WATFORD, England (AP) — Watford pulled off something of a coup in 2016 in persuading Roberto Pereyra to swap potential Champions League glory with Juventus for life at a midtable Premier League side.
Two years later, the English club is starting to get a strong return for its investment.
Pereyra scored his third goal in three games this season to help Watford beat Crystal Palace 2-1 on Sunday, keeping up its 100 percent start to the Premier League. It is only the fourth time in Watford’s 137-year history that the team has won its first three games of a league season, and the first time in the Premier League.
Pereyra, who scored twice in the 2-0 opening-weekend win over Brighton, received the ball on the left, cut inside and curled a low shot into the corner to put Watford ahead against Palace in the 53rd minute.
Jose Holebas added a second for Watford in the 71st when what appeared to be an attempted cross from the left drifted into the top corner of the net.
Wilfried Zaha reduced the deficit in the 78th with his second goal of the season for Palace and the visitors nearly snatched a point, with Joel Ward heading wide from close range from a corner with almost the last touch of a game played in wet and slippery conditions.
Watford joined Liverpool and Chelsea in securing nine points from its first three games and Pereyra is a big reason for it, having scored only seven goals in his first two seasons at the club located just north of London.
Now over injury problems that have affected his time at Vicarage Road, Pereyra is showing the qualities that saw him play in the Champions League final for Juventus in 2015 and win back-to-back Italian league titles with the Turin club.
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