Category: February

22nd February 2019- Premier League, Cardiff City 1 Watford 5

Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
30,387
Goal 1
Goal 2
Goal 3
Goal 4
Goal 5

Match Report: Cardiff City 1-5 Watford

Deulofeu: “An Amazing Day”

Gracia: “To Win Like We Did Was Outstanding”

Highlights: Cardiff City 1-5 Watford

Deeney: “We Looked Like A Real Top Team”

Affleck’s Angle: Consistency Is Key

FPL Review: Gameweek 27

Watford take on Cardiff City in Friday night Premier League clash

Gerard Deulofeu scores a hat-trick as Watford beat Cardiff City 5-1

Javi Gracia thinks Watford can achieve something special after Cardiff City win

Watford’s players rated after they thump Cardiff City in the Premier League

Ben Foster vows Watford will continue to push on after Cardiff City thrashing

Images of all the goals from Watford’s 5-1 win at Cardiff City

Gerard Deulofeu scored Watford’s first top-flight hat-trick since 1986 as they boosted their hopes of a Europa League spot by cruising to victory at Cardiff.

Deulofeu opened the scoring in the 18th minute in a first half where Cardiff felt they should have had a penalty when Josh Murphy went down in the box under a strong challenge from Daryl Janmaat (42).

Deulofeu had not scored for eight matches but looked as if he was back playing for Barcelona as he ran riot in the second half. Abdoulaye Doucoure headed Bennett’s free-kick clear and into the path of the former Everton player, who knocked the ball past Manga on the halfway line, before taking it round Neil Etheridge and slotting home his fifth goal of the season.

His third also came thanks to generous defending, this time from Harry Arter, who was intercepted by Etienne Capoue. The Frenchman sent Deulofeu through and he finished neatly. Not content with his offing, Deulofeu then switched flanks, and burst through on goal again after 73 minutes. He looked on for a fourth, but instead side-footed into the path of Deeney, who deserved to be on the scoresheet. Cardiff pulled one back nine minutes from time after Bamba latched on to a loose ball during a frenzied goalmouth scramble, but there was little interrupting the scenes of adulation in the away end, and Deeney completed the rout ­after 90 minutes from a Will Hughes lay-off.

The final whistle went sparking wild celebrations in the away end.  The players all came over to celebrate with the crowd and the songs and cheers went on for some time.  Deulofeu secured the match ball, despite an attempt by Doucouré to steal it.  As the others left him to it, he stood alone in front of the away fans while we told him he was magic.  It was a lovely moment.

What started off a tetchy, nerve-wracking evening turned out to be one of the best games of the season. Watford were sublime in the second half and produced one of the finest counter-attacking displays I have ever seen. Deulofeu was a man possessed as he embarrassed the Cardiff back line with some superb finishes.

15th February 2019- FA Cup Fifth Round, Queens Park Rangers 0 Watford 1

Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
17,212

FA Cup Report: QPR 0-1 Watford

Gomes: “I Couldn’t Ask For More”

Gracia: “It’s Important We’re Getting These Results”

Britos: “It Was A Big Effort”

FA Cup Highlights: QPR 0-1 Watford

Gallery: QPR v Watford

Affleck’s Angle: Stick Or Twist

Relive our coverage of Queens Park Rangers vs Watford in the FA Cup fifth round

Queens Park Rangers vs Watford: Etienne Capoue sends Hornets into FA Cup quarter-finals

Queens Park Rangers vs Watford: Javi Gracia staying focused after Hornets reach FA Cup sixth round

How we scored Watford in their FA Cup win at Queens Park Rangers

Javi Graca praises Watford players’ professionalism and commitment

Heurelho Gomes calls on Watford to believe they can reach Wembley

A selection of images from Watford’s FA Cup win at Queens Park Rangers

Watford reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for the second time in four seasons after a hard-fought win against battling Queens Park Rangers.

As four minutes of added time were shown at the end of the first half, Capoue swept the ball home after a mis-hit from Tom Cleverley and it proved to be the winner.

Queens Park Rangers had to wait for this moment. Their previous appearance in the FA Cup fifth round had come at Wimbledon in 1997 and it is doubtful whether any club has since endured a more dismal record in the competition. The London club had won only four ties – each of them in the third round – before this season.

Watford were quick to applaud their 2,654 travelling supporters, who ended the evening singing of Wembley.

Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s applause for Gordon Banks who passed away this week.  It has to be said that nobody waited for the referee’s whistle to start the tribute.

9th February 2019- Premier League, Watford 1 Everton 0

A lot happened in both the lead up and aftermath of this game so I’ve tried to provide a bit of context which is shown below in bold.

Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
20,333

Pre Match Articles

Gracia: “This Game Will Be No Different”

Holebas: “They Push Us On”

Post Match Articles

Match Report: Watford 1-0 Everton

Gray: “I Wanted To Show I Can Make The Difference”

Gracia: “It’s Something Amazing For Us”

Mariappa: “Everyone Is Pulling In The Same Direction”

Highlights: Watford 1-0 Everton

FPL Review: Gameweek 26

Gallery: Watford v Everton

Affleck’s Angle: We’ve Moved On

Pre Match Articles

Marco Silva: Independent inquiry into Everton’s alleged illegal approach for former Watford boss ongoing

Javi Gracia expecting Watford fans to get behind Hornets against Everton

Watford vs Everton: Javi Gracia has no special plans to counter Richarlison threat

Watford vs Everton: Marco Silva claims he’s ‘ready for everything’ ahead of Hornets return

Post Match Articles

Relive our coverage of Watford’s Premier League clash with Everton

Watford vs Everton: Andre Gray ensures miserable return to Vicarage Road for Marco Silva

Watford head coach Javi Gracia delighted after Everton victory

Everton boss Marco Silva claims ‘I did my job well’ while at Watford

RATINGS: How we scored Watford’s performances against Everton

A selection of images from Watford’s win over Everton

Andre Gray says Watford are not putting limits on their ambitions this season

Adrian Mariappa hails ‘terrific’ support from Watford fans after Premier League win over Everton

Watford held off late pressure from Everton to claim a hard-fought victory over their former manager Marco Silva.

After Troy Deeney had appeared to stoke the flames ahead of the encounter at a Watford fans’ forum, Gray made the most of the only moment of real quality in the game when he converted Will Hughes’ cut-back 20 minutes into the second period, scoring his fourth goal of the season.

Gray was a Silva signing early in the Portuguese’s short stay at Vicarage Road, which began in May 2017 and went sour in November that year when he was prevented from going to Goodison. Watford sacked him in January last year amid tapping-up suggestions as their form nosedived. The amiable Javi Gracia took over to restore stability – “he’s better than you” sang the home fans to Silva to emphasise a point backed up by the league table.

They played Al Wilson’s 1968 hit The Snake at Vicarage Road, just before Rocket Man by Elton John and the Z-Cars theme both Watford and Everton use to signal their imminent arrival on the pitch.

Pre Match Report

Marco Silva has said Troy Deeney’s comments about intimidating Everton have been noted by his players and can serve as motivation for their visit to Watford on Saturday.

Post March Report

Before the match, the Watford captain, Troy Deeney, had distanced himself from comments he made at a fans forum this week where he promised to kick Everton’s players. Yet with passions running high in this part of Hertfordshire, as the chief executive, Scott Duxbury, said he would not engage with Silva in the opposition dugout, some supporters greeted their former manager with yellow inflatable snakes.

The Troy Deeney ‘comments’ mentioned above came from a Fan’s Forum which took place in London one evening in the week leading up to the Everton game.

Andy Lewers of the brilliant Hornet’s Nest blog and Love Sport Radio live tweeted what was said by those at the forum. Click on the tweet below to see the whole thread from the evening.

He later provided more details on what was said in a post on facebook.

The media then mis-quoted some of this which led to Silva’s motivation comments. This was how the Evening Standard reported the forum…

Troy Deeney’s Watford Fans’ Forum appearance was a joy to behold… unless you’re Marco Silva

Troy addressed the mis-reporting of his comments on the morning of the game

Andy then talked about the controversy in his usual post match blog.

Now, you will no doubt be aware that some of Troy’s comments from the evening were picked up and published in the national media. 

Many of you will have read my tweets quoted in the papers. My intention was purely to keep Watford fans who weren’t able to attend the evening up to date with what was going on. 

Sadly, some of Troy’s comments were taken out of context. They were tongue-in-cheek, exactly what you’d expect from the Watford captain, there was no malice in anything that he said and you could tell he had genuine respect for Marco Silva and Everton. 

I was perhaps naive in thinking that tweeting Troy’s comments wouldn’t have had consequences. Lesson learnt.

To be fair to Silva (not that I really want to be) he told 5 Live’s Vicki Sparks in his post match interview that he hadn’t really believed the reporting of Deeney’s comments and that Troy clarified them when they spoke before the game. (Apologies for the poor audio quality)

The atmosphere in the ground before kick-off was brittle. I must confess that I didn’t notice the widely-celebrated playlist, but there was no missing Emma Saunders’ pointed welcome to the visiting head coach over the tannoy. 

As we walked along Vicarage Road away from the ground, we could see something going on by the Everton coaches.  There was a crowd by the cemetery wall looking in and first reports were that there had been a stabbing, although that was proved wrong after the game.  But two Watford fans were hospitalised, one with a nasty head injury.  As someone who started to go to football matches in 1979, these scenes were seen on a weekly basis in those days but had become a rarity in recent times.  I really hope that it remains that way.

The trouble mentioned was widely reported.

Watford FC fans ‘covered in blood’ amid violence after Everton match

Watford v Everton: Four arrested over football violence

Police charge 23-year-old after altercation outside Vicarage Road

2nd February 2019- Premier League, Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Watford 0

Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
30,414

Match Report: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Watford

Foster: “We’ll Be Happier With The Point”

Gracia: “We Didn’t Find A Way To Attack”

Highlights: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Watford

Cleverley: “He’s Won Us A Point”

Affleck’s Angle: Phenomenal Foster

Gallery: Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford

Watford unable to get back to winning ways after 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion

Ben Foster stars again as Watford pick up Brighton & Hove Albion point

A selection of images from Watford’s draw at Brighton & Hove Albion

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster thinks he could play for a few more seasons

Watford manager Javi Gracia said goalkeeper Ben Foster produced a “special performance” after preventing Brighton from claiming their first league win of 2019.

Watford defended stoutly but lacked imagination in attack, and failed to register a single shot on target across the 90 minutes.

This will not live long in the memory. Except perhaps for Ben Foster, the man who has made more saves than anyone else in Premier League history.

It was Brighton who were almost celebrating a winner 10 minutes from time. Gross’s inviting cross from the left was met by a flicked header from Locadia but Foster somehow leapt to turn it behind. He followed up that save by unconventionally keeping out Duffy’s acrobatic attempt with his feet and then smothered an effort from the onrushing Andone. Yves Bissouma was also narrowly off-target in the dying moments.

Much as you want to win, there’s always something thrilling about being in someone else’s ground when a game that’s in the balance suddenly tips and the noise starts echoing around the stands. Sets the adrenaline going, makes eventual victory all the more vivid. The noise at the Amex still seems to carry with it something of what this club nearly became, of building bonfires and Hereford and all of that. It’s still there, the knowledge that none of this might’ve existed. The pre-match build-up offers somewhat one-sidedly edited highlights of previous meetings, and the big screen malfunctions to obscure half of the picture, which seems a fitting reminder of the sightlines from both the away corner at the Goldstone and the temporary seating at Withdean. It’s thirty years since I was a student here; more than twenty since Fans United. This is a brilliant ground for a proud city. We should all count our blessings more often.

The most entertaining moment of the first half came on the half hour as Holebas battled with March on the wing and ended up giving away the first corner of the game.  In typical Jose manner he then walked towards the goal to defend the set piece, looking furious as only he can.  He was looking for someone or something to blame, and suddenly focussed on his gloves which were ripped from his hands and thrown behind the goal line.  I realise that this loses a lot in translation, but it caused great amusement to the Holebas fans in our party.

The second half was pretty much exactly like the first. Hardly anything happened and the only efforts on target came from the hosts.

24th February 2018- Premier League, Watford 1 Everton 0

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Watford vs Everton: Troy Deeney earns vital Premier League win

Troy Deeney scores the winner as Watford beat Everton

Watford’s work rate praised after taking ‘three very important points’ against Everton

Javi Gracia discusses switch to two strikers after Watford’s win over Everton

Watford vs Everton ratings: Stefano Okaka impresses from the bench as Troy Deeney hits winner

Images from Watford’s victory over Everton as Troy Deeney scores decisive goal

Watford: Sebastian Prodl praises ‘individual class’ in vital Premier League win over Everton

skyTroy Deeney struck late as Watford secured a 1-0 win against Everton in the Premier League at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

BBC SportCaptain Deeney smashed a shot into the roof of the net – his first goal from open play all season – to help the Hornets crawl six points above the bottom three.

guardianBlunt as ever, Troy Deeney described this match as “pretty dire”. That may have been something of an exaggeration but it was not wholly inaccurate – yet ultimately this was an occasion to savour for Watford’s captain.

TelegraphWatford may have got over Marco Silva pretty quickly, but, on this evidence, Everton might still hanker over the manager they had been prepared to pay £10million for.

BHappy imageAny sense of blood and thunder and scores to be settled was short lived. The teams arrived to a particularly densely packed wall of flags in the Rookery and an unexpected cannonfire of yellow and black streamers from the base of the stand. Briefly this had the desired effect as the crowd roared the Hornets on, until it became clear that said streamers had been fired with sufficient welly to reach and entangle themselves into the hooks and anchors in the ceiling of the stand which has never received more attention during a game as the tendrils of streamers blowing in the wind provided an unusual frame to the action, a garish new Instagram filter for the rest of the evening. 

FranIt had been a remarkably dull game with most of the excitement of the first half deriving from having to fight off streamers that had detached themselves from the roof.

The Hornets Nest Absolutely nothing happened in the first half.  Complete naff all.  It was so bad that I felt sorry for the pundits and editors of highlight shows who had to desperately search for something to talk about and show.

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10th February 2018- Premier League, West Ham United 2 Watford 0

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Watford Observer

LIVE – West Ham United vs Watford: Marko Arnautovic stars as Hornets suffer Premier League defeat

Watford disappoint as West Ham United win 2-0 through Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic goals

Javi Gracia felt West Ham United showed greater aggression in Watford win

West Ham United vs Watford ratings: Marvin Zeegelaar and Daryl Janmaat struggle in Premier League loss

Marvin Zeegelaar: Watford’s West Ham loss serves reminder Premier League survival battle is still on

skyMarko Arnautovic scored on his return from injury as West Ham boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday.

BBC SportWatford, who remain 11th, went close through Adrian Mariappa’s header and Gerard Deulofeu’s free-kick but Adrian was equal to both efforts.

guardianWatford were uninspired. They displayed none of the brio that allowed them to crush Chelsea last week, with Gerard Deulofeu and Richarlison failing to find space on the flanks, and were fortunate when the lively Hernández had a goal ruled out by a tight offside decision in the 31st minute.

TelegraphJavi Gracia, the Watford manager, accused his players of not being “aggressive” enough, saying: “Our last match against Chelsea showed us how we can get points: running, fighting. And, today, we didn’t do it enough.”

The Hornets NestTo say we were surprised at this shift in performance would be a lie. It’s so wonderfully Watford.

FranWatford had played considerably better in the second half but, while it could be said that the score was a little flattering to the hosts, some poor defending and equally poor finishing meant that it felt as though the Hornets didn’t deserve anything from the game.

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5th February 2018- Premier League, Watford 4 Chelsea 1

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals:1  2  3  4

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Watford vs Chelsea: Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu on target as Hornets thrash Premier League champions

Remarkable finale sees Watford dismantle Premier League champions Chelsea

Watford boss Javi Gracia reflects on ‘unforgettable night’ after remarkable Chelsea victory

PICTURES: Images from Watford’s memorable win over Chelsea

Watford vs Chelsea player ratings: Gerard Deulofeu impresses on home debut as Hornets down Blues

Troy Deeney: Watford skipper’s Chelsea celebration a response to transfer speculation

skyWatford piled the pressure on Antonio Conte as a late flurry of goals secured a thumping 4-1 win over 10-man Chelsea on Monday Night Football.

BBC SportThe Blues played an hour with 10 men after Tiemoue Bakayoko’s red card capped a dreadful individual 30-minute performance – in which he gifted Watford four chances.

guardianThereafter, profligacy rather spared the visitors until Hazard, whipping in a glorious equaliser that dipped under Orestis Karnezis’s outstretched left hand, made it level. Briefly, tantalisingly, Chelsea dared to consider inducing another late Watford implosion but it would be the champions who unravelled. Janmaat, Deulofeu and the substitute Pereyra would each glide into space to drive home their advantage while the majority inside the arena pinched themselves in the giddiness of victory. “It’s difficult to explain how I feel at this moment,” said Gracia. “We needed the three points badly but for motivation and to believe in our possibilities, in our work, today was very important.”

TelegraphWatford thoroughly deserved to win; a win that takes them six points clear of the relegation zone and halted the alarming run of results that led to the sacking of Marco Silva as head coach. This was Gracia’s first home game in charge and his January signing, fellow Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu, was outstanding in a rampant performance which Chelsea simply could not cope with.

BHappy imageThe route home was slightly easier; Dad dropped me at St Albans, I made the train waiting at the platform, grabbed the only cab on the rank at Bedford, home at not-quite-silly’o’clock.  And then lay in bed, staring upwards in the dark. For hours.  Completely wired.

The Hornets NestFollowing Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth during the week, I was prepared for the backlash in Javi Gracia’s first home game in charge of the ‘Orns.

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25th February 2017-Premier League, Watford 1 West Ham United 1

Previously v West Ham United

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary

Goal 1

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Relive the game as Watford draw with West Ham

Hornets held in Hammers draw

Hornets boss Mazzarri says Zarate was in tears after injury against Hammers

Bilic felt Hammers deserved victory but highlights shortcomings

Watford v West Ham ratings: Gomes on form in Hammers draw

Zarate reveals seriousness of knee ligament injury

Kaboul rues lack of second goal in West Ham draw

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Substitute Andre Ayew scored a second-half equaliser to earn West Ham a Premier League point against Watford.

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Watford missed the chance to do the double over West Ham for the first time as Andre Ayew’s second-half strike secured a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.

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West Ham grabbed a deserved point through Andre Ayew after Troy Deeney’s penalty gave Watford an early lead

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Neither Watford nor West Ham are bad enough to get drawn into a relegation battle this season, but they are certainly not good enough to make any sort of push for Europe, either. It is not even March, but it is hard to avoid the feeling that mid-table obscurity beckons for both these sides in the coming months.

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After a two week break, and notwithstanding a defeat at Old Trafford that was disappointing but far from humiliating, perspective on games like this has changed.  The two wins against Arsenal and Burnley reversed the gentle downwards slide and we are now by general consensus a Mid Table Club… not that relegation is impossible, but we’d have to work pretty hard to achieve it.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-19-13-20As the half wound down, my gaze was drawn to the TV studio to our left where the pundits were having their hair and make-up done, the first time that I have seen beauty treatments in a football ground.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-15-22-53I’m happy to take a point from this game. West Ham were by far the better side but we continually played right into their hands with our ‘lump it up to Deeney and see what happens’ tactic.

11th February 2017- Premier League, Manchester United 2 Watford 0

Previously v Manchester United

 

WFC imageOfficial site

Matchday review

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RELIVE – Man United v Watford: Hornets beaten by goals in each half at Old Trafford

Mixed messages in United defeat for Hornets

Watford boss Mazzarri takes encouragement from Manchester United loss

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho delighted with side’s display

Man United v Watford match ratings: How did Hornets rate in Old Trafford defeat?

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Manchester United moved one point adrift of a top-four place as Anthony Martial marked his return with a goal and an assist in a victory over Watford.

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Anthony Martial impressed on his return to the Manchester United starting line-up in a 2-0 win over Watford.

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Anthony Martial takes his chance as Manchester United outclass Watford

The Telegraph

Manchester United 2 Watford 0: Juan Mata and Anthony Martial extend Utd’s unbeaten league run to 16

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4th February 2017-Premier League, Watford 2 Burnley 1

Previously v Burnley

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary
Goal 1    Goal 2  

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Mazzarri’s Mixed Emotions

Cleverley | “Today Was All About The Result”

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Relive the action from the Hornets’ clash against Burnley

Hornets back up Gunners win with another three points against battling Clarets

Dyche’s pride at ten-man Clarets’ display in defeat

Mazzarri admits failure to kill game off could have cost Hornets

How did the Hornets fare in their victory over Burrnley

‘I treat Niang as if he were my son’

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M’Baye Niang scored one goal and made another on his home debut for Watford as 10-man Burnley’s miserable away record continued.

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Troy Deeney and M’Baye Niang help Hornets battle past 10-man Burnley

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Watford delight after new boy M’Baye Niang scores in win over Burnley

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Troy Deeney and M’Baye Niang on target to sink 10-man Clarets

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