Sunday 18 March 2018

Strike duo delights Flores

Watford 2-0 Norwich City

Watford manager Quique Flores celebrates
Watford manager Quique Flores celebrates
Allan-Romeo Nyom of Watford and Robbie Brady of Norwich City vie for possession
Watford's Odion Ighalo takes off his shirt to celebrate scoring his team's second goal

Philip Duncan

Quique Sanchez Flores revealed his love for Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney after Watford's strike duo netted in the defeat of Norwich. Deeney's first-half penalty means he has scored in four consecutive matches, while Ighalo wrapped up the win in injury time with his ninth Premier League goal of the season.

Between them, Ighalo, who snubbed a lucrative move to China in the summer, and Deeney have scored 14 of Watford's 17 league goals this season. "I love my strikers and I love the team we have," Flores said after seeing his side move up to an impressive ninth in the league.

"We have passion, we have ambition and we have soul," he added. "I have an amazing feeling with these players. Deeney feels passion for this team and Ighalo took a very good decision months ago when he stayed here."

On a cold and blustery afternoon at Vicarage Road, Watford avenged last season's 3-0 defeats home and away to Norwich in the Championship. With 30 minutes gone, Etienne Capoue dispossessed Alex Tettey, and in his attempts to make amends, the returning Norwich skipper hauled Ighalo down. Referee Mike Dean had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Deeney sent Declan Rudd the wrong way.

Ighalo was a constant thorn in Norwich's side and got the goal his impressive display warranted, shrugging off the attentions of Sebastien Bassong to slip the ball under Rudd in stoppage time.

"It was a difficult victory for us because Norwich started the match well," Flores said. "We needed to stop that, so we tried to create a very good balance between offensive and defensive, and little-by-little we started to play better."

Norwich, 16th in the table, now have just one victory in their last 10 league matches, with frustrated manager Alex Neil ruing Tettey's error and critical of Robbie Brady, who had two chances to haul the visitors level in the second half.

"The game was not great," Neil said. "There was nothing in it until we made an error and cost ourselves a penalty. There was not a great deal of football played. Robbie had two decent opportunities. One fell on his left foot and he screwed it wide, and with the second one he could not get on the ball properly. His first touch was poor and it ran through to the goalkeeper."

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