Thursday 27 April 2017

Troy Deeney's nets 100th Watford goal in victory over West Brom

Watford's Troy Deeney applauds fans after the match
Watford's Troy Deeney applauds fans after the match

Tom Allnutt

Troy Deeney scored his 100th league goal for Watford as the 10-man Hornets climbed to ninth in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over West Brom.

M'Baye Niang's stunning early strike put Watford in front at Vicarage Road before Deeney doubled his side's advantage with a scruffy finish soon after half-time.

Hornets defender Miguel Britos was shown a second yellow card for bringing down Salomon Rondon with 25 minutes left but the hosts held on to register back-to-back league victories for only the third time this season.

The result means Watford sit seven points behind eighth-placed West Brom in the table, although the Baggies have played one game fewer.

Perhaps more importantly, Walter Mazzarri's men are now 10 points clear of the relegation zone and while yet to reach the hallowed 40-point mark, they can realistically start planning for a third consecutive season in the top flight.

Both these sides appear to have played in fits and starts this term and the outcome could have been very different had Nacer Chadli given West Brom an early lead.

The Belgian's first finish, however, was blocked by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and as the ball spun up he failed to guide the volley into the open net from an acute angle.

It proved a costly miss because in the 13th minute the Hornets took the lead. Deeney's flick-on ended up at the feet of Niang, who drifted in-field off the left before unleashing a stinging shot past Ben Foster and into the far corner.

West Brom spent most of the next 20 minutes chasing shadows but Chadli almost equalised when his bending free-kick from 30 yards clipped the outside of the post.

Tempers frayed at the end of the first period and a frustrated James McClean was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card when he kicked out at Jose Holebas.

The winger did not survive the interval as Pulis sent out Matt Phillips for the second period while Watford had also been forced into a change as a hobbling Sebastian Prodl came off for Daryl Janmaat.

Within four minutes of the restart, however, the Hornets doubled their advantage.

Niang was involved again, this time provider as he whipped a ball downfield from the left and Deeney was able to chest down and slide a finish under Foster.

The West Brom goalkeeper jumped tentatively out of the way and should have done better.

Chadli drove a first-time volley wide at the back post but West Brom's best hope came when Britos was sent off in the 65th minute.

Already booked, the defender got caught in a foot-race against the pacey Rondon and when the striker fell in the tussle, referee Paul Tierney was quick to produce a second yellow card.

If anything, however, the decision appeared to rally Watford to the cause and West Brom never really looked like mounting a fightback.

Allan Nyom, formerly of Watford and castigated throughout by his old fans, fired off a shot in stoppage time but it was blocked by his own team-mate Phillips to bring a suitable end to a miserable night for the visitors.

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