Watford Well Beaten By Norwich
Sat 21st Feb - 3:00pm
Watford suffered a disappointing defeat this afternoon as they were well beaten 3-0 at home by Norwich City. A tight and tense game in which neither side looked like scoring turned after 65 minutes when Norwich playmaker Wes Hoolahan dived in the box and referee Carl Berry awarded a penalty. Lewis Grabban converted before Cameron Jerome added a second after 70 minutes. The visitors completed the perfect away performance when Grabban added his second with five minutes remaining.
Slavisa Jokanovic made just one change from the side that started the 4-3 win at Bolton last weekend with Troy Deeney coming in to replace Matej Vydra.
Norwich boss Alex Neill was able to name Graham Dorrans on the bench after his loan move from West Bromwich Albion went through during the week. Sebastien Bassong who had been on loan at Watford earlier in the season started in central defence for the Canaries.
It was the hosts who created the first opening of the game after just two minutes when Miguel Layun got on the ball in midfield and played an early lofted pass in behind the Norwich defence which Troy Deeney got on the end of but could only head wide from the edge of the box.
Norwich's first opportunity of the afternoon came after ten minutes when they were awarded a very soft free kick on the edge of the box. A clever routine saw Jonny Howson lay the ball off to Steven Whittaker but his strike went comfortably over the bar.
The game settled down into an extremely scrappy one with both teams looking too scared of losing to open up and have a go at one another.
Midway through the first half Watford got another opportunity to open the scoring when Odion Ighalo dispossessed Sebastien Bassong in his own half and found Deeney in a wide position on the edge of the box. The striker controlled and with little support fired an early shot that went just wide of the post.
The visitors were creating little going forward either. Their next effort came courtesy of Whittaker again when he fired well wide from 30 yards after Heurelho Gomes had punched away a corner.
The next dangerous moment in the game fell the way of the Hornets when Almen Abdi was fouled 25 yards out by Alexander Tettey. His reaction and that of fellow midfielder Bradley Johnson earned them both bookings as it seemed a clear tactic from the visitors to attempt to intimidate and influence the referee.
After order had been restored Abdi stepped up to take the free kick but his effort did not beat the wall from 25 yards.
Half Time: Watford 0-0 Norwich City
The Hornets upped the tempo early on in the second half and came close to opening the scoring on a couple of occasions. Firstly, Ikechi Anya was played in down the Watford left with his whipped cross cleared by Russell Martin just as Deeney was arriving.
Then, Bassong was caught in possession again this time by Deeney who fed Ighalo in the box but again Norwich managed to clear the ball for a corner just as the in-form strike prepared to pull the trigger.
Norwich again in the early stages of the second half rarely threatened going forward themselves, their closest effort coming from Alexander Tettey who volleyed wide from 25 yards after he picked up a bouncing ball.
Watford managed their first shot on target after an hour when Anya got another cross in the from the left hand side and Deeney laid the ball off to Abdi who's scuffed effort was saved by John Ruddy.
The game changed after 65 minutes when Norwich were awarded a penalty by referee Carl Berry. Howson broke forward for the visitors and found Wes Hoolahan who ran into the penalty area before diving over Miguel Layun's outstretched leg conning the referee into giving the penalty. Grabban stepped up and stroked the penalty into the bottom corner just out of the reach of Gomes.
Just five minutes later and the visitors doubled their lead when a long ball forward broke to Cameron Jerome on the edge of the box and he hit a half-volley that looped over Gomes and into the top corner.
The Hornets struggled to get back into the game having had the wind knocked out of their sails. Gomes pulled off an impressive save when Grabban got in behind the Watford defence again and shot from inside the box.
Moments later Gomes was at it again when a deep free kick found Johnson in the box but his goal bound header was well saved.
Norwich did find a third however to round off an impressive away display through Grabban again. With Watford having thrown bodies forward in an effort to get back into the game the visitors broke with Whittaker putting a raking pass into the box which Grabban volleyed first time past Gomes into the bottom corner.
Full Time: Watford 0-3 Norwich City
Watford: Gomes, Cathcart, Ekstrand (Vydra), Angella, Paredes, Watson (Tozser), Layun (Munari), Abdi, Anya, Ighalo, Deeney
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Hoban, Pudil, Forestieri
Norwich City: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Olsson, Tettey, Johnson, Howson, Hoolahan (Redmond), Jerome (Dorrans), Grabban (Hooper)
Subs Not Used: Rudd (GK), Cuellar, Garrido, Andreu
Att: 18,602 (2,140 Norwich)
Ref: Mr Carl Berry