Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary Goals: 1 2 3
Match Report: Watford 3-2 Cardiff City
Gracia: “An Important Win”
Deulofeu: “We Are So Happy”
Highlights: Watford 3-2 Cardiff City
Holebas: “It Was Very Important For Us”
Affleck’s Angle: Deadline Day Diamond Dom
Gallery: Watford v Cardiff City
FPL Review: Gameweek 17
Relive our coverage of Watford’s Premier League clash with Cardiff City
Watford end winless run with Cardiff City success
Watford vs Cardiff City: Javi Gracia pleased with Hornets’ attacking play in victory
Watford player ratings: How we scored the Hornets against Cardiff City
Watford: Domingos Quina feels he’s proving some doubters wrong
Jose Holebas: Watford ‘went too sloppy’ against Cardiff City
IN PICTURES: Images from Watford’s victory over Cardiff City at Vicarage Road
Gerard Deulofeu pleased Watford’s winless run is over
Watford manager Javi Gracia said his side had been taught a “good lesson” after they held off a late Cardiff comeback to seal their first Premier League win since October.
In torrential conditions, the hosts raced into a deserved 3-0 lead courtesy of brilliant goals from Gerard Deulofeu (16), Jose Holebas (52) and Domingos Quina (68).
This was a good win for Watford. Such was the harum-scarum nature of the closing stages, however, that a moment’s reflection was needed in order to be sure. After dominating possession and storming to a 3-0 lead with some sumptuous goals, they almost threw it away in the last 10 minutes. The final moments saw the hosts clinging on to the result, keeping the ball by the corner flag.
On a slippery pitch and near-freezing conditions, Deulofeu looked like he was on a slalom run as he waltzed past three defenders into the Cardiff penalty area and calmly placed the ball past goalkeeper Neil Etheridge to open the scoring.
There are parallels with following a football team, I think. A bit. Particularly that last point. It’s a drum I’ve banged before, no apologies for that. It’s the answer to that question we used to ask when we were in the second tier. “What’s the point of being a mid-table Premier League side?” Of being (Fulham/Stoke/West Brom/insert your choice here). No hope of challenging, limited peril until there is, then it stops. We are now that side. The side that are the go-to name for throwaway lines about mid-table irrelevance. Leicester answered that question in part of course. But there’s more to it. Being Watford (any team, but Watford more so, obviously) is great because it’s us. It’s being part of something. And being us is great wherever it is. Being good is fun. But it’s not all of it.
At the end of the match there was complete bafflement. Watford had been coasting until the first Cardiff goal, which seemed to give the visitors confidence and the home side jitters. While we weren’t exactly hanging on at the end, the memory of the last minute at Goodison Park on Monday was too fresh for me to feel comfortable until the final whistle had gone.