Report: Watford 3-0 Bristol City
Saturday, January 6th 2018
City’s Emirates FA Cup campaign fell at the first hurdle as Watford ran out 3-0 winners against a mixed-experience Robins side.
Goals in either half proved enough for the Premier League side as Andre Carrillo struck before Troy Deeney marked his return from suspension with a near-post effort.
Etienne Capoue added a late third as Watford progressed into the fourth round of the competition, while Lee Johnson prepares his side for their Carabao Cup first leg semi-final tie with Manchester City.
Opi Edwards and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans were granted their City debuts at Vicarage Road, being two of seven changes to Johnson’s side, compared to the team which lined up against Aston Villa last week.
Luke Steele, Aden Flint, Hordur Magnusson and Korey Smith remained in the team from the start, with one eye firmly on Tuesday’s cup clash.
But a place in the fourth round of Emirates FA Cup was up for grabs first and it was the home side who found their rhythm earliest.
Deeney, fresh from serving a four-game suspension, couldn’t beat Steele as the Watford striker aimed a header straight at the keeper after just five minutes.
It was a sign of things to come as Watford dominated the possession in front of their home supporters.
City though, looked comfortable with Watford threatening little in terms of early clear-cut opportunities, with Johnson’s side defending well.
HANDS OF STEELE
And when the hosts did go close, it was Steele who would deny them, starting with a save to deny a low, long-range effort from Etienne Capoue.
The City showstopper smothered a close-range effort from Roberto Pereyra, before showing quick reactions by diving at the feet of Christian Kabasele.
Despite City’s best defensive efforts, a Watford goal was looking on the cards and it arrived courtesy of Andre Carrillo. Pereyra fed his teammate with a pass, who turned and shot low beyond Steele eight minutes before half time.
The goal gave City some added confidence going forward and they came close to equalising minutes later. Former Bath City loanee Edwards burst down the right wing, showing glimpses of his trickery, before teeing up Woodrow but the striker’s effort sailed not far wide.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with Watford intent on easing their way into the next round of the cup.
The crossbar denied them doing just that, minutes after the restart, following an interchange of passing involving Pereyra and Carrillo, before the latter rattled the bar with his angled shot. Capoue followed up but Steele blocked the strike.
But the Hornets doubled the lead not long after, courtesy of Deeney’s close-range tap in. Cleverley produced the cross from the right-hand side with the Watford striker converting by sweeping the ball beyond Steele.
City showed no sign of giving up the fight and Matty Taylor went close to halving the deficit. He spread the ball wide to Lloyd Kelly who whipped in a brilliant cross, from which Taylor glanced a header narrowly wide of Gomes’ far post.
That was to be Taylor’s last action of the day with his replacement Gustav Engvall steering just wide after latching on to a low Niclas Eliasson cross.
Steele meanwhile was forced to tip a fierce Jose Holebas effort over his own bar as the Greek tried his luck from 25 yards.
CAPOUE WRAPS IT UP
But the final sting in the tale arrived with five minutes remaining as Deeney and Capoue linked up, with the latter rifling a low shot beyond Steele.
Bristol City return to action in the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Tuesday night.
Photography by JMPUK.