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Norwich City 0-2 Watford: Hornets' first win of season lifts them off bottom

Gerard Deulofeu scores for Watford
Gerard Deulofeu's goal was the second fastest by an away team in the Premier League this season

Watford earned their first Premier League win of the season as they moved off the bottom of the table at the expense of opponents Norwich.

The Hornets' victory, their first in the top flight since April, means they leapfrog Southampton and the hosts, whose own winless run has now stretched to a seventh game.

Gerard Deulofeu's goal after 76 seconds after some lax defending from Emiliano Buendia set Watford on their way and Andre Gray's close-range flick from a Deulofeu cross secured the points.

But they had to survive for 25 minutes with 10 men after Christian Kabasele was dismissed for his second yellow card.

That provided the hosts with some impetus in the closing stages but Quique Sanchez Flores' side held firm to earn a first league victory since his return to the club.

The Hornets, who have struggled for goals this term, displayed a clinical streak that had until now been absent, scoring with their only two efforts on target.

Norwich have now gone 10 Premier League home games without keeping a clean sheet - a run stretching back to their previous campaign in the top flight - and hold the worst defensive record in the division.

Deulofeu stars on positive night for Watford

Watford's season has so far followed a familiar pattern of failing to convert chances in front of goal before being punished at the other end.

So this was a welcome reversal of fortune for Sanchez Flores, who had overseen four draws and three defeats in his seven matches in charge since replacing compatriot Javi Gracia in September.

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Norwich 0-2 Watford: Hornets strong today - Flores

The Spanish boss will also have been encouraged by being able to name Troy Deeney in a Hornets squad for the first time since August.

And while the physical presence and bustling firepower that the 31-year-old can provide may yet prove pivotal if Watford are to turn their season around, Deulofeu's pace was crucial in East Anglia.

Dispossessing Buendia, Deulofeu drifted into the Norwich penalty area from the right unopposed and drilled a low left-foot shot past Canaries goalkeeper Tim Krul into the bottom left corner from 15 yards.

While Deulofeu clearly has the capacity to frustrate his team-mates at times, by failing to track back or make runs in behind opposition defences, the former Barcelona and Everton forward also created Watford's second.

Latching on to a ball down the left channel, the 25-year-old teased Max Aarons before picking out Gray, whose attempted backheel deflected off Jamal Lewis into the bottom left corner.

"We need positive energy and scoring early is how you feed the energy of the players," said Sanchez Flores.

"The players were really strong. They kept their shape and everything was really good. The fans were for a long time waiting, waiting, waiting. This was for the fans, they deserve it."

Norwich lacking firepower and paying for a 'nursery' mistake

While Norwich appeared to regain control of the game in the first half, there was a certain inevitability about the outcome once they had fallen behind to Deulofeu's early goal.

"It [Norwich's start] was a disaster," said Canaries head coach Daniel Farke.

"They switched to five at the back and it was difficult to create chances against them so to invite them with such a nursery mistake was a confidence boost for them. It was a game-defining moment."

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Norwich 0-2 Watford: Farke calls Hornets defeat a 'disaster'

Farke's side may have dominated possession but their struggles were underscored by a lack of creativity and thrust in front of goal.

Norwich are also yet to earn a point this season after conceding the first goal, with Teemu Pukki's form indicative of their problems.

The Finland international started the campaign prolifically with six goals in his first five games but has now failed to score in his past seven outings for the club.

And while he worked away industriously all evening, producing more sprints than any other player (19), he barely got into the positions to test Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Cuban winger Onel Hernandez offered some threat down the left, repeatedly beating Kabasele before he was dismissed but he was underused thereafter, with the lively Todd Cantwell also introduced too late.

It ensured the hosts ended the evening with their joint-lowest tally at this stage of a top-flight season.

Man of the Match - Gerard Deulofeu (Watford)

Gerard Deulofeu
Gerard Deulofeu (right) scored and then laid on Watford's second goal of the evening

Super-sub Gray - the stats

  • Watford registered their first Premier League win at the 12th attempt in 2019-20 and ended a run of 15 league games without a victory, stretching back to April.
  • Norwich are the sixth newly promoted side to lose as many as nine of their opening 12 Premier League games to a season - four of the previous five went on to be relegated (the exception being Crystal Palace in 2013-14).
  • This was the first away Premier League win by a team starting the day bottom of the table since last November, when Huddersfield Town won 2-0 at Wolves.
  • Watford striker Andre Gray has more Premier League goals as a substitute in 2019 than any other player (3).
  • In just two Premier League appearances on a Friday, Watford's Gerard Deulofeu has been involved in six goals, scoring four times and assisting two.
  • Deulofeu's goal after 76 seconds for Watford was the second-quickest away goal scored in the Premier League this season, behind only Harry Kane's effort after 47 seconds for Spurs at Liverpool.
  • Norwich are still without a home Premier League clean sheet this season, one of only three teams without one, along with Liverpool and Southampton.
  • Since returning to the Premier League in 2015-16, Watford have received more red cards than any other top-flight team (17).
  • Watford have kept three clean sheets in their last five Premier League games, having kept none in their 19 games prior to this.

What's next?

Norwich travel to Everton on Saturday, 23 November (15:00 GMT) for their next Premier League fixture, while Watford host Burnley on the same day (also 15:00).

Line-ups

Norwich

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 27Tettey
  • 4Godfrey
  • 12LewisSubstituted forVrancicat 81'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 19Trybull
  • 23McLean
  • 17BuendíaSubstituted forCantwellat 62'minutes
  • 18StiepermannSubstituted forDrmicat 62'minutes
  • 11Hernández
  • 22Pukki

Substitutes

  • 3Byram
  • 8Vrancic
  • 14Cantwell
  • 20Drmic
  • 21Fährmann
  • 24Amadou
  • 32Srbeny

Watford

  • 26Foster
  • 2Janmaat
  • 27KabaseleBooked at 65mins
  • 4Dawson
  • 15Cathcart
  • 25HolebasSubstituted forMasinaat 88'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 16Doucouré
  • 29Capoue
  • 19HughesBooked at 69mins
  • 7DeulofeuSubstituted forMariappaat 70'minutes
  • 37PereyraSubstituted forGrayat 31'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gomes
  • 6Mariappa
  • 9Deeney
  • 11Masina
  • 14Chalobah
  • 18Gray
  • 21Femenía
Referee:
Andre Marriner
Attendance:
27,074

Match Stats

Home TeamNorwichAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home17
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Norwich City 0, Watford 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Norwich City 0, Watford 2.

Todd Cantwell (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

Booking

Adam Masina (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Max Aarons (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).

Attempt missed. Ben Godfrey (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mario Vrancic.

Foul by Max Aarons (Norwich City).

Adam Masina (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Adam Masina replaces José Holebas.

Booking

Mario Vrancic (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Mario Vrancic (Norwich City).

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

Attempt blocked. Mario Vrancic (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Max Aarons (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by José Holebas (Watford).

Attempt blocked. Tom Trybull (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Tom Trybull (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Teemu Pukki.

Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Will Hughes following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Mario Vrancic replaces Jamal Lewis.

Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Tom Trybull.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Norwich City).

Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Jamal Lewis (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Todd Cantwell following a corner.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Daryl Janmaat.

Max Aarons (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by José Holebas (Watford).

Attempt blocked. Max Aarons (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Teemu Pukki.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Etienne Capoue.

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Ben Foster.

Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Adrian Mariappa replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

Booking

Will Hughes (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kenny McLean (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Will Hughes (Watford).

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Christian Kabasele (Watford) for a bad foul.

Josip Drmic (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 8th November 2019

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool1110102591631
2Man City1181234102425
3Leicester117222781923
4Chelsea117222517823
5Arsenal114521615117
6Sheff Utd11443128416
7Bournemouth114431413116
8Brighton114341414015
9Crystal Palace114341014-415
10Man Utd113441311213
11Tottenham113441716113
12Wolves112721414013
13West Ham113441417-313
14Burnley113351418-412
15Newcastle11335917-812
16Aston Villa113261618-211
17Everton113261117-611
18Watford12156823-158
19Southampton112271027-178
20Norwich122191128-177
View full Premier League table

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