Watford celebrate their victory

Watford manager Javi Gracia says his side have achieved “something massive” after beating Crystal Palace to win their opening three games of the season for the first time in their top-flight history.

The Hornets maintained their perfect start in the Premier League to move behind Liverpool and level with Chelsea at the top of the table on goal difference.

Roberto Pereyra scored his third goal in as many games with an exquisite curling effort, before Jose Holebas added a seemingly unintentional second from outside the area in a resurgent second-half display.

“There is no secret. The most important thing is to work hard, and the players are being rewarded for all of their outstanding work from the pre-season,” said Gracia.

“Pereyra is scoring goals and he is an important player for us, but I would like to recognise the players that are not playing at the moment.”

Watford had been fortunate to be level at the interval, veteran goalkeeper Ben Foster pulling off two reflex saves to deny Christian Benteke and James McArthur early on.

BBC reports that Palace threatened in the opening exchanges despite their talisman Wilfried Zaha being the victim of a fierce tackle from Etienne Capoue, for which the Watford midfielder was fortunate to receive only a booking.

Zaha did pull a goal back for the visitors late on, beating his marker to drill the ball through Foster’s legs, but Watford withstood the fightback to claim all three points.