Category: April

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