Referee:Jonathan Moss Attendance:20,051
It was all too comfortable for Watford, who controlled the game impressively in the second half, while Brighton have plenty of work ahead after failing to register a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.
If, as most bookmakers have predicted, this is the season Watford’s stay in the Premier League comes to an end, then somebody had better tell their players. Judging by the manner of their victory here, they have not seen the odds or have done so and been fuelled by a sense of defiance.
Watford had never previously won an opening day fixture in the Premier League yet came through this one with little alarm. Roberto Pereyra, the former Juventus winger, scored both goals on a day when Brighton rarely troubled Ben Foster in the home goal.
In many respects the question on Brighton is quite how bad they were, versus how bad we made them look. The goal is an example… someone should have been keeping an eye on Pereyra but he arrived late to fill the space on the edge of the box vacated by decoy runs to the near post. Yes, Albion were dozy but we forced the issue. Similarly in midfield, Albion were overrun and perhaps even complacent but it was in the face of our relentless and disciplined pressing that it crumpled. When we broke, particularly in the first half having regained possession deep we hurtled through the midfield; there’s maybe a concern that we didn’t capitalise but with Deulofeu’s pace and Chalobah’s awareness to return you’ve got to fancy us away from home.
A relatively stress free afternoon on the opening day. I’m happy to say that all the nerves I had before the game were put to rest fairly early on.
Watford looked sharp and hungry. The pressure that Deeney and Gray applied to the Brighton back line was telling and the visitors couldn’t cope. Capoue bossed the midfield whilst the centre back pairing of Kabasele and Cathcart gave Foster little to do all afternoon.