Month: April 2019

15th April 2019- Premier League, Watford 0 Arsenal 1

Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
20,480

Match Report: Watford 0-1 Arsenal

Foster: “We Can Take A Lot Of Heart”

Gracia: “I Don’t Understand That Decision”

Cathcart: “Our Reaction Showed What Sort Of Team We Are”

Gracia: “With 10 Players We Dominated The Game”

Gallery: Watford v Arsenal

Watford lose to Arsenal after Troy Deeney red card

Watford beaten at home by Arsenal as Troy Deeney is sent off

Javi Gracia said Watford captain Troy Deeney owes him no explanation after Arsenal red card

Watford players performances rated from Arsenal defeat

A selection of images as 10-man Watford push Arsenal all the way

Javi Gracia is not blaming Watford’s players for their mistakes against Arsenal

A Ben Foster howler and a needless Troy Deeney red card helped Arsenal climb back into the Premier League top four with victory at Watford.

It is sometimes said that teams play better with ten men and this certainly applied to Watford for the remainder of the half. Craig Cathcart went close in the 20th minute with a close range effort, but was denied by the leg of Bernd Leno.

“I don’t agree [it was a red card],” said Gracia. “Troy put his arm there but there was no contact with his elbow. I never saw an aggressive movement. I don’t understand why the referee took the decision.” The Spaniard’s frustration was clear but he was also right to praise his team for how they reacted to the loss of their leader. As was the case at Wembley, Watford showed resilience in the face of adversity and created enough chances to feel they were somewhat unfortunate to suffer their first loss here since Boxing Day.

As it happened

Watford went on to strike the woodwork twice, and Arsenal were reliant on an excellent performance from goalkeeper Bernd Leno. The German turned Craig Cathcart’s effort on to a post and saved acrobatically from Etienne Capoue’s free-kick before half-time. After the break it was much of the same, with Adam Masina smashing the bar from range. Arsenal were also in the debt of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, on as a substitute, who did brilliantly to block Andre Gray’s effort when an equaliser appeared certain.

The majority of Graham Taylor’s most successful players, of either era, experienced the pinnacles of their careers at Watford. We all did it together, but they bought into it, at least partly, because it was a passport out of the lower divisions. That isn’t the case this time around. The real triumph of this season has been to reconnect the modern reality of the Premier League with a basic idea of Watford Football Club, of what it is in our heads and hearts, of what it once was in Graham Taylor’s imagination. It’s true that times have changed, and we’re not going to bump into Etienne Capoue in Our Price. But it feels as if this is a group of players which understands – or has been made to understand, whatever – why this football club actually matters. (A small part of why it matters is Z-Cars, incidentally. Hands off.)

7th April 2019- FA Cup Semi Final, Watford 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 (After Extra Time, at Wembley Stadium)

Pre-Match Build Up

Doucouré: “Perfect Captain Deeney Gives Us Energy”

Holebas: “Football Is About Emotion”

FA Cup Team News: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Gracia: “We Know We Can Beat Them Again”

Gracia: “Capoue & Doucouré Are The Best Midfielders”

Gracia: “My Sons Are Singing The Songs”

Watford captain Troy Deeney has said the FA Cup semi-final is less exciting than the chance to build a legacy

Will Hughes says Watford won’t take Wolverhampton Wanderers game for granted after victory earlier in the season

Watford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Richard Lee would toss a coin to decide whether Ben Foster or Heurelho Gomes starts FA Cup semi-final

Watford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Javi Gracia says reaching FA Cup final would be the best achievement of his career

Watford vs Wolverhampton: Nuno Espirito Santo predicts ‘very close’ FA Cup semi-final

Watford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Joao Moutinho issues warning ahead of FA Cup semi-final

Watford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ben Foster thinks it would be harsh to leave Heurelho Gomes out of the semi-final

An insight into the Hornets’ FA Cup semi-final opponents

Andre Gray has forgiven Wolverhampton Wanderers for releasing him as a young academy player

Jose Holebas is proud of Watford’s team mentality and wants fans to make noise at Wembley

Watford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Jave Gracia praises Nuno Espirito Santo ahead of FA Cup semi-final

FA Cup: Man City, Brighton, Watford and Wolves compete in semi-finals

Before the season began, Watford were joint-third favourites for relegation, considered by bookmakers to be better only than Cardiff and Huddersfield. Javi Gracia was fifth in the betting to be the first top-flight manager to be sacked. General opinion was clear, and scathing. Fast forward eight months and Watford are jostling with Wolves for both seventh place in the top flight and, on Sunday, a spot in the FA Cup final.

Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
80,092
1-2
2-2
3-2
Full Time

FA Cup Match Report: Watford 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers (AET)

Gomes: “You Must Always Believe”

Gracia On Deulofeu: “He Was Angry & I Like To See That”

Deulofeu: “I’m Just Happy To Help The Team”

Gracia: “Players Want To Keep Going And Improve”

Murphy: “A Better Story To See Deeney Lift The FA Cup”

Cathcart: “The Best Season I’ve Had With Any Team”

Gray: “Anything Can Happen”

Gallery: Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers

FA Cup Highlights: Watford 3-2 Wolves (AET)

Affleck’s Angle: Tears And Joy

Femenía: “Deeney Is A Legend”

Watford come back to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in FA Cup semi-final

Hornets astonishingly come from two behind to reach FA Cup Final

Javi Gracia’s pride in players and fans after FA Cup semi-final triumph

Gerard Deulofeu says first goal was his most important

 Javi Gracia felt Gerard Deulofeu was ‘angry’ when he scored first FA Cup semi-final goal

Watford players rated after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup semi-final

Hornets celebrate their FA Cup semi-final success

Javi Gracia told Watford players to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers and avoid cup final regret

Watford’s FA Cup third round opponents Woking have offered their congratulations after incredible semi-final victory

Andre Gray believes ‘anything can happen’ against Manchester City after Watford’s FA Cup semi-final triumph

VIDEO: Watford players and fans celebrate their FA Cup semi-final triumph

Heurelho Gomes does not mind who plays in Watford’s FA Cup final

Watford captain Troy Deeney has drawn praise for emotional and open interviews following FA Cup semi-final win

FAN PICS: How Watford fans celebrated FA Cup victory over Wolves

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster has said Javi Gracia will not need convincing to select Heurelho Gomes for the FA Cup final

Gerard Deulofeu delivered a sensational display after coming on as substitute to inspire Watford’s dramatic comeback from two goals down to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers after extra time in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

All was lost but we showed character, says Javi Gracia

‘Not just a great footballing story, a great sport story’ – relive an FA Cup classic

Deulofeu claims your star man award

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo says ‘we had it and it got away’

The FA Cup has still got it. Try as some might to kill it off and downgrade its significance, Watford and Wolverhampton Wanderers produced a classic Wembley semi-final as a reminder that this great old competition can still touch all the sport’s senses.

Jake Humphrey tweet sparks donation surge for Watford fan

Jake Humphrey’s charity FA Cup tweet a ‘minor miracle’

Wolves had held a 2-0 lead until the 79th minute when Deulofeu chipped in a curling shot to spark hope for the Hornets whose captain Troy Deeney then won and scored a 94th-minute penalty.

The Rocket Men have lift off. It has been a long, long time since Watford were in the FA Cup final but they produced one of the greatest-ever comebacks in the history of this grand old competition to shatter Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Javi Gracia and his players simply refused to lose, to buy into the script that had Wolves continuing their fairytale season with a march into the final against Manchester City. It took a moment of magic to revive them and one of the highest drama to force extra time. And, with the tide of a tumultuous semi-final turned, there was a degree of inevitability about the winning goal, which was scored by Gerard Deulofeu.

Minute by minute

Gerard Deulofeu took out his anger on Wolves after being dropped from the starting Watford line-up, according to his manager, Javi Gracia, to inspire one of the great FA Cup comebacks.

As a manager you know it is definitely and incontrovertibly your day when you are faced with one major selection decision, get it demonstrably wrong and then win the game because of it. Javi Gracia’s first full season at Watford is going so well that even his mistakes work out.

Our first small victory comes with the visual display. Wolves’ tableau is impressive, but static.  A statement.  But it doesn’t compare to the frenzied energy of the waving of 33000 plastic flags, like insects swarming over the away end.  You can hear our lot now.  We’re fighting back.  The game hasn’t even started, obviously.  But we’re in it.

Then a throw-in from Holebas was knocked back to Deulofeu, it didn’t look particularly dangerous for the opposition until Gerry nonchalantly lifted the ball into the top far corner.  It was a gorgeous goal out of nothing and suddenly it was game on with 10 minutes remaining. 

She wore a yellow ribbon…

2nd April 2019- Premier League, Watford 4 Fulham 1

Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
17,301

1-0
2-1
3-1
4-1

Match Report: Watford 4-1 Fulham

Deeney: “Andre Did What He Does”

Gracia: “To Win Was The Best Way To Prepare”

Hughes: “It Gives Us Confidence Going Into Sunday”

Gallery: Watford v Fulham

Gracia On Gray: “He Is A Very Important Player For Us”

Affleck’s Angle: Past Success Shaping Bright Watford Future

Watford send Fulham back to the Championship with high scoring victory

Four-goal Watford confirm Fulham’s relegation fate from Premier League

Watford vs Fulham: Javi Gracia reflects on impact of half-time changes

Watford players rated after four one thrashing of Fulham

A selection of images from Watford’s victory over Fulham

Will Hughes has praised his Watford team-mates after they beat Fulham at Vicarage Road

Fulham have been relegated from the Premier League with five games still to play after being hammered by Watford at Vicarage Road. The Cottagers needed to avoid defeat to put off their inevitable demotion for another week and were level at half-time, Ryan Babel having equalised after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning opener for the Hornets.

Javi Gracia made two substitutions at the interval, and his tactical alteration paved the way for a dominant second period for the hosts as Will Hughes’ superb volley helped them regain the lead (63). Visibly deflated by the setback, Watford substitute Andre Gray took full advantage to set up Troy Deeney for a simple third (69) before laying off for Kiko Femenia to compound Fulham’s misery (75).

Javi Gracia praised his Watford players after Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Fulham helped them break their record Premier League points tally.

Fulham’s resolve, which had held up impressively after the first goal, completely crumbled. Gray set up easy finishes for the unmarked Troy Deeney and the insultingly ignored Kiko Femenía – with Doucouré again losing a battle with a teammate for the right to administer the coup de grâce. Watford scored three times in 12 minutes and could have had as many more again, and though Sessegnon and the substitute Jean Michaël Seri had chances, all Fulham got was misery.

It did not help Fulham’s cause, on the night, that Watford have an FA Cup semi-final to be preparing for, and places in the side up for grabs. It was telling that Andre Gray came off the bench to inspire Javi Gracia’s side, creating two of their three strikes in the second half.

On the walk along Vicarage Road, we found ourselves among Fulham fans who, given that a defeat would relegate them, were chanting, “The Whites are going down … and now you’re gonna believe us.”

The second half was polar opposite to the first. In the space of ten minutes Watford had blown Fulham away and scored three goals.