Watford Observer: Former Watford keeper Andy Rankin dies at the age of 79
Of course we didn’t know it at the time but this was Troy Deeney’s last appearance for Watford.
BBC Sport: The Hornets set the tone for a sloppy performance from the start, managing just two touches from kick-off before giving the ball away, and they produced only one shot on target in the entire game.
Sky Sports: Ismaila Sarr – so impressive in Watford’s win over Aston Villa – flashed a strike from 20 yards over the crossbar but it was a rare moment of worry for the Brighton defence with their play in the final third creating ample opportunities in and around the box.
BHappy: We play a major role in our own downfall, contributing to both goals; nonetheless, we’ve got away with 2-0 at the interval. The first comes from Shane Duffy, an old-school centre half who feels like he’s been on borrowed time since Albion were promoted, a championship-style defender in a Premier League side. However many years on and despite a year out last year he’s still borrowing time, demonstrating that a bit of brutality has a place and a role in a three-man defence flanked by the ability of Webster and Dunk. All the more so when he rises virtually unopposed to head a popular opener in off the underside of the bar from a left wing corner. Dad, watching on TV, reports a healthy hand of Emmanuel Dennis’ shirt on the part of the Irish centre-back to which my response would be, why wasn’t Dennis kneeing him in the balls to hamper his ascent? That’s going to happen. Perhaps less so if it’s a big brute of a Chilean centre-back up against Duffy; easy to be smart after the event, but this is an opponent, given Brighton’s threat at set pieces, that had Sierralta’s name all over it.
Ipswich goalkeeper Scott Loach, who had left Watford for Portman Road in the summer, was called into action four minutes from the end of normal to deal with a 20-yard shot from Matej Vydra. Ipswich had conceded 45 goals on their Championship travels last term, more than any other club in the division, but Loach was all smiles on the final whistle as he gained a clean sheet on his return to Vicarage Road.
There was a banner in the crowd that read “Forza Watford”, reflecting the new Italian feel at the club, but many more performances like this and it will have to be changed to “Arrivederci” instead. If Gianfranco Zola thought life in the Championship was going to be easy after his new side’s victory on the opening day on Saturday, Michael Chopra’s winner in the 90th minute for Ipswich showed him how punishing the division can be.
All is unfamiliar. Sunshine and joyous victory in Croydon; torrential rain for the first home game, followed by last-minute defeat to our favourite opponents. The names of the new loan signings currently resemble a set of characters from an obscure role-playing game: “Vydra – The Scorpion” (X-Factor: 4.9); “Abdi – The Thinker” (Patience: 0.7%); “Pudil – The Unknown” (?: ?); “Anya – The Midget” (Turning Circle: 0.1); “Geijo – The Ghost” (Invisibility: 95%); “Beleck – The Giant” (Fear Factor: x3). It’s all a bit weird. There’s a moment when Manuel Almunia cack-handedly fumbles a cross onto the penalty spot and everyone almost breathes a sigh of relief at seeing something so thoroughly in its place.
Hull City failed to bounce back from their drubbing last weekend after they could only manage a 0-0 draw against Watford. The Tigers, who suffered a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Millwall last weekend, were unable to find the net in a forgettable clash at the KC Stadium, while the Hornets maintained their unbeaten start to the season. Hull went close on three occasions thanks to new signing Robert Koren, while goalkeeper Matt Duke managed to keep a clean sheet, denying Danny Graham and Jordon Mutch after half-time.
It’s only his second home game as manager and Vialli is already having a dig about the size of the crowd.