Watford Held At Home By Baggies
Sat 15th Aug - 3:00pm
Watford were held to a goalless draw by West Bromwich Albion in their first game at Vicarage Road since being back in the Premiership. Despite dominating the game against an Albion side who settled for a point the Hornets could not find a way through to claim all three points.
Quique Flores made just one change from the side that drew 2-2 at Everton last weekend bringing in goal scoring substitute Odion Ighalo in place of Jose Holebas with Ikechi Anya moving to left back. There were places on the bench for fit again duo Almen Abdi and Steven Berghuis.
West Brom's new £12million striker Salomon Rondon had to make do with a place on the bench as Tony Pulis kept faith with Saido Berahino and Rickie Lambert in attack. There were changes at the back through with Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley replacing James Chester and Joleon Lescott.
Watford came flying out the traps roared on by the raucous home support. Odion Ighalo was the first to have an attempt shooting from 25-yards out after finding space but seeing his effort saved by Boaz Myhill.
The combination of Capoue and Behrami saw Watford continuously win the ball back quickly and that set off the next attack Jose Jurado picked the ball up in a wide position. He crossed and found Troy Deeney's whose header was blocked by Claudio Yacob.
Etienne Capoue continued to impress and he went on a marauding run after 20 minutes through the Baggies defence before crossing for Jurado but he could not control his volley and the ball went over the bar.
On a rare foray forward for West Brom they did create a moment in the Hornets box when Darren Fletcher found space on the right and he crossed low but Allan Nyom got in front of Saido Berahino to clear behind for a corner.
Moments later Nyom was in the thick of the action again when he broke following a West Brom before going on a barnstorming run up to the edge of the Baggies box before unleashing a powerful effort that was beaten away by Myhill.
Watford's next chance came from a free-kick after Ighalo was brought down by Olsson following a powerful run. Jurado stepped up 25-yards out and curled the ball just wide with Myhill beaten.
The Hornets created one more good chance in the first half when Behrami's chip forward saw Deeney flick the ball onto Ighalo in the box but he fired over from close range.
Half Time: Watford 0-0 West Brom
The Hornets continued in the second half in the same way they had played the first. Jurado proved influential again when he picked up the ball on the wide left before cutting inside past Craig Dawson but firing wildly over from a good position on the edge of the box.
Just two minutes later and it was another missed chance for Watford as they attempted to take the lead. A deep cross into the box was knocked goalwards by Deeney before Ighalo reached the knockdown but he was again denied by Myhill in the Albion goal.
More pressure from the hosts saw more chances come and go in the early stages of the second half. The impressive Ikechi Anya found space on the left and crossed low but Ighalo saw his shot blocked by Gareth McAuley.
Substitute Almen Abdi then created the next opening when his whipped cross was flicked on by Ighalo at the near post, that touch taking the ball just off Deeney's head who was coming in behind him.
The midway point in the second half saw the introduction of new Baggies striker Salomon Rondon. He made an instant impact when he chased a ball into the right channel before taking on Craig Cathcart but shooting well over the bar.
The Watford strikers continued to prove a menace for the West Brom defence. Ighalo tested Myhill again from long range when he collected a knockdown and fired goalwards.
Deeney then collected a short pass 25-yards out and shot towards goal but his effort was always rising and went over the bar.
Despite their lack of forward endeavour West Brom created arguably the best chance of the game with ten minutes to go. A deep corner was headed back across goal by McAuley to Berahino who headed wide from three yards out at the back post.
The final chance of the game also went the way of the visitors when they won a free kick 25-yards out but Chris Brunt's effort failed to test Heurelho Gomes.
Full Time: Watford 0-0 West Brom
Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Prodl, Cathcart, Anya, Berahmi, Capoue, Layun (Abdi), Ighalo, Jurado (Berghuis), Deeney
Subs Not Used: Gilmartin (GK), Angella, Holebas, Watson, Vydra
West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Brunt, Yacob, Fletcher, Gardner (Rondon), Morrison, Berahino (McManaman), Lambert (McClean)
Subs Not Used: Rose (GK), Chester, Lescott, Anichebe
Att: 20,011 (2,045 away)
Ref: Mr Paul Tierney
Man Of The Match: Jose Manuel Jurado