Watford Come From Behind To Beat Brentford
Tue 10th Feb - 7:45pm
Man of the moment Odion Ighalo netted two second half goals including a late winner as Watford snatched all three points at Brentford with a 2-1 win this evening. The games first dramatic moment occurred in the 37th minute when Brentford defender Jake Bidwell was shown a straight red card after a tackle on Miguel Layun. Despite the man disadvantage Andre Gray gave the hosts the lead after 53 minutes before Troy Deeney missed a penalty for the Hornets just three minutes later. Ighalo levelled for the visitors midway through the second half before he pounced again in the first minute of stoppage time to seal the points.
Slavisa Jokanovic made two changes and a change in formation from the side that beat Blackburn Rovers at the weekend. Daniel Tozser came in for Tommie Hoban with Watford moving back to a back four while Fernando Forestieri replaced the injured Gianni Munari.
Brentford boss Mark Warburton had to contend with speculation about his future before the game with press reports emerging that the Bees are preparing for his potential departure. There was a place for former Hornet and legend Tommy Smith on the Brentford bench however, with Andre Gray continuing in attack.
The hosts started the game well and came close to opening the scoring in the first minute when James Tarkowski met a corner but headed over the bar from close range.
As Brentford kept the tempo up in the early stages Andre Gray got an opportunity after seven minutes when a through ball released him inside the box but Heurelho Gomes was out quickly to meet him.
The first chance for Watford of the evening came when Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney linked inside the Brentford half with Deeney poking the ball just wide of the post.
Deeney was involved again moments later when he picked up the ball 20 yards out and fired goalwards but his effort was straight at David Button.
Watford created their best chance of the half after 35 minutes when good build up play saw Fernando Forestieri receive the ball in space and curl the ball towards goal but just wide of the far post.
The game changed after 37 minutes when Brentford were reduced to ten men after Jake Bidwell was shown a straight red card. Bidwell challenged for the ball with Miguel Layun but was adjudged to have gone over the ball by referee Keith Stroud and was shown a straight red card.
Half Time: Brentford 0-0 Watford
Watford looked to make their man advantage count at the start of the second half as they dominated possession. Forestieri was crowded out when he got into a dangerous position whilst Ikechi Anya overran the ball when he broke into the box.
However, against the run of play, Brentford took the lead after 53 minutes through lively striker Andre Gray. A long ball forward saw Gray turn defender Gabriele Angella before breaking into the box and unleashing a powerful high strike into the roof of the net past Gomes.
Just three minutes later Watford were handed a golden chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty. A cross from Ben Watson was handled by Jonathan Douglas at the near post, but Deeney's penalty was poor and Button guessed the right way and held the Watford strikers effort.
Having missed a penalty the Hornets piled on the pressure during the second half. Anya had a shot turned away by Button in the Brentford goal before he had a close range shot blocked again before Ighalo fired the rebound wide. Substitute Almen Abdi then went close when he shot just wide via a deflection.
The equaliser did come for Watford midway through the second half through Ighalo. Another prolonged spell of Watford possession saw Juan Carlos Paredes pick up the ball on the right wing and cross for Ighalo to head home into the bottom corner.
The Hornets continued to pile on the pressure and came close to taking the lead when a corner dropped perfectly for Deeney who met the ball on the volley but was denied by the legs of Button.
Ighalo was then denied by Button again when he shot from inside the box before Forestieri came close again when he put the ball just wide from the edge of the area.
Brentford then created the next opportunity in a rare attack forward with their ten men. Gray, a thorn in Watford's side all evening, turned Angella once again but Gomes was on hand to deny him.
With eight minutes to go the Hornets came mighty close to finding a winner. Daniel Tozser's short free kick was collected by Forestieri who low effort came back off the Brentford post with Button beaten.
However, as the game moved into stoppage time Watford did find a winner through the man of the moment, Odion Ighalo. Substitute Matej Vydra collected the ball in the box before turning to cross for Ighalo who volleyed the ball into the bottom corner from close range.
Watford survived a late scare when substitute Jon Toral crossed deep into the box but no Brentford player was on hand to turn the ball in.
Full Time: Brentford 1-2 Watford
Brentford: Button, Odubajo, Tarkowski (Craig), Dean, Bidwell, Douglas, Diagouraga, Jota (Toral), Pritchard (Smith), Dallas, Gray
Subs Not Used: Bonham (GK), Yennaris, Saunders, Long
Watford: Gomes, Paredes, Cathcart, Angella, Anya (Hoban), Tozser, Watson (Abdi), Layun, Forestieri, Ighalo, Deeney (Vydra)
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Doyley, Ekstrand, Pudil
Att: 10,524 (1,621 Hornets)
Ref: Mr Keith Stroud