Ighalo Double Gives Watford First Away Win
St James' Park
Sat 19th Sep - 3:00pm
Watford won back to back games in the Premierleague and completed their first away win with a 2-1 victory at Newcastle. Two first half goals from Odion Ighalo sent the visitors in 2-0 up at half time before Daryl Janmaat pulled one back for the magpies after an hour. And that was how it stayed despite pressure from the hosts as the Hornets held on for their first away win of the season.
Quique Flores made just the one enforced change to the side that picked up the first win of the season last weekend against Swansea City. Ben Watson came into midfield in place of the suspended Valon Berahmi. Nathan Ake and Adlene Guedioura were on the bench for the first time since signing in August.
Newcastle boss Steve McClaren kept faith with under-fire striker Papiss Cisse as he was again chosen to lead the line in place of Siem De Jong who had to make do with a place on the bench.
It was the Hornets who started on the front foot and created the first opportunity of the game. Troy Deeney collected the ball in the Newcastle half and found Almen Abdi who nodded the ball down to Odion Ighalo but the Nigerian dragged his shot just wide of the post.
The hosts also had a good opportunity in the opening exchanges in what panned out to be an open game. The dangerous Daryl Janmaat broke forward from right back and crossed into the box where Papiss Cisse controlled but could not finish past Heurelho Gomes.
After ten minutes, Watford were rewarded for their positive start and they took the lead through Ighalo. A good passing move which included Abdi, Etienne Capoue and Deeney saw the ball laid off for Ighalo inside the box and he finished well into the bottom corner past Tim Krul.
After a quarter of an hour Newcastle wasted a good chance to get back on level terms almost straight away. Moussa Sissoko collected the ball and split the Watford defence putting Cisse in the clear on the left side of the box. However he slashed wildly at the ball and missed the target comfortably.
Watford continued with their attacking approach and nearly scored again after 20 minutes when a counter-attack lead by Jose Manuel Jurado found Deeney and he curled an effort just wide of the post.
After 28 minutes things got even better for the travelling Watford support as they doubled their lead through Ighalo again. Deeney held the ball up inside the Newcastle half and played an excellent ball through to the unmarked Ighalo who rounded Krul and finished calmly into the net.
Newcastle struggled to build up momentum for the remainder of the half but did come close to halving the deficit just before the break when Sissoko found space on the Newcastle right and picked out Florian Thauvin who fired a shot straight at Gomes from inside the box.
Half Time: Newcastle Utd 0-2 Watford
Newcastle began the second half by replacing the poor Papiss Cisse with Siem De Jong but it was the visitors who had the first chance of the half when Deeney controlled the ball and drove goalwards but saw his effort deflected wide for a corner.
The hosts did begin to build up a head of steam and pulled a goal back after 62 minutes through Janmaat. He and Sissoko combined down the Newcastle right with Sissoko slipping the Dutchman in before he finished well past Gomes to halve the deficit.
Despite the setback the Hornets went straight back on the attack and nearly restored their two goal lead when the dangerous Deeney battled his way through the Newcastle defence again but saw the ball nicked off his toe just as was about to pull the trigger.
Newcastle continued to pile forward in search of an equaliser and it nearly came after 67 minutes. Newcastle strung a number of passes together in front of the Watford defence before Thauvin teed up Janmaat whose vicious show was excellently parried by Gomes.
The chances continued to come for the hosts. Massadio Haidara fired wide from the edge of the box after he collected a through ball and De Jong wasted a chance when he headed wide when Janmaat picked him out inside the box.
Thauvin continued to come more into the game as the second half wore on and he had another chance after 75 minutes he shot goalwards from range but Gomes was up to the test.
Watford missed a good chance to seal the points late on when they broke forward after Newcastle had committed too many bodies forward. Substitute Steven Berghuis released Allan Nyom and he broke into the box but fired wildly over from a good position.
Full Time: Newcastle Utd 1-2 Watford
Newcastle Utd: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Mbemba, Haidara (Aarons), Colback, Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Perez, Thauvin (Obertan), Cisse (De Jong)
Subs Not Used: Elliot (GK), Williamson, Lascelles, Anita
Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Prodl, Cathcart, Anya, Abdi (Berghuis), Capoue, Watson (Guedioura), Jurado (Ake), Ighalo, Deeney
Subs Not Used: Arlauskis (GK), Hoban, Diamanti, Ibarbo
Att: 47,806 (2,250 Hornets)
Ref: Mr Roger East