Championship
PrestonPreston North End0WatfordWatford1

Preston North End 0-1 Watford: Joao Pedro penalty gives Hornets win

Joao Pedro (left) celebrates his goal against Preston with Nathaniel Chalobah
Watford's Joao Pedro (left) scored his seventh goal of the campaign

Promotion-chasing Watford kept up their momentum with a narrow victory at Preston North End in the Championship.

Brazilian forward Joao Pedro netted the only goal from the penalty spot six minutes into the second half after he was tripped by Tom Barkhuizen.

Liam Lindsay headed a corner over the bar and dragged a shot wide as the Lilywhites went looking for an equaliser, but the hosts failed to trouble visiting keeper Daniel Bachmann.

The win lifts Xisco Munoz's side up to third in the table, three points behind second-placed Brentford.

However, the Bees and fourth-placed Swansea City, who are one point below the Hornets and have three games in hand on the Vicarage Road side, are both in action on Wednesday evening.

Watford won 6-0 against Bristol City on Saturday but their trip to Deepdale proved to be a tight affair which was settled by the game's only effort on target.

In a first half of few chances, Preston striker Ched Evans shot over the bar from close range and sent another effort wide from a narrow angle inside the opening 20 minutes.

With Hornets talisman Troy Deeney out for a short spell to recover from a couple of niggling injuries, penalty duties fell to Pedro early in the second half after referee Tony Harrington pointed to the spot.

The 19-year-old shot to the left hand side of the goal to score his seventh of the season, despite Preston keeper Daniel Iversen diving the right way.

It was just Watford's eighth goal in 15 away league games this season and was enough to give them their fourth victory on the road.

Alex Neil's Preston have now lost three of their past four and remain seven points off the play-offs, having suffered defeat against Watford at home for the first time since 1979.

Reaction - 'We played with passion'

Preston first-team coach Frankie McAvoy:

"We're a bit disappointed we've come away with nothing from the game. I thought it was a really good, tight affair.

"The penalty kick is the defining factor in the game. I thought we had the best couple of chances in the first half.

"I'm not really sure that the goalkeepers got worked by either side.

"I don't think there was much, but there were clear chances and on another day you get one that might sneak in."

Watford boss Xisco Munoz:

"I think it was a good performance for us because we showed the very good team spirit that we already have and we played with passion.

"We had control of the game in the first half and in the second half we lost the momentum at times.

"But everyone played together and we worked very hard.

"This is our club, this is our style, this is our challenge and we need to follow this game."

Line-ups

Preston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Iversen
  • 8Browne
  • 14Storey
  • 6Lindsay
  • 16Hughes
  • 17Whiteman
  • 21Molumby
  • 31SinclairSubstituted forRiis Jakobsenat 72'minutes
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forPottsat 79'minutes
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forGordonat 62'minutes
  • 26Evans

Substitutes

  • 2van den Berg
  • 12Gallagher
  • 15Rafferty
  • 19Riis Jakobsen
  • 23Huntington
  • 25Ripley
  • 37Cunningham
  • 42Gordon
  • 44Potts

Watford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Bachmann
  • 21Femenía
  • 15Cathcart
  • 31Sierralta
  • 11Masina
  • 8CleverleyBooked at 63mins
  • 19Hughes
  • 14ChalobahSubstituted forGoslingat 73'minutes
  • 23Sarr
  • 10João PedroSubstituted forPericaat 81'minutes
  • 12SemaSubstituted forZinckernagelat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 6Wilmot
  • 7Zinckernagel
  • 16Gosling
  • 17Lazaar
  • 18Gray
  • 25Perica
  • 33Elliot
  • 44Hungbo
Referee:
Tony Harrington

Match Stats

Home TeamPrestonAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home12
Away9
Shots on Target
Home0
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Preston North End 0, Watford 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Preston North End 0, Watford 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Brad Potts (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Anthony Gordon.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Anthony Gordon (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ched Evans.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Tom Cleverley (Watford).

  6. Post update

    Anthony Gordon (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Dan Gosling (Watford).

  8. Post update

    Brad Potts (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Anthony Gordon.

  10. Post update

    Ismaila Sarr (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Jayson Molumby (Preston North End).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ched Evans (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Brad Potts following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Brad Potts (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Francisco Sierralta.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Dan Gosling (Watford).

  16. Post update

    Anthony Gordon (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Emil Riis Jakobsen (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Storey following a set piece situation.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Emil Riis Jakobsen (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Anthony Gordon with a cross following a set piece situation.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Philip Zinckernagel (Watford).

  20. Post update

    Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich29177539241558
2Brentford29169455302557
3Watford30159638201854
4Swansea27158435152053
5Reading30156944341051
6Bournemouth291210743281546
7Cardiff30127114233943
8Middlesbrough30127113431343
9Stoke30101283433142
10Blackburn281161142311139
11Barnsley28116113134-339
12Preston30123153438-439
13Bristol City30123152941-1239
14Millwall2981472827138
15Luton29107122331-837
16Derby2997132130-934
17Nottm Forest2989122530-533
18QPR2789102632-633
19Huddersfield3096153444-1033
20Coventry29710122740-1331
21Rotherham2785143338-529
22Sheff Wed2997132131-1028
23Birmingham29610132135-1428
24Wycombe2947182251-2919
View full Championship table

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