A Taylor-made Sunday with a Cherry on top for Watford

Premier League
By Omar Moore
Watford Watch
January 13, 2020

On the third anniversary of legendary Hornets manager Graham Taylor’s passing Watford honoured their late legendary manager with a dominant 3-0 win at fellow strugglers Bournemouth to lift themselves out of the bottom three of the Premier League for the first time this season.

Watford barely shaded a scrappy first half and weren’t totally flowing as they had recently yet scored against the run of play against a nervy Bournemouth side lacking confidence. Ismaila Sarr intercepted a poor clearance from Cherries debutant starting goalkeeper Mark Travers, bore down on goal, squared a ball into the box to a waiting Abdoulaye Doucoure, who controlled the ball and blasted it into the back of the top right corner of the net from close range with two minutes left in the first half.

After the interval Watford turned a plodding performance into a professional one with persistent runs at Bournemouth’s fragile defence and opportunities galore that could have seen the Hornets well clear of the home side. Still, Watford had to wait until the 65th minute to double their lead. A scuffed shot by goalscorer Doucoure rebounded off a Bournemouth defender and the loose ball was pile-driven home into the back of the net on the far left side by Troy Deeney, who scored his fourth goal in his last five games.

Bournemouth never really challenged Watford after their second goal, mere spectators as Watford’s confidence and control of the game grew. Time and again Gerard Deulofeu made tormenting runs on the left and up the middle of the home team’s defence, and the Hornets should have put this match beyond reach. Defensively Watford were very organized and sound, Adam Masina in particular at left-back a standout, and man of the match with his composed performance.

The dagger for Bournemouth in what is an increasingly troubling season came seconds from the end of the match in the 93rd minute as substitute Andre Gray fired the ball toward the goal for what looked like 3-0, but a defender cleared the ball off the line with his foot. The ball reached substitute Robert Pereyra who controlled it with his upper chest, volleyed, and like Deeney, smashed the ball into the left side of the back of the net to put the stamp on a well-deserved Watford win, their fourth in five Premier League matches under new head coach Nigel Pearson.

Bournemouth (out of 10): Travers 5, Francis 6, Cook S. 5, Ake 5, Smith 5, Wilson H. 6, Lerma 5, Gosling 5, Fraser 6, Wilson C. 5, Solanke 5.

Substitutes: Billing 7, Cook L. 6, Surridge 6.

WATFORD (out of 10): Foster 8, Mariappa 8, Dawson 8, Cathcart 7, Masina 9, Doucoure 8, Capoue 8, Chalobah 8, Deulofeu 8, Sarr 7, Deeney 8. 

Substitutes: Pereyra 7, Gray 6, Quina 7.  

Referee (out of 10): Mike Dean 9.

Photo: By Adam Davy — Roberto Pereyra tries to elude teammate Etienne Capoue after Pereyra scores Watford’s third goal at Bournemouth on Sunday during the 3-0 win.

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