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REPORT: Watford severely dent West Brom’s survival bid as Deeney strikes

A 77th minute winning goal from Troy Deeney saw Watford snatch the points from West Brom in a closely contested affair at Vicarage Road.

A mistake by Grzegorz Krychowiak, who cheaply gave away the ball in midfield, was followed by Will Hughes playing in the Watford captain, who coolly clipped the ball over Ben Foster in the 77th minute, causing devastation for the travelling fans.

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West Brom, in fact, did not play that badly, with Rondón having plenty of chances during the game, and could certainly be considered a culprit regarding West Brom’s failure to secure at least a point. The Venezuelan spurned a number of chances to score, not to mention the glancing header from Kieran Gibbs’s cross in the 54th minute that he put narrowly wide of the far post.

It felt like a big moment during the game and unfortunately more so after the final whistle, when Daryl Janmaat and Jay Rodriguez collided during an attempted to meet Matt Phillips’s cross. Pardew was sure that Janmaat had fouled Rodriguez, and therefore the referee, Paul Tierney, should have awarded his side a penalty, futher reiterating how much the Baggies are ruing a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.

It was not soon after that Watford hit back. A mistake by Grzegorz Krychowiak, a simple pass by Hughes and Deeney coolly clipped the ball over Ben Foster.

Pardew said the goal was West Broms ‘one mistake’ of the chilling afternoon, and it was certainly a harsh enough moment for the visitors given that Watford had created little threat before Deeney’s goal – apart from an effort by Stefano Okaka on the 75th minute that Gibbs cleared off the line, the best they had been able to offer.

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Not that the home supporters were bothered, as Vicarage Road was filled with delight in response to the goal that hoisted them up to ninth, instead they turned their attention to the opposition manager. It soon caught on, and the away end joined the chorus of chants directed at Pardew. He just stood still, arms firmly crossed knowing that his suffering may soon be over.

However West Brom’s suffering is all to come. They have nine games to save themselves, with three of their next four fixtures at home, though their run-in includes tough games against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United.

It was another good performance by Watford under Gracia with the Hornets winning all three of their Premier League home games under the Spaniard so far. Since Gracia took over at Vicarage Road, they have won three out of five Premier League games and taken 10 points. With 36 points, they are nine points from the bottom three and are closing in on safety for the third successive season.

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An interesting point was Richarlison’s reaction to being substituted for Okaka in the 54th minute following a frustrating display. He has been right among the goals this season having scored five and assisting eight. However in recent weeks Richarlison has struggled for form only providing two assists (no goals) in his last ten Premier League games, despite starting all of them.

What the managers say:

West Brom manager Alan Pardew: “It was a really tight game. I feel for the players because we made one mistake in the game and it has been costly.

“We could definitely do with a break. The players gave me everything today and I cannot ask for more than that.

“It is tough but it isn’t about me it about West Brom and it is tough for the fans and the players.

“We won’t give up the fight, we will keep going until we get something. It is tough to stand in front of players and say you haven’t really done much wrong today. Mistakes happen in football.

Watford boss Javi Gracia: “I don’t waste my time thinking about that [being safe from relegation]. I am only focused on the next match and the next three points. I think this is the best mentality for the team.

“I am happy at this moment but only focused on the next match.”

Man of the Match:

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Troy Deeney. The Watford captain took his goal really well, scoring in successive matches for the first time since March 2017. He had little chances throughout the game but was always waiting for that one clear sight of goal, his clinical nature when that chance arose meaning they eventually won the game.

Watford

Karnezis, Janmaat, Prödl, Mariappa, Holebas/Britos 90+5′, Doucouré, Capoue, Carrillo/Hughes 66′, Pereyra Richarlison/Okaka 54′, Deeney.

West Bromwich Albion

Foster, Dawson, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs, Krychowiak/McClean 81′
Livermore/Field 87′, Brunt, Phillips, Rondón, Rodriguez/Burke 87′

Written by Will Chattell.

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