Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Sunday May 12 2013
Hornet's Head Coach Gianfranco Zola was as dignified as ever following Watford's 3-1 win over Leicester City to book their play-off final place.
Despite losing his footing during the celebrations that followed Troy Deeney's decisive 98th minute winner over the Foxes, Zola, a gentleman as ever, was quick to offer his condolences to Leicester boss Nigel Pearson.
'Obviously [that has] never happened to me. But it's great. That is [what] football is all about. To be honest, I feel for my colleague Nigel [Pearson]. He's a great guy, a great manager and he's got all my respect,' Zola told Sky Sports.
'His team has played very well and I think it was very unfortunate but if I had to say, I would probably say we deserved something today and we're going through and we're going to try and make sure we'll win the next game as well.'
Watford had looked out of the contest deep into stoppage time when Anthony Knockaert took a tumble under the slightest of contact from Marco Cassetti to earn his side a last-ditch penalty kick.
The Frenchman was denied however by Manuel Almunia's superb double save and Watford broke with devastating effect, Ikechi Anya picking out substitute Fernando Forestieri, who in turn hung up a superb cross for fellow sub Jonathan Hogg to knock into the path of the on-rushing Deeney.
Deeney capped a season, which he started behind bars, by bundling home with aplomb to send Vicarage Road into pandemonium and the Golden Boys to Wembley for the first time in 14 years.
Zola was less than impressed with penalty award, however: 'I felt bad. In the last two months we haven't had a penalty in our favour. It was meant to be, it was meant to be like this. We'll take it and we're going to be much stronger after this game, that is fore sure.'
The Italian had words of praise for his two strikers, with Vydra scoring his first goals since the win over Derby County - 15 games ago.
'He [Deeney]was great. What about Matej Vydra? I think he was outstanding along with him and they've been our top of the diamonds. Our two of our best players this season and today they've made a big difference.'
'It [Wembley] will be unbelievable and I'm sure it will be a fantastic achievement for all of us. We've been working very hard and suffering; I think we deserve to be there,' stated Zola.
Watford will find out who they will face at Wembley on Monday May 27 tomorrow as Brighton & Hove Albion host Crystal Palace at the AmEx Stadium.
Date:Sunday May 12 2013
Almunia Mistake Costs Watford At The Den (Saturday April 12 2014)
Stats: Millwall v Watford (Saturday April 12 2014)
Millwall v Watford starting XIs (Saturday April 12 2014)
Preview: Millwall v Watford (Saturday April 12 2014)
Away From Home: Total, Partial and Fake Pressing (Wednesday April 9 2014)
Watford Ease To Comfortable Home Victory (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Stats: Watford v Leeds Utd (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Watford v Leeds United starting XIs (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Preview: Watford v Leeds United (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Opposing View: Leeds United (Monday April 7 2014)
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