Ten Man Watford Lose At Bournemouth
Fri 30th Jan - 7:45pm
An awful decision from referee Lee Probert after just 26 seconds at the Goldsands Stadium enabled Bournemouth to extend their lead at the top to seven points with a 2-0 victory over Watford. Probert dismissed Gabriele Angella for denial of a goal scoring opportunity in the opening minute despite a covering defender and Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson over hitting the ball. The Cherries took advantage and a Yann Kermorgant penalty sent them in ahead. A second goal after 57 minutes from Matt Ritchie sealed the points and extended their lead at the top.
Slavisa Jokanovic made two changes from the Watford side that beat Blackpool 7-2 last weekend. Gianni Munari came in for Juan Carlos Paredes whilst Ben Watson made his full debut in place of Matej Vydra.
Eddie Howe stuck to his usual 4-4-2 Bournemouth formation with dangerous strike partners Yann Kermorgant and Callum Wilson again starting in attack.
The game changed immediately after kick off when referee Lee Probert produced a red card for Gabriele Angella. Bournemouth broke forward quickly after Daniel Tozser had given the ball away in midfield with Callum Wilson collecting and knocking the ball forward before being tripped by Angella. Despite the fact Wilson knocked the ball into the arms of Heurelho Gomes and the fact Craig Cathcart was a covering defender, Probert somehow produced the red card.
Despite the setback Watford settled quickly and created an opening when Troy Deeney found Ikechi Anya in space on the left. He cut inside and hit a low shot which went just wide of the far post.
The hosts looked dangerous going forward too and Yann Kermorgant should have done better when a Matt Ritchie's deep cross found him at the back post but he headed wide.
Kermorgant came even closer after 25 minutes when he hit the Watford crossbar. Good build up play down the Bournemouth left saw Charlie Daniels cross brought down by Kermorgant in the box but his close range volley came back off the bar when really he should have done better.
The Hornets continued to look dangerous on occasions and came close to opening the scoring themselves after 30 minutes. An in-swinging Tozser free kick found Odion Ighalo but his goalbound header was blocked. The follow up was controlled by Ben Watson whose stabbed effort at goal went just wide of the post.
The deadlock was broken however by the hosts after 35 minutes from the penalty spot. A low cross from Ritchie was blocked by Tozser at the near post. Wilson reacted quickest to get to the rebound but was tripped by Cathcart and Lee Probert pointed to the spot. Kermorgant stepped up and smashed the ball straight down the middle and into the net.
Bournemouth were lucky to end the first half with eleven men still on the pitch when midfielder Harry Arter launched into a tackle on Gianni Munari in which he appeared to go over the ball but was only shown a yellow card.
Half Time: Bournemouth 1-0 Watford
The second half started with Bournemouth looking to take control of the game with sustained possession and tire the Watford defence out. They nearly added a second after 50 minutes when a loose ball broke to Ritchie but his low effort was well saved by Heurelho Gomes.
The Cherries didn't have to wait long for a second however as they doubled their lead after 56 minutes. Marc Pugh made good progress down the left before his deep cross deflected into the path of Ritchie who drilled his shot low past Gomes and into the net.
Watford did look to respond quickly and almost halved the deficit within two minutes as Odion Ighalo latched onto a loose ball and found Deeney in the box but Steve Cook came across to block Deeney's goalbound effort.
Bournemouth continued to attack and came close to adding a third midway through the second half when Kermorgant got on the end of Ritchie's cross but saw his header brilliantly saved by Gomes.
Gomes was at his best again as the game drew towards a close when another Bournemouth attack saw Pugh find space inside the box and fire goalwards but found the Brazilian stopper in top form again.
Watford were lucky not to finish the game with nine men in stoppage time when half-time substitute Daniel Pudil made a poor tackle on Bournemouth substitute Eunan O'Kane but referee Lee Probert did not even see fit to brandish a yellow card.
Full Time: Bournemouth 2-0 Watford
Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie (Smith), Surman, Arter, Pugh, Kermorgant (O'Kane), Wilson (Pitman)
Subs Not Used: Camp (GK), Ward, Fraser, Stanislas
Watford: Gomes, Cathcart, Angella, Hoban, Layun, Tozser, Munari (Pudil), Watson, Anya, Ighalo (Vydra), Deeney (Mensah)
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Doyley, Savic, Byers
Att: 10,904 (1,391 Watford)
Ref: Mr Lee Probert