WFC Net Goal Commentary: 1
Sky Sports: Head coach Slaven Bilic bought on Tom Cleverley, who made his first appearance since Burnley in August 2022. The change gave Watford a boost and they equalised in the 73rd minute. Blackburn failed to clear a free-kick, and Hoedt marked his debut with a fine first-time effort on the edge of the area which Pears could not deal with.
BHappy: There’s no avoiding the game’s star turn. João Pedro doesn’t so much run as skate around the pitch; he’s the first to draw blood, breaking on the right after a one-two with Martins and sliding an evil low ball in towards Araújo that absolutely needs to be cut out at the near post and is, on the slide, by a Rovers centre back. Later, both Daughters will reply “João Pedro” with an unspoken “obviously” subtext when their Grandad asks them who their current favourite player is at the top of Occupation Road. Daughter 1 will be sullen at her ongoing unwanted record of (thanks to two relegation seasons and unfortunate match selection) not having seen a win since New Years Day 2020 – she’d been excitedly incredulous (“really???”) when I recklessly suggested at kick off that today could be the day.
Fran’s Watford Blog: At half time, there was a lovely tribute to Oli Phillips. His family were guests of the club and his daughter said a few words. Then Andrew French spoke very warmly about Oli who had been both a mentor and a friend. The dedication of the media suite to his memory was a lovely gesture and the decorations both at the entrance and inside showing Oli wearing his trademark fedora were just gorgeous.