BHappy: Whilst the game’s outcome is hugely frustrating, any disappointment should by mitigated by the fact that whilst Coventry’s template is very much The Way To Play Against Watford, none have executed it as effectively as this. We know that without Imrân Louza we are short of a lock-picker; here Coventry are disciplined and focused in the face of what, for the first half hour or so, is a purposeful attack. Come the second half they’ll be stretched, we could easily have come away with this with something so – annoying, but maybe a blessing in disguise. We’re better, but not better enough to take anything for granted.
Fran’s Watford Blog: At half time, tribute was paid to Cliff Vassiliou who was a very familiar face at Vicarage Road before his passing earlier this year. He would also often be seen at reserve and youth games with his best friend, Tom Walley. They also remembered Paul Stallard, a lifelong fan who had given 25 years of service to the club.
Sky Sports: First-half goals from Keinan Davis and William Troost-Ekong set the tone and the visitors’ doom was sealed when goalkeeper Ethan Horvath gifted Joao Pedro a third before Ismaila Sarr completed the rout. Hatters substitute Gabriel Osho then saw red late on for a dreadful challenge on Ken Sema.
BHappy: I remember this being described somewhere, many years ago, as “the sort of derby that the locals get very agitated by but nobody else gives much of a toss about”. Harsh but fair. Thing is… it’s been sixteen and a half years since supporters were able to watch this fixture in the ground, and the previous a further eight years before that. Many of the people in Vicarage Road today won’t have seen a derby game in person before; fewer still were here the last time we won this one in front of fans with John Barnes and Worrell Sterling doing the damage in April 1987 (I kept a diary in 1987, the entry features the word “murdered”).
Fran’s Watford Blog: The players went on an extended lap of the ground and were cheered and applauded all the way around. I am usually pulling my replica shirt off at this point, but wanted to display my colours as I showed my appreciation. Troost-Ekong appeared to be particularly delighted and Kamara was eliciting cheers from the Rookery. Oh it was wonderful. As Tim Coombs said, “It is like 1997 all over again.”
Official Site: Match Report
Watford Observer: OPINION Let’s win the derby with style, on and off the pitch
BBC Sport: Imran Louza and Keinan Davis scored for Watford as the Hornets bounced back from two straight defeats to beat Norwich City and move back within two points of the Championship play-off places.
Sky Sports: Josh Sargent then pulled one back for Norwich, but they could not get level as they missed the chance to go top of the table. They drop to third after Burnley won earlier in the day to move above them and Sheffield United to the summit.
BHappy: There are (to varying degrees) nascent partnerships all over the pitch. Gosling and Sema, our unlikely right flank. Louza and Asprilla. Sarr and Kamara, who spends the evening bounding forward like an excited puppy in a manner that Isma might find familiar. Their first link up sees Kamara dink a pass over two opponents to where Sarr has skipped unnoticed; young midfield Liam Gibbs is panicked into grabbing an arm and Sarr’s momentum does the rest. Good to see goal machine Louza, having so gloriously if inconsequentially broken his duck at Bloomfield Road, grabbing the ball in JP’s absence. Not so good to see Gunn save well as the Moroccan international struck the spot kick firmly yet eminently saveably to the keeper’s left but hugely heartening that we didn’t miss a beat – to the extent that City fans’ celebrations at their let-off were quickly dampened by the aggression with which we chased down and regained possession after the spot kick, albeit to no immediate benefit.
WFC.Net Goal Commentary: 1
BBC Sport: Ben Cabango’s header in time added on saw Slaven Bilic suffer a defeat in his first home game as Watford boss. Watford led at the interval thanks to Ismaila Sarr’s 34th-minute opener as he finished from close range. The visitors equalised on 52 minutes when Olivier Ntcham’s deflected effort from 20 yards gave Swansea parity.
Sky Sports: The defender headed home Ryan Manning’s free-kick eight minutes into a total of 20 added on after the officials’ communication equipment failed, leading to the players having to leave the pitch.
Official Site: The Vicarage Road faithful were dismayed when match official Tim Robinson refused to award a spot-kick for what the Hornets’ players believed to be a handball with the clock deep into the red, and the final whistle soon sounded to condemn Watford to their third defeat of the campaign.