With a week of the summer transfer remaining Vieira, who is managing in the Premier League for the first time, might be looking for a new centre-forward.
His side have had 22 shots across Tuesday’s cup game and their opening two Premier League games but have only hit the target five times.
Mateta tested Foster at his near post before William Troost-Ekong brilliantly headed a teasing Conor Gallagher cross over his own bar when under pressure from Mateta.
Watford, who only had one shot in the first half, improved after the break with Troost-Ekong and Hernandez both having chances before the latter found space down the left swing, cut back and curled over a delightful cross for Fletcher, who joined the club on a free transfer after leaving Middlesbrough this summer, to poke home.
It is the third successive season that Palace have been knocked out in round two.
Watford manager Xisco Munoz to BBC Three Counties Radio: “It was a very good performance and I’m very happy with the players. We gave chances to a lot of players tonight and they showed they can cope with the situation.
“I am happy with the squad, and we can say ‘congrats tonight, you gave a good performance’. It is important for the team and squad, and it is good for improving our mentality.”
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira: “We have to change our mentality when we are in the opposition half. We have to be more aggressive and determined to take those chances because today we didn’t.
“There is a lot of frustration on our side because I think we created enough to win. I am disappointed because up front we have to improve ourselves. If we want to win football matches, we have to score goals and this is not the case.”
2NgakiaSubstituted forFemeníaat 62′minutes
31SierraltaBooked at 61mins
3RoseBooked at 90mins
12SemaSubstituted forCleverleyat 76′minutes
7KingSubstituted forDennisat 45′minutes
29Hernández SuárezBooked at 44mins
5TomkinsSubstituted forMitchellat 81′minutes
23GallagherBooked at 54minsSubstituted forMcArthurat 63′minutes
14MatetaSubstituted forBentekeat 63′minutes
Match ends, Watford 1, Crystal Palace 0.
Second Half ends, Watford 1, Crystal Palace 0.
Danny Rose (Watford) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joel Ward with a cross.
Attempt missed. Imran Louza (Watford) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Emmanuel Dennis.
Foul by Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace).
Emmanuel Dennis (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Goal! Watford 1, Crystal Palace 0. Ashley Fletcher (Watford) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cucho Hernández with a cross.
Attempt missed. Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Marc Guéhi (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Watford).
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Tyrick Mitchell replaces James Tomkins.
Offside, Crystal Palace. Jeffrey Schlupp tries a through ball, but Wilfried Zaha is caught offside.
Substitution, Watford. Tom Cleverley replaces Ken Sema.
Attempt missed. Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Francisco Sierralta.
Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James McArthur.
Foul by Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace).
Danny Rose (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
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