Tag: Ikechi Anya

17th October 2015- Premier League, Watford 0 Arsenal 3

Referee: Mike Jones
Attendance: 20,721

Arsenal produced a superb second-half display to defeat Watford and move into second place in the Premier League.

Arsenal caught Watford on the counter several times in the second half, and the Hornets fell behind just after the hour mark. Capoue went down on the edge of the Gunners box with Watford committed forward, but the referee was unmoved and Arsenal broke through Cazorla and Ozil.

Watford’s previous games had pointed clearly towards the difficulty of breaking them down and it was soon apparent that a proud record of having not conceded in the Premier League from open play was no fluke. Flores’ system is already well honed and their collective work-rate was evident as Arsenal took a predictable hold on possession.

Watford made Arsenal work for their win, but the Gunners had too much for the Hornets in the second half, and they reclaim second spot in the Premier League table.

Watford approached their four previous home games with such caution that a combined total of two goals were scored in what became a 360-minute improvised symphony of sterility. They played a different tune here and Vicarage Road duly witnessed more attacking action in the opening half-hour than in the previous two months combined. Aaron Ramsey, who clipped the bar after running on to Sánchez’s sublime chipped pass, came closest to scoring but the home side had their chances, with the previously deadeye Odion Ighalo, scorer of their last five Premier League goals, missing the most glaring after half an hour when he was played in by Ikechi Anya. But, having been so conservative against some less daunting opponents, this seemed like a dangerous occasion to start taking risks.

“Oh look, it’s Arsenal!” you think, in the same way you might if you passed, say, Dermot O’Leary in the street. Except I get the impression that Dermot O’Leary is a reasonably good egg who might not mind if you smiled and said hello*, whereas Arsenal have long since transcended those kind of everyday niceties and would undoubtedly consider any acknowledgement of your existence beneath them. They’re very much, you know, in the cloud. They’re a football club in the same way that U2 at Wembley is a rock’n’roll gig…that is, very much so or not at all, depending on your point of view. (Go on, have a guess.) Except that they aren’t U2, obviously. They’re some b-list stadium atrocity, overwrought and overblown. They’re Muse.

30th September 2014-Championship, Watford 2 Brentford 1

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BBC image report: A superb strike from Matej Vydra gave Billy McKinlay a victory over Brentford in his first game as Watford boss.McKinlay was only named Hornets head coach on Monday, following Oscar Garcia’s decision to step down for health reasons.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-16-59-05 report: Watford’s Matej Vydra gets Billy McKinlay off to a winning start

BHappy image report: another chance for Odion Ighalo to show us what he could do. Word from Granada was that he was hugely popular despite not having the best goalscoring ratio, and it’s easy to see why on both counts.

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8th December 2012- Championship, Watford 1 Hull City 2

BBC SportHull won at Watford for a third straight away victory that moves them up to fourth in the Championship.

BHappy imageIf we’re being as demanding of ourselves as we ought to be, then we should conclude that we were sloppy and complacent for much of the game against Barnsley…and that we got away with it because our opponents weren’t good enough to take advantage. None of that here: Hull set themselves out to stick a spanner into every single one of our stock passing moves, while remaining patient and watchful and quietly potent when possession came their way. They were far too much for us, and that made for a fascinating tussle between what we are and what we might yet be, a revealing insight into how close we are to being the finished article.

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