had been hailed by the home supporters on his return to Vicarage Road.

Without the injured Wilfried Zaha, who had been ruled out with a calf injury, at least Palace finally showed some fighting spirit after Étienne Capoue had opened the scoring in the first half before Michy Batshuayi’s equaliser. But having seen his players given the runaround for most of a blustery afternoon in Hertfordshire by the impressive Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra, Hodgson can have no real complaints about this result. In the absence of Zaha – so often the pantomime villain in these parts in recent years – the former England manager had selected Max Meyer behind his front two of Andros Townsend and Batshuayi as they attempted to bounce back from the disappointing home defeat to Brighton last weekend in front of 3,000 travelling supporters.

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