They certainly huffed and puffed, as four bookings in a spikey affair will testify, and it was certainly one of the better away performances this season. It's just that games in this league are decided by such fine margins and today, one goal was enough to settle it. You win some, you lose some. It just would have been handy if the Hornets could have drawn this one and kept the points tally ticking over. Anyhow, before the game against Liverpool last week everyone would have taken three points out of the next two games.
There was never going to be much in this one, not when Palace were the lowest scorers at home in the league and the Hornets were the second most goal-shy side on the road, and so it proved.
The goal came somewhat against the run of play. Amid some lovely promptings and driving runs from Will Hughes, the Hornets made an assured start. They had four shots to Palace's none after 20 minutes, including one from Ismaïla Sarr, the man of the moment, that went for a corner via a Palace deflection and one from Hughes that he dragged wide with his right foot.
The best Palace could muster was an attack involving Patrick van Aanholt after 24 minutes that Ben Foster had to smother. Apart from that, it was all fairly comfortable. It was therefore a bit of a bolt from the blue when Ayew rattled one in after 29 minutes. Christian Kabasele felt he was fouled by Christian Benteke at the very start of the move, but that should not detract from the quality of the strike from Ayew, the Ghanian, who rattled one clean as a whistle past Foster from the edge of the box. It was only their 12th home goal in 15 home games.