Monday 22 July 2019

Silva feels heat on painful Watford return

Watford 1 Everton 0

Everton manager Marco Silva can't hide his disappointment. Photo: Reuters
Everton manager Marco Silva can't hide his disappointment. Photo: Reuters

Marco Silva insisted he was not fazed by the hostile reception afforded to him on his return to Vicarage Road. Watford supporters goaded Silva, and chanted "you're getting sacked in the morning", after Andre Gray's second-half strike secured all three points for the Hornets, and piled more pressure on the Portuguese by condemning Everton to their third straight league defeat.

Troy Deeney stoked up the antagonism ahead of the grudge match after he urged the home fans to ignore Silva, who was sacked by Watford 13 months ago amid suggestions he was engineering a move to Everton, and allow the players to "kick the s*** out of them". The Vicarage Road fans, however, taunted Silva throughout, and were jubilant when Gray broke the deadlock after he tapped home midway through the second half.

Watford's Andre Gray celebrates scoring his side's first goal. Photo: PA
Watford's Andre Gray celebrates scoring his side's first goal. Photo: PA

Silva claimed afterwards that Deeney's comments were part of a plan concocted by Watford to destabilise his Everton players.

"For me, [the reception] is not important," said Silva. "I cannot control everything. What I can control is my team and try to control the opposing team. The club had one strategy and they created a strategy for something to happen on the pitch."

Everton have now lost nine of their last 13 matches in all competitions, and their bleak league form since the start of December is only better than Huddersfield and Fulham. Their miserable afternoon took another sorry twist after the final whistle when Kurt Zouma was sent off for complaining to referee Lee Probert.

Zouma was unhappy that Watford were awarded a corner in the build-up to Gray's winner. "I will try to speak with the referee," added Silva.

Everton's Cenk Tosun brings the ball under his control. Photo: Reuters
Everton's Cenk Tosun brings the ball under his control. Photo: Reuters

Brighton 1 Burnley3

In-form Burnley boosted their Premier League survival hopes after Chris Wood's double set them on course for victory Sean Dyche's Clarets had slipped into the relegation zone ahead of kick-off, but they responded in style as composed finishes from Wood either side of half-time put them in control at a rain-soaked Amex Stadium.

The visitors, who were also indebted to an inspired first-half display from goalkeeper Tom Heaton, went further ahead through Ashley Barnes' penalty, before Shane Duffy pulled one back for the Seagulls.

Success on the south coast stretched Burnley's unbeaten run to seven top-flight games, leaving them level on 27 points with their out-of-form hosts.

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