Monday 21 October 2019

Wolves hopes gone in 60 seconds as Watford blitz hands Nuno Espirito Santo reality check

Watford manager Javi Gracia and Will Hughes applaud the fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Watford manager Javi Gracia and Will Hughes applaud the fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Nick Mashiter

Rapid-fire Watford ended their winless run after two goals in 58 seconds secured a deserved 2-0 win at Wolves.

The Hornets bagged their 50th Premier League win after Etienne Capoue and Roberto Pereyra struck inside a minute midway through the first half at Molineux.

It was Watford's first win in six attempts and lifted them above Wolves into seventh.

Defeat ended Wolves' six-game unbeaten run as Watford breached a defence which had conceded one goal in their past seven games in all competitions.

Ivan Cavaleiro wasted Wolves' best chance in the second half as they slumped to their first home league defeat since January.

There was little to suggest the oncoming drama in a sedate start, with only Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster awkwardly tipping Ryan Bennett's header over.

But Watford blew the hosts away with their two quickfire strikes.

First, after 20 minutes, Abdoulaye Doucoure teed up Capoue and the midfielder's 30-yard drive whistled into the bottom corner through Conor Coady's legs without keeper Rui Patricio moving.

Just 58 seconds later Doucoure fed Pereyra on the left and the forward lifted a brilliant finish over Patricio into the roof of the net.

Wolves, usually so assured, were suddenly ragtag and survived a scare when Willy Boly chopped down Isaac Success, with Watford appealing for a penalty, but Gerard Deulofeu's free-kick hit the wall.

In control, Watford relaxed as they continued to find the space to dominate midfield, with Wolves never laying a glove on the outstanding Doucoure.

Pereyra curled over seven minutes before the break and all Wolves could muster in response was a tame Raul Jimenez effort.

Ruben Vinagre replaced Jonny at the break and Foster palmed away his dangerous cross as Wolves upped their game instantly.

Watford were not afforded the same time and space from the first half, with a fired-up Molineux incensed by several calls by referee Lee Mason.

But Wolves rarely tested Foster and he gathered Boly's scuffed effort on the hour.

Ruben Neves then came to the rescue with 22 minutes to go when he thwarted Doucoure as he prepared to pull the trigger.

It was a rare Watford attack as they chased just a second away win in 16 matches.

Wolves had chances to set up a grandstand finish and substitute Cavaleiro was the biggest culprit when he planted a free header over from 10 yards with 13 minutes left before Helder Costa shot over.

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