Watford got off to the best possible start when Pereyra ended his side’s run of three matches without a goal after just two minutes when he slotted home Abdoulaye Doucoure’s neat reverse pass. The Argentine then turned provider after 28 minutes as Gray nodded in his cross to score Watford’s second.
Watford should have turned around three goals to the good, only for the inspired Dubravka to deny Deeney both from the penalty spot and the rebound. Paul Dummett upended Gray in the box after an even foot race, only for Deeney to let the north east side off the hook.
Although there is nothing tangible left to play for with this result ensuring their survival, if Watford can pick up anything at Old Trafford on the last day, then they are likely to better their record highest Premier League finish of 13th, achieved two years ago.
At the point where you’re taking off both strikers to defend an end-of-season lead at home, you’re at risk of losing people altogether. Hell, maybe you’ve already lost quite a few of them. On such a beautiful day, it feels almost anti-social, like lighting a massive bonfire without warning the neighbours to take in their washing; it’s football dragged from the freezing wastelands of January.
That game was Watford’s season in microcosm. A first half in which we played some gorgeous football, were clearly the better team, but missed a penalty when we could have finished the game off. The second half was much more nervy as the players tired and, while they defended decently enough, allowed the visitors too much time in our half so my nerves were in shreds. Again, the opposition scored with their only shot on target. Thankfully, on this occasion, it only affected the goal difference.
Christian Kabasele picked up the Community Ambassador award before Abdoulaye Doucoure received Players’ Player and was encouraged to sing his song in front of the Rookery, in what was probably his last appearance at Vicarage Road.