Tag: Manchester CIty
Watford’s road to the FA Cup final: Gerard Deulofeu comes off the bench to sink Wolverhampton Wanderers
John Barnes: ‘Winning the FA Cup would be so special for Watford… you remember honours, not whether you’ve stayed in the league for eight or nine years’
Troy Deeney: ‘Vincent Kompany is the league’s best centre-back since Rio Ferdinand, but if I’m on form he’ll have a tough day’
What if we win? Yes, we’re underdogs. But at least we’re that. Any club in the country would love to be that right now, certainly Wolves who, whatever your attitude after three eventful games will be watching on nervously, telling themselves that this is something they can’t affect, because they can’t affect it, but worrying anyway.
Rickmansworth High Street, Tuesday 14th May
Watford, Friday 17th May
Javi Gracia defends decision to make seven changes for Watford’s Premier League game away at Manchester City
Raheem Sterling’s quick-fire second-half hat-trick sent Manchester City four points clear at the top of the Premier League, but there was controversy over the opener that broke down a stubborn Watford side.
Sterling’s first goal, 40 seconds after half-time, was initially ruled out for offside but after a long discussion, referee Paul Tierney overturned his own decision, with Daryl Janmaat’s attempted block just before Sterling struck ruled as having played the winger onside.
Janmaat’s involvement did not change some basic facts, namely that Sterling had been offside from Agüero’s flick-on and was going for the ball, prominently involved in play. Yet Tierney came away from a lengthy discussion with his assistant, Adrian Holmes, by deciding to overrule the original decision and declare Sterling was, in fact, onside. Confused? Well, join the club. Javi Gracia, the Watford manager, tries not to be a critic of referees and showed commendable restraint afterwards, noting only his belief it was very much the wrong decision. As for Guardiola, he pointed out that English football should have had VAR in place long before now.
After the floodgates opened in the second half, Watford did strike back with one goal, coming from the first two touches of their two substitutes, introduced moments earlier on 65 minutes. Troy Deeney’s flick-on was finished well by Gerard Deulofeu.
Like the majority of Watford fans, I don’t travel to places like City expecting anything out of the game, so the fact that the home side had the vast majority of the possession and Watford had only the single shot on target came as no surprise. Unlike the trip to Liverpool, Watford were more effective in defence and, had the referee not interfered, the result may have been more favourable.
Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary Goals: 1
Watford vs Manchester City: Ben Foster confident Hornets will build on display against Premier League leaders
The reigning champions had controlled Tuesday’s game and led through goals from Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez but Abdoulaye Doucoure scrambled in for Watford in the 85th minute to give the hosts hope of an unlikely comeback. Watford sent goalkeeper Ben Foster forward for set-pieces in a frantic finish, with Guardiola introducing defensive reinforcements to deal with the pressure, but the visitors held on for their seventh successive league win.
Abdoulaye Doucouré bundled in an 85th-minute goal and City ended the match sucked into a pressure situation. Defending set pieces, all hands to the pump, nerves on edge, it was a reminder of how quickly, and how dangerously, control can evaporate.
As this was Watford’s “rainbow laces” game in support of LGBT+ inclusion in sport, the 1881 and the Proud Hornets had worked together to put on a rainbow banner display in the Rookery, which was absolutely magnificent.
clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary Goals: 1
Manchester City are back to winning ways and the breezy, emphatic nature of the defeat of Watford suggests the ending of their record 18-game winning sequenceon New Year’s Eve has merely refreshed Pep Guardiola’s side and made them doubly determined to resume their love of steamrollering opposition.
City put six past Watford in September and if we are nit-picking Pep Guardiola’s men should have scored easily that many here. In the end, they had to settle for three, one apiece for Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero either side of an own goal from Christian Kabasele and a flurry of missed chances before Andre Gray pulled one back for Watford late on.
By half time I was feeling rather better than I had been at kick-off. Then the players came out for the second half and I felt distinctly unwell again. It was clearly the thought of the football that was making me ill.
Manchester City have blasted their way to the top of the Premier League and only an exceptional team will be able to challenge them. Watford, watched by Elton John and unbeaten before Pep Guardiola’s men rocked up here, fancied their chances but were blown away by a three-goal salvo before half-time.
Watford’s unbeaten start to the season was spectacularly ripped up as they were on the receiving end of a footballing lesson and an exhibition at times as an exceptional Manchester City team cantered to a 6-0 victory.
Previously v Manchester City
To their credit, Watford’s supporters stuck around to applaud their team during the lap of honour after the final whistle. “You give us a bit of shit from time to time,” Deeney said. “But we deserve it.”
Mazzarri has often cited injuries as the reason for his team’s indifferent performances and the situation was so bad here that he was forced to select two goalkeepers among the substitutes. But there was no excuse for continuing his perverse insistence on beginning with club captain and leader Troy Deeney on the bench. That left his team short of heart and spirit and it showed.
As for Watford, this was their sixth straight defeat since they secured 40 points and it was too much for some parts of the home support, who baited their departing manager. When referee Jon Moss called Mazzarri over for a chat about his conduct, the home fans chanted for their manager to be dismissed. When the fifth goal went in it got even nastier, with Mazzarri invited to “f— off”, and “get out of our club”.
Our leader, in a final peevish move by his manager, was on the bench (and it’s arguable that in the admittedly ring-rusty Ben Watson, another to have been discarded cheaply by Mazzarri, we had another wise head underemployed). And, of course, we named two goalkeepers… much as we all love Rene Gilmartin this was no tribute to a departing hero (notably, no fawning 26th minute intro/outro for Rene who isn’t nearly a vain enough peacock to have suggested one) but a pathetically self-indulgent sulky statement by the outgoing coach. “Look what I’m left with”. A Charlie Rowan, a Carl Stewart or an Ogo Obi could have filled that space and garnered Mazzarri more sympathy and options.
Mazzarri surprised everyone by naming two goalkeepers on the bench, something which I have never ever seen done before. It was as baffling as it was disrespectful to those young players trying to break into the first team.
Previously v Manchester City
Taken from the programme on 29th August 2015-Premier League, Manchester City 2 Watford 0