Championship
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers2WatfordWatford3

Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Watford: High-flying Hornets pile more misery on Rovers

Ismaila Sarr scores for Watford
Ismaila Sarr scored for the ninth time this season to put Watford 2-0 up at Ewood Park

Watford inflicted a fifth successive defeat on Blackburn as the Hornets consolidated third place in the Championship.

The game came to life in 10 first-half minutes as Joao Pedro lifted the ball over Thomas Kaminski to give the Hornets the lead before Ismaila Sarr scored from close range five minutes later.

Rovers' Liverpool loanee Harvey Elliott pulled one back just before the break as he fired into the roof of the net from an angle after dogged build-up work by Joe Rothwell.

Ken Sema's low shot across the face of the goal into the bottom corner sealed the points for Watford before Ben Brereton stabbed home from a corner late on to set up a tense finish.

Rovers - who last lost five successive games in April 2012 - drop to 15th in the table, while Watford are level on points with second-placed Brentford having won four in a row for the first time since August 2018.

Blackburn were second-best for much of the first half as Sarr twice forced Kaminski into decent saves either side of the opener.

Rovers could have defended better for both of Watford's first-half goals as they let Pedro run through unmarked for the opener after a hooked ball over the top, while they had two chances to clear Kiko Femenia's cross which set up the Hornets' second.

Kaminski again saved Blackburn five minutes after the restart as Sarr found himself unmarked at the far post but his low effort was blocked by the keeper's legs.

Adam Armstrong had a couple of half-chances for the hosts, who could have conceded a fourth had Jarrad Branthwaite not headed Francisco Sierralta's hooked effort off the line with 20 minutes to go.

Substitute Brereton's back-post effort from a corner gave Rovers hope, and they almost earned an unlikely point in the final moments when Branthwaite got on the end of a free-kick at the far post but his weak effort was pushed clear by Daniel Bachmann.

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"I thought we gave it our best shot, I think we always looked a threat on transition, I think Armstrong's looking every inch a Premier League footballer, he's a real threat.

"I thought Harvey Elliott was really good tonight as well, and yet ultimately you could feel their quality and their threat with the speed and the power of some of their players and the experience in their midfield.

"We were giving it a go right from the off all the time, but sometimes good teams pick the right pass, they turn you around at the right times, and yet the goals we lost were pretty soft really.

"Maybe they played the conditions a little bit better than us, I'm not sure, but a frustrating night, and yet we could have got an equaliser late on."

Watford boss Xisco Munoz:

"We know Joao Pedro is an exciting player. He's a brilliant striker, and I know also he scores a lot of goals.

"I have a very good squad but I am happy with Joao because right now, he's working hard and also in defence. He does very good things for the team in defence and offence.

"In the first half, we had control of the game. In the second half, it changed a little bit but we had the chances in transition to try and kill them off. I think that we can mature better."

Line-ups

Blackburn

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Kaminski
  • 2Nyambe
  • 22Harwood-Bellis
  • 30Branthwaite
  • 15Douglas
  • 29Evans
  • 27TravisSubstituted forDowningat 56'minutes
  • 8RothwellBooked at 34minsSubstituted forBreretonat 69'minutes
  • 16Elliott
  • 7Armstrong
  • 23DackSubstituted forDolanat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Downing
  • 13Pears
  • 17Bell
  • 20Brereton
  • 21Buckley
  • 31Bennett
  • 39Dolan
  • 40Pike
  • 43McBride

Watford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Bachmann
  • 21Femenía
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 31Sierralta
  • 11Masina
  • 8Cleverley
  • 19Hughes
  • 16GoslingSubstituted forZinckernagelat 62'minutes
  • 23Sarr
  • 10João PedroSubstituted forGrayat 77'minutes
  • 12SemaSubstituted forWilmotat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Ngakia
  • 6Wilmot
  • 7Zinckernagel
  • 15Cathcart
  • 17Lazaar
  • 18Gray
  • 25Perica
  • 33Elliot
  • 44Hungbo
Referee:
James Linington

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home10
Away17
Shots on Target
Home5
Away7
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 2, Watford 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 2, Watford 3.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Stewart Downing.

  4. Post update

    Tyrhys Dolan (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Tom Cleverley (Watford).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers).

  7. Post update

    Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Jarrad Branthwaite (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Ismaila Sarr (Watford).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers).

  14. Post update

    Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Barry Douglas (Blackburn Rovers).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Blackburn Rovers 2, Watford 3. Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by William Troost-Ekong.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Blackburn Rovers).

  20. Post update

    Andre Gray (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich32207545252067
2Brentford32179659342560
3Watford32179643232060
4Swansea30178538191959
5Reading32156114437751
6Cardiff321471148341449
7Bournemouth321310946321449
8Barnsley31146113635148
9Middlesbrough32137123734346
10Stoke32111293735245
11Millwall3291673128343
12Bristol City32133163243-1142
13QPR301010103034-440
14Preston32124163442-840
15Blackburn31116144537839
16Nottm Forest32109132731-439
17Luton31108132435-1138
18Derby31107142432-837
19Huddersfield32106163847-936
20Coventry32810142943-1434
21Birmingham32710152340-1731
22Rotherham3085173341-829
23Sheff Wed3197152135-1428
24Wycombe3158182351-2823
View full Championship table

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