Watford finally registered their first win of the Premier League season on Friday evening as they battled to a 2-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Watford needed just one minute to open the scoring through Gerard Deulofeu, who waltzed through the Norwich defence to fire home from close range. Immediately after the goal, Norwich quickly gained control of possession and looked the most likely to net next. Emiliano Buendía missed perhaps the best chance of the half, and Watford held on to their lead at the break.
Against the run of play, it was Watford who netted the second. Deulofeu's cross was met with a back-heel from Andre Gray, whose effort deflected past the helpless Tim Krul. However, Norwich were given a lifeline after 65 minutes as Watford defender Christian Kabasele was dismissed for his second yellow card.
Unfortunately for the hosts, they just could not make that advantage count. They were poor in the final third, and they could not stop Watford from lifting themselves off the bottom. The Canaries now sit there themselves.
Key Talking Point
It was a familiar story for Norwich. They were the better side going forward but, yet again, they simply could not get the goals which their play deserved. A sloppy mistake at the back from Buendía proved to be their downfall, and it was the kind of error which teams in Norwich's position cannot afford to make.
Their final ball was almost non-existent. Wingers and full-backs had countless opportunities to cause problems with their crossing or set-pieces, but they just couldn't pick out the right pass. Time and time again, they lacked the quality to go along with their desire.
Idk what’s wrong with Norwich beyond 3 injured CBs and a lack of Vrancic but it feels like the first Farke season when they finished 15th. Just feel soft and naive— Bobby Dobalina, Jr. (@Linhem) November 8, 2019
How did this Norwich team beat Man City this season 樂勞— Don (@DannyG2304) November 8, 2019
The score certainly did not reflect the performance, but that means nothing for Norwich, who have come out on the losing end for the ninth time in the Premier League this season. They are well and truly in a relegation battle, and simply looking exciting isn't going to cut it anymore.
Starting XI: Krul (6); Aarons (6), Tettey (5), Godfrey (6), Lewis (6); Trybull (5), McLean (5); Buendía (5), Stiepermann (7), Hernández (8*); Pukki (7).
Substitutes: Cantwell (5),
STAR MAN - Onel Hernández
How Onel Hernández didn't come out of this game with about 40 assists is beyond me. The Cuban winger was electric during the first half, constantly finding space in behind Watford's defence.
His movement was astounding and he was impressive on the ball, but his play was missing that final cutting edge to get the Canaries back in the game. Had he been more reliable with his crossing, he could have put Watford to the sword here.
This Onel Hernandez is electric when he gets going ⚡️ #NORWAT— corey (@CoreyClift_) November 8, 2019
janmaat making onel hernandez look like prime CR7— H A Y W O O D (@BenHaywood01) November 8, 2019
His impact faded in the second half after Watford bagged their second, but he still looked on his toes. Comfortable on the ball, he was Norwich's best option going forward, but it still wasn't enough for Daniel Farke's side.
Key Talking Point
A win! Finally!
Coming into this game, Watford were the only side in the English Football League without a win, but they have finally brought an end to their long, long wait for a victory. They were clinical in attack and made the most of whatever came their way, which is all fans can ask for.
It wasn't the most convincing performance from Quique Sánchez Flores' side, but that's completely irrelevant. They are finally on the board, and it's now a case of using this momentum to bring this miserable run of form to a definitive end.
Starting XI: Foster (7); Janmaat (4), Kabasele (2), Dawson (6), Cathcart (5), Holebas (6); Hughes (7), Capoue (7), Doucouré (7); Deulofeu (8*), Pereyra (6).
Substitutes: Gray (7), Mariappa (6), Masina (N/A).
STAR MAN - Gerard Deulofeu
From the first minute, it was clear to see that Deulofeu was intent on wreaking havoc. The Spaniard netted after just one minute, with his dribbling and lightning pace proving too much for Watford.
The Hornets struggled to get on the ball for the remainder of the game, but Deulofeu still managed to look lively. He chased every lost ball and had a couple of good runs at the Norwich defence, and he perhaps could have grabbed a second goal.
Deulofeu gets so much stick but, unlike most of our other players, he can create something from nothing. When he’s on form, he’s unplayable. #watfordfc— Kerron Cross (@KerronCross) November 8, 2019
Deulofeu working very hard defensively as well as the goal. Really impressed by his attitude, he cares that we're down there #watfordfc— Vic Bait (@BaitVic) November 8, 2019
It was his delicious cross which set up Gray's second, and it was no less than Deulofeu deserved. He was electric all night, and he can now celebrate this long-awaited victory.