Premier League
EvertonEverton1WatfordWatford0

Everton 1-0 Watford: Early Bernard goal enough for Everton

By Tim OscroftBBC Sport
Bernard scores for Everton
Bernard's goal gives Everton their first win of the season

Everton manager Marco Silva says he wants Goodison Park to be "a fortress" after his side's fifth straight home win against Watford.

Bernard's goal after just 10 minutes was enough to give Everton their first victory of the 2019-20 season.

The Toffees have not conceded at home since they lost 2-0 to Manchester City on 6 February.

"My style and my philosophy is I like to play offensive football. Keeping clean sheets is important," said Silva.

The Hornets are on a poor run having won just one of their last eight league matches, and have yet to score in this campaign.

They came closest to equalising when Craig Dawson's header hit the bar, following Bernard's shot that beat keeper Ben Foster at his near post.

Watford improved after the break, but Abdoulaye Doucoure missed late on.

Troy Deeney had been denied by a fine save from Jordan Pickford earlier in the second half, when the Watford captain went one-on-one with the Everton keeper.

Marco Silva is focused on keeping clean sheets at home after a 1-0 win over Watford

And a Deeney shot that deflected off Michael Keane set up Doucoure inside the Everton area only for the midfielder to pull his shot wide.

Everton striker Richarlison had two good chances to score against his former club with headers but missed both, while substitute Moise Kean rolled a shot just wide of Foster's right post in second-half stoppage time.

Toffees tough to crack at home

Everton have become an increasingly tough proposition on their own turf under former Watford manager Silva, and have now won five in a row at Goodison for the first time since Ronald Koeman's reign in April 2017.

Their back four of Lucas Digne, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman seem to be a settled unit, and it was the impressive Digne who set up the game's only goal with a superb long pass from deep inside his own half.

And the late addition of recent signing Kean gave them an added edge in attack, with the 19-year-old using his size and strength to worry the Watford defence.

A first chance for the Italian was blazed wide, but his miss in injury time after a lovely piece of close control was much closer to the target and bodes well for when Silva chooses to give him longer appearances.

Slow start punishes Hornets

Watford's journey to the FA Cup final in May papered over the cracks of a subdued second half to last season, when a 2-1 win at already-relegated Huddersfield gave Javi Gracia's side their only victory in their final seven league outings.

This defeat was the Hornets' sixth in a row, factoring in their humiliation at the hands of Manchester City at Wembley.

Watford boss Javi Gracia wants his players to be 'angry and hungry' after 1-0 at Everton

But the frustration for manager Gracia will lie in his side's slow start that allowed Everton to edge ahead, which was followed by a much-improved display late in the first half and for much of the second.

"I think we deserved a better result," said Gracia. "We had more possession and more shots on target, we dominated some spells but we didn't score and we need to try better next time."

Danny Welbeck made his Watford debut as a second-half substitute, and while the former Manchester United and Arsenal player made little impression, Gracia will be hoping the 28-year-old England striker will be up to speed soon to give some much-needed cutting edge.

The Watford manager added: "I am happy for him because he was a long time injured and today was his first game. I am happy with his performance and I am sure he will help us in the future."

The slow start to the season is in contrast to last year when Watford won their first four matches - but have since accrued 38 points from 36 league outings.

Man of the match - Digne (Everton)

Lucas Digne
Digne was successful with 76.2% of his passes, and set up the game's only goal with a wonderful ball from deep inside his own half to set up Bernard

More woe on the road for Watford - the stats

  • Everton have won five consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since a run of eight under Ronald Koeman in April 2017.
  • In the top-flight, Watford have collected five points from a possible 75 in 25 away games against the two Merseyside clubs (Everton and Liverpool), winning one, drawing two and losing 22 of those games.
  • Everton have kept six consecutive clean sheets at Goodison Park in the Premier League for the first time since a run of seven between March and September 2013.
  • Watford boss Gracia has lost six consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time in his managerial career.
  • With a run starting with a 71st-minute West Ham strike through Marko Arnautovic in May, Watford have conceded 12 goals in all competitions without reply.
  • Amongst defenders, only Liverpool full-back duo Trent Alexander-Arnold (14) and Andrew Robertson (11) have been directly involved in more Premier League goals than Everton's Digne (nine - four goals and five assists) since the start of last season.
  • Watford defender Jose Holebas has received a yellow card in 35% of his Premier League appearances (36 in 102) - of players with at least 50 appearances in the competition, only Cheick Tiote has a higher ratio (38% - 52 in 138).

'Fortress Goodison' - what the managers said

Everton boss Silva, speaking to BBC Sport: "The three points were the most important thing. We scored a goal and did not concede and that was important for us. Looking at the whole picture I think we deserved the win.

"Of course the second half I would like the performance to be better but it is the first home game of the season. I think we had more big chances than them to score.

"With a second goal you are more safe. We want to make Goodison our fortress."

On Kean's cameo: "Was tough for him. He had that big moment to make an impact and put his stamp on the game. He didn't score but he is a boy and he should improve and should know better our team in time."

Watford boss Gracia, speaking to BBC Sport: "I think today we had our performance and we were close to getting a better result.

"They scored from a long ball, an individual action. We were a little bit unlucky because our defender touched a little bit their shot. We then hit the crossbar, we had good performance but didn't take the chances and they won the game.

"We need to improve many things but there were many positives today."

What's next?

Everton face Aston Villa at Villa Park on Friday, 23 August at 20:00 BST, while Watford are next in action when they take on West Ham at Vicarage Road on Saturday, 24 August at 15:00 BST.

Line-ups

Everton

  • 1Pickford
  • 23ColemanBooked at 14mins
  • 5Keane
  • 13Mina
  • 12DigneSubstituted forHolgateat 73'minutes
  • 25Gbamin
  • 21André GomesBooked at 47mins
  • 7RicharlisonSubstituted forWalcottat 63'minutes
  • 10G Sigurdsson
  • 20Bernard
  • 9Calvert-LewinSubstituted forKeanat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Holgate
  • 11Walcott
  • 14Tosun
  • 17Iwobi
  • 26Davies
  • 27Kean
  • 49Lössl

Watford

  • 26Foster
  • 21Femenía
  • 4Dawson
  • 15Cathcart
  • 25HolebasBooked at 59mins
  • 16Doucouré
  • 29CapoueBooked at 31minsSubstituted forGrayat 83'minutes
  • 19HughesSubstituted forWelbeckat 67'minutes
  • 37PereyraBooked at 62mins
  • 7DeulofeuSubstituted forCleverleyat 79'minutes
  • 9Deeney

Substitutes

  • 1Gomes
  • 2Janmaat
  • 8Cleverley
  • 10Welbeck
  • 18Gray
  • 20Quina
  • 27Kabasele
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
39,066

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home12
Away8
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 1, Watford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 1, Watford 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernard.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

  5. Post update

    Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Moise Kean (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Bernard.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

  8. Post update

    Mason Holgate (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  10. Post update

    Delay in match because of an injury Moise Kean (Everton).

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Moise Kean (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Bernard following a fast break.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Everton. Yerry Mina tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Everton. André Gomes tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andre Gray.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces Etienne Capoue.

  17. Post update

    Etienne Capoue (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Bernard (Everton).

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bernard (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by André Gomes.

  20. Post update

    Kiko Femenía (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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