Author: rajo1974

18th May 2019- FA Cup Final, Manchester City 6 Watford 0

Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
85,854

FA Cup Report: Manchester City 6-0 Watford

Owner & Chairman’s Statement: Thank You

FA Cup Highlights: Manchester City 6-0 Watford

Gracia: “Today We Suffered Together”

Mariappa: “It’s An Honour To Play In Front Of Those Fans”

Gray: “We’ll Come Back A Lot Stronger”

Gomes: “I Expect Us To Carry On Growing”

Affleck’s Angle: We’ll Be Back

Watford beaten 6-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley

Watford supporters sing until the last in face of heavy FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City

FA Cup final: Javi Gracia reacts to Watford’s heavy defeat to Manchester City

Players rated as Watford are thumped by Manchester City in the FA Cup final

Watford owner Gino Pozzo and chairman Scott Duxbury issue ‘thank you’ statement to fans

Pictures of Watford’s FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City

Adrian Mariappa said it is an honour to play for Watford after FA Cup final defeat

Heurelho Gomes wants Watford to focus on positives from their recent season

Heurelho Gomes will talk to Watford about his future plans

Andre Gray says Watford were ‘battered’ by Manchester City in the FA Cup final

Javi Gracia told Watford to come back stronger after Manchester City cup final defeat, says Andre Gray

FA Cup final: A selection of images as Watford fans arrive at Wembley

Gerard Deulofeu semi-final goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers voted best of the competition

The magic of the FA Cup is alive and well in the spirit of the Watford fans

Watford’s best chance of over-turning the odds came early on when City keeper Ederson saved at the feel of Roberto Pereyra and they were furious when referee Kevin Friend waved away penalty claims after Vincent Kompany blocked Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot.

Watford then had a strong call for a penalty turned down by Kevin Friend as Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot hit the arm of Vincent Kompany. Though the hand was by his side, we have recently seen penalties given by VAR for similar incidents, particularly in Europe, though the VAR controversially opted against a spot kick this time.

In the process it was also a demonstration of the gulf that now exists between a team that has just won back-to-back Premier League titles and one that finished 10 places further back, 48 points worse off, playing in only their second final.

Manchester City 6-0 Watford: FA Cup final player ratings

As it happened

Manchester City’s sky blue smashing of Watford proves football is broken

Might it have been different if Pereyra had taken Watford’s best chance on 14 minutes? Gracia said something about it in passing later although it felt a little wishful. The Watford coach’s point was that you really have to take your chances in those moments to have any hope at all. Abdoulaye Doucoure sprung the trap on 14 minutes and Pereyra had just Ederson to beat. But the man who is arguably the Premier League’s best goalkeeper came out at speed and seized the initiative from the Watford attacker whose shot hit Ederson’s legs.

Except that at 5-0, something remarkable happens.  We’ve been loud, in general, and in defiance of the scoreline.  Louder than a month ago, louder than City, the grim memory of the Palace play off now surely dismissed.  Because at 5-0 the songs start to thunder and the flags start to wave  and suddenly the away end is a torrent of yellow and red as flags get frantically waved.  I destroy two, the second of which floats down to the posh seats below as it detaches from its pole. It’s breathtaking and emotional.

City’s fifth came as a low cross from Silva was converted by Sterling.  At this point something remarkable happened, the flags started waving in the Watford end.  First a few and then the stand was a sea of red and yellow, all around us getting to their feet to wave the flags and sing our hearts out for the lads. 

Watford are in football’s shrinking sweet spot & that’s something to envy

Build up to the 2019 FA Cup Final, Manchester City v Watford

FA Cup Final: Fans Present Banner To Hornets

Watson: “A Fantastic Chance To Win The Cup”

Deeney: “I’ll Get To Introduce The Team To Royalty”

Smith: “Anything Can Happen”

Goalkeepers’ Union: “It’s Like A Bromance”

Watch: Geri’s Wembley Walkthrough

Gracia: “I Am So Proud To Be In This Final”

Capoue: “We Need The 12th Man”

James: “My Heart Has To Be With Watford”

Terry: “Get At Them And Unsettle Them”

Gracia: “Deulofeu Has A High Quality”

Doucouré: “We Have To Take Our Moment”

Femenía: “It’s Finally Arrived”

Cathcart: “To Give Them A Win Would Be Unbelievable”

Deeney: “Let’s Try And Make History”

The Biggest Day In Our History

Hornets fans can win tickets to FA Cup final with Vicarage Road mural selfies

Paul Robinson: Watford will ‘always have a massive place in my heart’

Watford’s road to the FA Cup final: Woking negotiated in round three

Watford’s road to the FA Cup final: A fourth round triumph on Tyneside

Watford’s road to the FA Cup final: Into the quarter-finals in west London

Watford’s road to the FA Cup final: Andre Gray strike beats Crystal Palace in quarter-final

Watford’s road to the FA Cup final: Gerard Deulofeu comes off the bench to sink Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Duke of Cambridge will present the FA Cup to either Watford or Manchester City

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany says he is focused on beating Watford in the FA Cup final

Ben Watson thinks Watford have a ‘fantastic chance’ of beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final

Luther Blissett wants Watford focused on bringing home the FA Cup

A recollection of the 1984 FA Cup final between Watford and Everton

Javi Gracia hopes previous giant killings can help Watford beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final

Watford fan travels from Australia to watch FA Cup Final at Wembley

Etienne Capoue wants the 12th man to push Watford to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final

Recalling the significance of Watford reaching the 1984 FA Cup final

FAN’S VIEW: Togetherness can help Watford beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final

Watford boss Javi Gracia will see his mother for the first time in a year at the FA Cup final

Troy Deeney wants his mum to see him lift the FA Cup with Watford

Troy Deeney wants Watford to give Manchester City a tough FA Cup final

FA Cup final: How to follow the action on BBC Sport

Watford FA Cup final: Seven days of uncertainty and the rise to success since

Watford fans bid to recreate 1984 ‘buzz’ for FA Cup Final

FA Cup: Watford’s Capoue on family, football, Baby Shark & Manchester City

FA Cup final: Hornets fly in for Watford and Manchester City game

Raheem Sterling has set standard on combating racism, says Andre Gray

BBC preview

FA Cup final: Man City look to make history, Watford aim for an upset

Man City v Watford: FA Cup final in numbers

John Barnes: ‘Winning the FA Cup would be so special for Watford… you remember honours, not whether you’ve stayed in the league for eight or nine years’

Manchester City v Watford: A complete guide

Javi Gracia says Watford’s success doesn’t ride on FA Cup glory

Watford’s Etienne Capoue says ‘nobody expects us to win’ FA Cup

FA Cup final: Manchester City face Watford with historic domestic treble in sight

Nigel Callaghan: ‘If I was meant to die I’d have died on that table’

Watford’s Étienne Capoue turns blind eye to Manchester City’s matches

‘A demanding perfectionist’: how Gino Pozzo did the unthinkable at Watford

Troy Deeney ready for FA Cup final battle with ‘beast’ Vincent Kompany

For the players, memories of Watford’s first FA Cup final still sting like it was yesterday

Troy Deeney: ‘Vincent Kompany is the league’s best centre-back since Rio Ferdinand, but if I’m on form he’ll have a tough day’

Watford FC’s hidden history revealed in five facts…

What if we win?  Yes, we’re underdogs.  But at least we’re that.  Any club in the country would love to be that right now, certainly Wolves who, whatever your attitude after three eventful games will be watching on nervously, telling themselves that this is something they can’t affect, because they can’t affect it, but worrying anyway.

FA Cup Final Preview

FA Cup Final 2019 Preview

Vicarage Road, Friday 12th April

Rickmansworth High Street, Tuesday 14th May

Watford, Friday 17th May

12th May 2019- Premier League, Watford 1 West Ham United 4

Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
20,067
1-2

Match Report: Watford 1-4 West Ham United

Deulofeu: “We Will Fight With All Our Heart”

Gracia: “It Wasn’t A Foul”

Mariappa: “We Are Capable Of More”

News: Holebas Available For FA Cup Final

Watford unable to seal top ten finish in final day loss to West Ham United

Watford vs West Ham United: Jose Holebas to miss FA Cup final after sending off in heavy Hornets defeat

Javi Gracia confirms Watford to appeal Jose Holebas sending off in West Ham United defeat

Individual player ratings for Watford’s heavy final day defeat

Jose Holebas will be available for the FA Cup final after red card is rescinded

Mark Noble scored twice as West Ham thrashed 10-man Watford 4-1 at Vicarage Road to leapfrog their hosts and secure a top-half finish in the Premier League

Gerard Deulofeu briefly gave Watford hope as he scored 11 seconds into the second half, but just two minutes later the hosts were reduced to 10 men as Holebas was dismissed for hauling back Antonio.

As warm-ups for Wembley finals go, this was a pretty tortuous audition for Watford. With an end-of-season vibe in the stands, this was always going to be the sideshow to the main event of the FA Cup final next Saturday but 10-man Watford spectacularly imploded against a clinical West Ham to hand Manuel Pellegrini’s side a top-half finish at their expense.

The normally ice-cool Gracia was left incandescent by an extremely harsh red card for José Holebas, who now looks set to miss the biggest game of his life. It was history cruelly repeating itself after Watford’s captain Wilf Rostron was suspended for the 1984 final after being sent off undeservedly at derby rivals Luton.

I still have not got over the injustice done to Wilf Rostron in 1984.  My sister took a banner to the final declaring “Wilf is Innocent”.  I have never forgiven either Roger Milford or Paul Elliott for their parts in him missing the cup final.  The thought that Jose Holebas, who has become a bit of a cult figure for his Eeyore-like demeanour but has also been one of our best players this season, was going to miss the final broke my heart.  I have to say that it was a good thing that I chose to work from home today as, when the news came through that the red card had been overturned, I sobbed uncontrollably.  Suddenly there is a good omen for next Saturday.  Jose is innocent and the Hornets have the opportunity to choose from their best players for the final.  Our chances are slim, but in a cup game you never know.  As long as we all take our best game to Wembley, we have a chance. Oh, there go those nerves again.

A disappointing finale to an otherwise fantastic season. Frustrating to have finished in the bottom half of the Premier League, but don’t let that fool you…A record points total and an FA Cup Final still to look forward to. Progress. That’s all we wanted at the start of the season and we got it. Next season we aim to progress further.

5th May 2019- Premier League, Chelsea 3 Watford 0

Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
40,650

Match Report: Chelsea 3-0 Watford

Gracia: “We Didn’t Deserve That Result”

Chalobah: “I Left It All Out There”

Deeney & Mariappa: “We Want To Finish On A High”

Watford lose at Chelsea in the penultimate weekend of the Premier League

Watford beaten by Chelsea in last Premier League away day of season

Javi Gracia rues ‘very tough result’ after Watford lose at Chelsea

Chelsea vs Watford: Javi Gracia looking beyond the results against Premier League’s top clubs

Watford players rated after losing away at Chelsea

Chelsea vs Watford: Javi Gracia praises Nathaniel Chalobah’s display

Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah speaks about tough battle to regain fitness

FA Cup finalists Watford started brightly, going close through Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu, but were left to rue their slow start to the second half that saw Chelsea quickly take the game away from them.

Watford created Maurizio Sarri’s side numerous problems, especially in a one-sided first-half, with Kepa Arrizabalaga making one of the saves of the season to deny Troy Deeney.

Even at a club where life is never simple these are strange times indeed. Chelsea have secured Champions League football, reached the League Cup final earlier this year and could secure passage to Baku and the Europa League final later this week, yet Sarri remains unloved. Perhaps the rather chaotic first-half showing here partly explained why, given their lack of pattern or focus as Watford, slicker and stronger, threatened to run riot.

Watford struck the frame of the goal twice and spurned a host of chances and given the opportunities they created and the positive way they played it is odd that they finish this season having lost their last 11 games against the ‘Big Six’.

To be fair, and as was reflected by a venerable Chelsea panel in the tube afterwards, we started the game as unlike a side preoccupied with the Cup Final as it’s possible to imagine.  We were lively, assertive and direct, pinning the home side back with some verve and energy.

We left plenty of time for our walk to Stamford Bridge and to negotiate our way past the multiple phalanxes of security guards.  There was a surprise in store as we were greeted by a voice announcing, “FA Cup Finalists to the left.”  I was still smiling when I heard another directing us on “The road to Wembley.”  A rather lovely and unexpected welcome which meant that my opinion of Chelsea went up massively.

27th April 2019- Premier League, Watford 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
20,323

1-1

Match Report: Watford 1-2 Wolves

Gracia: “We Tried Until The End But It Didn’t Happen”

Foster: “We Will Not Take Our Foot Off The Gas”

Gray: “It Feels Like The Fans Are Really Behind Me Now”

Highlights: Watford 1-2 Wolverhampton

Watford welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Vicarage Road in final push for potential European place

Watford suffer defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vicarage Road

Javi Gracia admits Watford are conceding ‘avoidable goals’ after Wolverhampton Wanderers defeat

Watford players rated after defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers

Ben Foster says Watford are keeping their foot on the gas after Wolverhampton Wanderers defeat

Wolves moved four points clear of Watford in the race for seventh place in the Premier League as goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota helped Nuno Espirito Santo’s side earn all three points at Vicarage Road.

Ryan Bennett’s mistake gifted Andre Gray an equaliser four minutes into the second period, only for Diogo Jota to take advantage of another error – this time from Ben Foster – to win it for Wolves with 13 minutes to play.

Last time these teams met was in the white heat of a Wembley FA Cup semi-final, won by Watford’s stirring comeback from 2-0 down. 

Wolves now sit seventh in the league – which would secure a Europa League qualifying spot if Manchester City win the FA Cup – four points clear of Watford and Everton, though their manager claimed they are not eyeing European football.

The player we could least afford to lose for, effectively, four games was Troy.  He’s the one.  Not the best player in the side, perhaps, but the one we are least equipped to cope without.  It was harsh, yes, the red card.  He made it possible too, undoubtedly.  Equally beyond doubt that, like Ben Foster and Craig Cathcart he’s well, well in credit.  “People who do things make mistakes”.  We’ve paid heavily for this one…  at least three points across the four games by any reasonable reckoning.

The teams ran out to “I’m Still Standing” and I was left cold again.  It is not growing on me, but at least you can hear it, unlike the Superman theme. The game kicked off and some of our fans decided that this was a good time to goad Wolves after our cup semi-final win.  I always think that pride comes before a fall, so the chants worried me greatly.

We’ve been using ‘I’m Still Standing’ now for three games and we’ve not won a single one. Based on this fact there can only be one logical conclusion… We have angered the footballing Gods and Z-Cars must be re-introduced as a matter of urgency if we are to win any game at home ever again.

23rd April 2019- Premier League, Watford 1 Southampton 1

Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
19,170

1-1

Match Report: Watford 1-1 Southampton

Gray: “It’s One Point Earned”

Gracia: “My Players Show A Lot Of Heart”

News: Watford Help Promote Rocketman Film

Masina: “We Need To Keep Going”

Janmaat: “We Changed & Felt More Comfortable”

Highlights: Watford 1-1 Southampton

Gallery: Watford v Southampton

Relive our coverage of Watford’s match with Southampton in the Premier League

Andre Gray earns late Watford point after Southampton make history with opener

Javi Gracia ‘gives value’ to point after Watford draw with Southampton

Andre Gray says Watford’s draw at home to Southampton was ‘one point earned’

How we rated the Watford players against Southampton

Adam Masina believes Watford have right character after snatching late draw against Southampton

Andre Gray’s late equaliser salvaged Watford a point in a thrilling 1-1 draw with Southampton, who scored the fastest goal in Premier League history.

Shane Long had given the Saints an early lead when he scored the fastest goal in Premier League history. Long struck after just 7.69 seconds and Southampton held on to their lead until Watford’s Andre Gray levelled from close range.

Craig Cathcart won’t forget the record-breaking moment in a hurry either as the Watford defender was the man at fault. Roberto Pereyra sent the kick-off back to the defender, whose ­attempted long ball was charged down by Long, who sprinted goalwards before dinking daintily over goalkeeper Ben Foster.

This must count as one of the Premier League’s more surreal occasions, and not just because John Barnes graced this stadium’s turf again, this time with microphone in hand, to bellow a karaoke version of Rocket Man during the half-time interval. More remarkable still was Southampton scoring within eight seconds of Watford’s kick-off, or Shane Long’s continued transformation from shot-shy workhorse into prolific goalscorer. It was only when reality bit late-on that Watford made their own impression on the night.

 It’s a funny old night, really. Funny old game, funny old night. The celebration of the imminent Elton John biopic is rather awkward and misjudged, at least in parts. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of half-time nonsense, especially with John Barnes involved and some season tickets up for grabs. It isn’t my cup of tea, but we all find our fun in different ways and we often find other people’s fun a bit cringeworthy.

20th April 2019- Premier League, Huddersfield Town 1 Watford 2

Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
23,957

1-0
2-0

Match Report: Huddersfield Town 1-2 Watford

Gracia: “Deulofeu Is Scoring Important Goals”

Deulofeu: “Making The Fans Smile Is A Pleasure For Me”

Gracia: “We Have To Improve & Be More Demanding”

Highlights: Huddersfield Town 1-2 Watford

Foster: “Deulofeu Can Always Win You Games”

Masina: “Seventh Place Is An Achievable Goal”

Watford back up to seventh in the Premier League after win at Huddersfield Town

Watford beat Huddersfield away from home to take seventh place in the Premier League

Javi Gracia said Watford had to suffer to get three points against Huddersfield Town

Watford players rated after their win away at Huddersfield Town

Javi Gracia plays down seventh place after Huddersfield Town win

Gerard Deulofeu thinks this season with Watford could be the best of his career

A selection of images from Watford’s win at Huddersfield Town

Watford’s Ben Foster has praised Gerard Deulofeu after Huddersfield Town win

Watford took a big step to becoming the ‘best of the rest’ in the Premier League as they moved seventh with a 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Saturday.

Gerard Deulofeu scored an impressive double as Watford kept their European ambitions alive with a comfortable victory over Huddersfield.

Gerard Deulofeu’s double earned Watford victory at Huddersfield, who slumped to a record-equalling Premier League defeat. Deulofeu produced a finish similar to his stunning effort at Wembley earlier this month in Watford’s FA Cup semi-final win over Wolves to give his side an early lead.

On his best days, Deulofeu looks a world-beater, ready to make good on the talent that once prompted Luis Enrique to pick him out as one to watch at Barcelona.

I will really miss going to Huddersfield.  It is a lovely ground and the pre-match pub is excellent, with good beer, good food and plenty of friendly, efficient bar staff.  I hope that they return to the Premier League very soon.

It didn’t take long for Watford to get the first goal. Five minutes on his return from injury Deulofeu attempted the same skill that saw him score his first goal at Wembley. It didn’t quite have the elevation like the first time, but it had the same outcome.

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.)

When a match falls on 15th April, you can’t help but think of the events at Hillsborough 30 years ago.  On that day, I was standing on the terrace at the County Ground, Swindon.  Don was propped up on a crush barrier next to me and a police officer told us that a wall had fallen down at the cup semi-final between Liverpool and Forest. On the coach on the way home we listened to the horror unfolding on the radio.  I still find it hard to believe that 96 fans just like me went to a game that day and didn’t come home. What is even harder to take is that those lives were used for political grandstanding and their families have had to fight for justice for so long.  As Bill Kenwright said, “They picked on the wrong mums.”  I have always thought that what happened to them could have happened to any of us, so we all stand together in the fight for justice.

The first nine minutes was great. The next two were interesting.

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. 

It was all falling apart, visions of that day against Crystal Palace came flooding back into my mind. I had given up, Wolves don’t throw away two goal leads. On came Deulofeu to help try and salvage something from the game, hopefully he was able to give us the little bit of magic we needed.

She wore a yellow ribbon…

Watford’s road to the FA Cup final: Gerard Deulofeu comes off the bench to sink Wolverhampton Wanderers