WatfordWatford6Bristol CityBristol City0

Watford 6-0 Bristol City: Electric first period gives Hornets win

Watford celebrate
Watford had scored only once in their previous three games

A stunning first-half performance helped promotion-chasing Watford blow away out-of-form Bristol City at Vicarage Road in the Championship.

Ken Sema chested the ball in from almost on the line and Ismaila Sarr's tap-in gave the hosts the perfect start in the opening quarter.

Will Hughes' deflected long-range shot and Sema's side-footed finish rounded off the perfect half for Xisco Munoz's side.

The Hornets continued to dominate after the break and Sarr deservedly added a fifth, before Philip Zinckernagel tapped in the sixth late on to heap further pressure on City boss Dean Holden.

Coming into this fixture no side had won more games at home in the Championship this season than Watford, while Bristol City had lost their previous six league games on the road.

And the match followed the formbook, with defensive errors gifting Watford two early goals.

Sema put the Hornets in front after Robins defender Taylor Moore deflected a cross into his path after just two minutes, before Zak Vyner's loose backpass was pounced upon by Tom Cleverley, who assisted Sarr for Watford's second.

Hughes' shot cruelly looped over Robins keeper Daniel Bentley after half an hour, and Sema coolly found the bottom corner after good work from Sarr five minutes later.

Watford outclassed their opponents in the opening 45 minutes and continued to put City to the sword in the second period, with Sarr curling in his second just before the hour mark.

Then in the last minute, Sarr set up substitute Zinckernagel for a simple finish to complete the scoring in a game in which the visitors failed to have a shot on target until the 82nd minute.

Watford's win - their biggest margin of victory in a league game since beating Sunderland 8-0 in 1982 - means they stay fourth, six points behind second-placed Brentford, while Bristol City drop to 12th in the Championship, having now lost four successive league games.

Reaction - 'We were outclassed'

Watford manager Xisco Munoz told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"I think it was a very good performance that we need to continue.

"It was a perfect performance. We can enjoy it for 20 minutes, but after 20 minutes we need to [look to] the next game.

"After we scored after two minutes the game is totally different, it becomes very open. I think the team today was perfect in attack and defence, we controlled the game.

"Everyone was at a good level today, but we need to stay humble."

Bristol City boss Dean Holden told BBC Radio Bristol:

"It's a terrible afternoon. We were outclassed by a team today who were at the top level of their own performance while we were way off it.

"[There were] too many lapses in concentration. The way we started in that second minute with their first goal. And then to concede like we did in quick succession takes the game away from you.

"There's no sugar-coating it, that was a terrible afternoon from all of us and that will sit with us for a long time."



Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Bachmann
  • 21FemeníaSubstituted forWilmotat 77'minutes
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 31Sierralta
  • 11MasinaSubstituted forLazaarat 77'minutes
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forZinckernagelat 61'minutes
  • 19Hughes
  • 14ChalobahBooked at 17minsSubstituted forGoslingat 45'minutes
  • 23Sarr
  • 10João PedroBooked at 81mins
  • 12SemaSubstituted forGrayat 61'minutes


  • 6Wilmot
  • 7Zinckernagel
  • 9Deeney
  • 15Cathcart
  • 16Gosling
  • 17Lazaar
  • 18Gray
  • 25Perica
  • 33Elliot

Bristol City

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Bentley
  • 26Vyner
  • 22Kalas
  • 23MooreBooked at 7minsSubstituted forNagyat 45'minutes
  • 2Hunt
  • 10PatersonSubstituted forBakinsonat 63'minutes
  • 17LansburySubstituted forPalmerat 73'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 42Massengo
  • 34TowlerSubstituted forMariappaat 45'minutes
  • 9DiédhiouBooked at 47minsSubstituted forWellsat 86'minutes
  • 18Semenyo


  • 4Nagy
  • 12O'Leary
  • 19Mariappa
  • 21Wells
  • 28Pearson
  • 30Bakinson
  • 33Bell
  • 45Palmer
John Brooks

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamBristol City
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 6, Bristol City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 6, Bristol City 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Ismaila Sarr (Watford).

  4. Post update

    Tomas Kalas (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Watford 6, Bristol City 0. Philip Zinckernagel (Watford) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ismaila Sarr following a fast break.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Will Hughes (Watford).

  7. Post update

    Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Philip Zinckernagel (Watford).

  9. Post update

    Han-Noah Massengo (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Bristol City. Nahki Wells replaces Famara Diédhiou.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jack Hunt.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Tomas Kalas.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Han-Noah Massengo (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tomas Kalas.

  14. Booking

    João Pedro (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Booking

    Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Achraf Lazaar (Watford).

  17. Post update

    Kasey Palmer (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Achraf Lazaar (Watford).

  19. Post update

    Han-Noah Massengo (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. William Troost-Ekong (Watford) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Philip Zinckernagel with a cross following a corner.

As It Stood

12Bristol City29123142939-1039
16Nottm Forest2989122530-533
22Sheff Wed2897122130-928
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